No Fee or Obligation, Call Now 866-203-3440

Slidell Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Wearable technologies can assist injury rehabilitation

The management of workplace injuries is changing due to smart technologies and wearable options. These technologies are being used to improve the quality of care and rehabilitation for Louisiana workers who are injured on the job.

While wearable devices originally became known as fitness or activity trackers helping people engaging in an exercise program to track their steps or measure their heartbeat, health care providers are using these items for other purposes. The wearables can help to monitor other major health data like blood pressure or respiratory rates. They can also be used to sense body mechanics in order to help prevent on-the-job injuries and cut down on risks.

Healthcare workers face on the job violence

People who do not work in the medical field might not expect some of the hazards nurses are exposed to while on the job. Nurses in Louisiana hospitals sometimes experience back strains from lifting patients and other similar work-related injuries, but the biggest danger workers in this field face is violence, primarily from patients.

Healthcare violence causes almost the same amount of injuries as from all other occupations combined. Between 15,000 and 20,000 injuries happened yearly from 2011 to 2013. These instances only represent the occasions when the damage was serious enough to require recovery time and days off work, so the actual number is likely to be larger.

Workplace safety

Employee safety should be a main priority for Louisiana companies as people are the cornerstone of their business. However, survey results from the National Safety Council indicate that many people believe that employee safety is not as important as it should be.

Thirty-six percent of the survey respondents stated that they at least somewhat agreed that safety was secondary to completing their work tasks. Many of the surveyed workers have jobs considered high-risk. Sixty-eight percent worked in the forestry, fishing, agriculture and hunting industries, 58 percent are in employed in the construction industry and 45 percent are in manufacturing. The perception held by these workers indicate that there is an urgency for companies to allow human resources and safety professionals to take the necessary steps to help improve workers' health and safety and the environment.

Teens face rising injury rate on the job

When it comes to work-related injuries, teens who hold summer jobs may be especially at risk. In 2015, slightly more than 400 people under the age of 24 suffered fatal injuries while on the job, according to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration report. Although these findings are not specific to the state of Louisiana, research supports at least one child labor specialist's belief that teens and young adults are more likely than older employees to be injured at work.

Statistics show that an increasing number of teen workplace injuries occurred from 1998 through 2007. Teens holding positions in retail sales, food service, office work, janitorial work and outdoor jobs remain exposed to hazards ranging from slippery floors and hot cooking equipment to biocontamination and violent crime. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that the more than 2 million teens who work in the agriculture industry alone each year are exposed to a variety of farm-related safety hazards on the job.

When hospitals fail to keep staff safe

As a Slidell nurse, you understand all too well the dangers that are inherent in your job. But, you consistently put your needs and safety second while you attend to patients that need your help. In March of 2010, a nurse at Crozer-Chester Medical Center answered another nurse's call for help, just as you have done many times.

While day shifts seem barely sufficiently staffed, night shifts often seem understaffed. This means that there are often not enough hands on deck when it comes to lifting a patient that has fallen. When this nurse answered the call for help, she gathered up as many other staff as possible and proceeded to lift the patient as they had all been taught in nursing school.

Safety issues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Louisiana residents may be shocked to learn that a Department of Energy facility that manufactures plutonium cores for use in nuclear weapons has been accused of reckless and potentially catastrophic safety violations. The Center for Public Integrity studied a raft of documents including several internal reports and came to the conclusion that the concerns of federal prosecutors have been ignored and both workers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and members of the public have been placed in danger.

Among the safety problems documented by the CPI is a 2011 incident where plutonium rods were arranged in a way that could have initiated a chain reaction. The nonprofit journalism organization also reveals that cheesecloth was used at the facility in 2013 to clean up spilled liquid plutonium. Federal regulations forbid this because contact between cheesecloth and plutonium can cause violent chemical reactions and even fires. Incidents such as these prompted officials to temporarily shut down the DOE facility in 2013.

Bulldozer safety

Bulldozers are powerful machines that can cause severe injuries and even death if not properly handled. Therefore, Louisiana residents who work with this type of potentially dangerous equipment may benefit from learning some useful precautions to avoid accidents.

Only qualified individuals who have undergone the proper training should operate bulldozers. Those who are operating these machines should always ensure that their seat belts are properly fastened.

Hazard alert issued for oil and gas industry

Louisiana workers in the oil and gas sector may benefit from learning about a hazard alert that has been issued. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Service Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health united to issue the hazard alert to help prevent deaths caused by the ignition of vapors emitted by vehicles and motorized machinery in that industry.

Motorized equipment and vehicles can be very dangerous if they are in the proximity of a wellbore or any other inflammable source. This can include frac tanks, production tanks and flowback tanks.

Inexperienced miners at risk for serious workplace accidents

In Louisiana and throughout the United States, inexperienced workers could be at a significantly higher risk of serious injury or even death. As of June 8, seven coal miners have died in accidents across the United States in 2017. Most of them had less than one year of experience in their job and mine at the time, federal officials have reported.

Federal regulators are looking at starting an initiative to determine if newer miners have deficiencies in their training. They expressed that they are hoping to talk to a large number of miners and work with mine operators to do so. Six of the seven deceased miners worked for less than a year in their mines, while five had less than a year's experience for their particular job.

How to protect workers from silica dust

Each year, over 7,300 construction workers in the United States are impacted by a condition called silicosis. Those who work in Louisiana or elsewhere in the country may be interested to know that there is little awareness of the condition among the general public. Workers develop symptoms by inhaling silica dust, and inhaling the dust may also lead to other respiratory issues such as bronchitis.

The level of silica in a given material varies from as little as 25 percent in concrete to as much as 90 percent in sandstone. The dust is created when these materials, as well as others such as granite or brick, are cut or sanded. One option to mitigate issues caused by silica dust is to have a quality dust collection system. This may prevent dust from getting into the air, and a system should be implemented even if workers don't necessarily see dust particles.