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Denver Workers' Compensation Blog

Explosion sends worker with burn injuries for medical treatment

There will always be a great danger of explosions at manufacturers of aerosol products in Colorado and other states. A devastating explosion at such a plant rocked a city in a neighboring state on a recent Tuesday shortly after 6 a.m. Residents in the area and workers at the facility were in great danger, but miraculously, only one employee needed medical treatment for the injuries he suffered.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion. Investigators will also look at the company's compliance with health and safety regulations. Employers in all industries are responsible for providing workplace environments that do not threaten the safety and health of employees.

The ABCs of Colorado Workers' Compensation: Part One

Questions about what happens after a workplace injury? Check out our ABCs of Colorado workers' comp, and then let us know if you have any additional questions.

A - Any injury. Workers' compensation typically covers all work-related injuries.

B - Benefits denied. If you've applied for workers' comp and been denied, you still have options. You can appeal the denial and may be able to obtain benefits.

C - Colorado workers' comp law. Colorado has a few complicated provisions that determine how workers' comp is awarded, so it's important to work with an attorney who knows how to help you navigate through this complicated system.

D - Doctor visits. You should continue to see your medical provider even if you are feeling better, otherwise you may harm your ability to get workers comp benefits.

Injured workers often victims of negligent business owners

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's focus on companies who expose their employees to fall hazards has resulted in multiple citations and thousands of dollars in fines. Despite enforcement in Colorado and other states, and the numbers of injured workers who did their jobs without fall protection, repeat violations continue to occur. OSHA inspectors recently cited a construction company in another state after finding the same violations on multiple visits.

OSHA investigators noted that, on every visit to the company's construction sites, workers were wearing fall harnesses that offered no protection because they were not securely tied off. Issuing employees with personal protective equipment without providing training in the proper use of it is pointless. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the employer to monitor the use of protective equipment. Reportedly, the same company had received citations for violations of a similar nature at different sites after two previous inspections.

Grain worker dies 2 days after he was injured at work

The safety of grain workers nationwide, including in Colorado, is typically in the hands of their employers. This is a dangerous industry, and in many cases, company owners fail to inform workers of the life-threatening risks faced every day, and the safety precautions that should be taken. A grain facility in a neighboring state was recently cited for multiple serious and willful safety violations after an investigation into a tragic incident in May. A worker died two days after he was injured at work.

An incident report indicated that the 52-year-old maintenance worker had to enter the confined, enclosed space of a grain bin to clear the sides of crusted corn. A mass of collapsing corn engulfed him in moments. Rescue workers reportedly managed to save the worker, and he was taken to a hospital. Two days after the incident, he succumbed to his injuries.

OSHA announces enforcement plans to prevent permanent disability

The manufacturing industry in Colorado and other states pose many dangers to employees. One of the hazards that has caused the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to heighten its focus on enforcement of safety regulations is amputation injuries. Although the agency plans to target surrounding states, Colorado workers face the same types of risks that could lead to temporary or permanent disability.

According to OSHA, over 1,400 amputation injuries occur in the manufacturing industry annually. The number of such injuries over all industries in 2015 was 2,600, and 57 percent of those happened in factories. The agency aims to remind employers of the importance of prioritizing the health and safety of employees. Along with the agency's ongoing investigations into fatalities, injuries and hospitalizations, inspectors will also check on compliance with federal safety regulations.

Amendment 69 and Colorado Care: What You Need to Know (Part 3)

In this final part of our series on Amendment 69, we look at the possible negative effects that ColoradoCare could have on injured workers in Colorado.

Important note: This article series is NOT an endorsement for or an argument against Amendment 69. We are offering information on the amendment solely to allow voters to make the right choice for themselves and their families on Election Day.

OSHA says too many workers injured at work during grain handling

Every year during the grain harvesting season workers in Colorado and neighboring states are exposed to elevated levels of safety hazards at grain and animal feed facilities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes a list of precautionary regulations particularly for the handling of this type of produce. However, at this time of the year, the pressure of the workload sometimes leads to employers failing to enforce safety rules, often resulting in employees being injured at work.

The federal safety agency recently issued an animal feed company in a neighboring state with 26 citations for safety violations of which 25 were classified as serious. These included the failure to comply with all regulations related to confined spaces, and neglecting to ensure atmospheric conditions are tested before workers enter grain bins. Accumulated grain dust poses an explosion risk, and this company failed to avoid such accumulations. Preventative maintenance on equipment was neglected, and machines lacked safety guards and lockout/tagout devices. Although hazardous chemicals were used at the facility, no hazard communication program was established.

Amendment 69 and Colorado Care: What You Need to Know (Part 2)

As we continue our look at the possible effects of Amendment 69/ColoradoCare, we examine the potential positive impacts that passage of the amendment could have for Colorado workers.

Note: We are NOT endorsing a yes or no vote for Amendment 69 in this article series. We offer these articles for informational purposes only, and Colorado voters should make their own choices about how to vote on Nov. 8 (Election Day).

Amendment 69 and ColoradoCare: What You Need to Know (Part 1)

As Election Day draws closer, the presidential race is not the only hot button item on the Colorado ballot. Amendment 69, which would establish a single-payer insurance system that would be run by the state, is also up for a vote. If the amendment passes, the ColoradoCare health system will be created. But is this good for Coloradoans? Is it bad? Or is it somewhere in between?

In this three-part article series, we will take a look at the pros and cons of Amendment 69 from the perspective of injured workers.

Please note that by publishing these articles, we are NOT endorsing a yes or no vote for the amendment. Colorado voters should choose how they want to vote on their own, and we just want them to have all the information they need to make an informed decision on Election Day.

Fall hazards the cause of many employees being injured at work

Authorities say the most common cause of workplace injuries across all industries is falling. Employers in Colorado and elsewhere must protect the safety and health of their employees, and protection against falls is essential. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for each industry. Although the height at which protection is required differs from one industry to the next, falls can cause employees to be injured at work in all environments.

Hazards that are most frequently responsible for workers' injuries in industrial facilities include uncovered holes in floors, along with elevated walkways and stairways without safety rails. Other workers who are often exposed to heights include tree trimmers, those who work on utilities, such as power poles, wind turbines and cellphone masts. Also, construction workers, roofers and those who move about on steel constructions high above ground level are at greater risks.

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