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Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Colorado man dies after being injured at work in crane rollover

When construction projects are to be carried out on rough terrain, it is the responsibility of the employer to assess and evaluate the area to identify risks and address potential hazards. Workers must be made aware of dangerous areas, such as the presence of ditches, in areas where crane operators have to work. Furthermore, employers must provide safety gear. Disregard of safety regulations can result in employees being injured at work or, worse, dying because of a workplace accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into a fatal May workplace accident in another state. Investigators determined that safety violations by the company caused the death of a worker from Colorado. It was reported that the man died within 10 days of starting the job on the construction site. He was the operator of a rough-terrain crane that weighed 90 tons.

OSHA issues fines for companies violating workers' rights

Companies nationwide, including those in Colorado, are allowed to hire workers from foreign countries on a temporary basis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued two affiliated companies in another state and its owner with penalties of $1,792,000. This followed a conclusion that foreign workers were exploited and exposed to life-threatening asbestos hazards while their workers' rights were being violated. OSHA also put one of the two companies in its program for severe violators.

According to OSHA inspectors, employees were not informed of the health risks involved in the renovation of an old school. It was determined that the company owner and supervisors were fully aware of the dangers posed by asbestos. Nevertheless, the workers -- mostly Spanish speaking individuals -- were not warned. Employees were not provided with training in appropriate methods to work with asbestos, nor were they issued respirators to protect them.

Driver receives medical treatment after chemical burn

When chemical spills take place at workplaces in Colorado and other states, the consequences can be devastating. Because such a spill is typically unanticipated, workers or bystanders are not prepared for the hazard, nor are they likely to be wearing protective clothing. While some chemicals can be life threatening, the consequences of some such accidental chemical spills require no more than minor medical treatment.

A chemical spill that caused no fatalities occurred at a warehouse in another state on a recent Wednesday. A spokesperson for the fire department said the incident occurred while a truck driver was delivering chlorine to the warehouse. For unknown reasons, the chlorine apparently came into contact with an unnamed acid, causing a dangerous chemical reaction.

Insurance adjusters may not reveal all your workers' rights

If you have suffered a workplace injury, you may need to pursue a claim for Colorado workers' compensation benefits. The complexities of the laws, rules, hearings and court rulings involved may seem overwhelming. The experienced attorneys at the Eley Law Firm in Denver focus on protecting workers' rights. While navigating such a claim, it is not always true that your employer or any insurance adjusters are on your side.

By consulting with one of our experienced workers' compensation attorneys prior to making decisions or agreeing to any findings made by the insurance adjuster, you may avoid jeopardizing your claim. You have a number of rights, including the right to choose a treating physician. Once a doctor is selected, however, both parties must agree before the physician may be changed. If you are ordered by the insurance company or your employer to go to a different physician, you may want to consult with your attorney before doing so.

Man injured at work after company refuses requested safety gear

A company in another state that repairs disaster-stricken buildings nationwide, including Colorado, was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The citations were issued to both the employer of a worker who was injured at work and the staffing company that places employees with the company. OSHA determined that this workplace accident was entirely avoidable.

Investigators recorded that a temporary worker suffered severe contusions and fractured arms when he fell through a 12-foot high roof. It was reported that the worker requested a safety harness to protect him in the event of a fall accident. Although this would have prevented the worker's injuries, the request was refused. According to OSHA, the company issued all workers with the necessary safety equipment on the day following the accident, showing that it was well aware of the safety regulations.

Violence causes social services workers to be injured at work

Employees who work in the social services sector in Colorado and other states are sometimes exposed to the violent behavior of the individuals they are trying to help. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited an organization in another state for failure to protect its workers against violence. Every worker has the right to a safe working environment, and known hazards must be addressed to avoid employees from being injured at work.

According to OSHA, the organization provides therapeutic treatment that includes counseling and education in programs that are developed to assist adolescents. Unfortunately, some of the individuals assisted tend to be violent, and workers are exposed to physical assault hazards. Injuries that have been reported include stab wounds, contusions, abrasions and even bite wounds.

OSHA cites plant for disregarding workers' rights after 4 deaths

Companies nationwide, including in Colorado, that are put on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's severe violators enforcement program will be subjected to follow-up inspections to determine compliance with safety regulations. OSHA recently added DuPont -- the chemical company giant that touts its safety program as world class -- to its list of severe violators. This follows the death of four workers at a DuPont plant in another state where a massive gas leak occurred last November. By its action, OSHA has made it clear that such disregard of workers' rights is inexcusable.

The plant at issue employs over 300 workers. It was found to have a defective ventilation system that allowed exposure to flammable and highly toxic chemicals that are used in the manufacture of insecticides. Reportedly, the flawed design of the ventilation system allowed liquid to build up from condensation. OSHA indicated that workers were then expected to drain the system while being exposed to dangerous chemicals.

5 men required medical treatment for lighting strike at job site

Colorado construction workers understand that they face numerous hazards while at a job site. Most employers implement accepted safety measures, and most employees use the proper safety equipment, in order to reduce or eliminate predictable dangers. Sometimes, however, workers end up needing medical treatment for dangers that are not quite as predictable -- like being struck by lightning.

A new apartment building is under construction on the northeast side of Colorado's second largest city. During a recent storm, a portion of the building being worked on by five men was struck by lightning sometime before 1:35 p.m., which is the approximate time that emergency personnel were called to the scene. Upon arrival, they discovered that all five of the men suffered injuries, but only three of them were transported to the hospital. The other two chose not to be transported.

2 require medical treatment after explosion at ethanol plant

It is not uncommon for Colorado workers to be around and work with volatile substances while on the job. In order to do so safely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enacted certain regulations that companies must follow. However, whether those regulations are followed or not, the possibility workers requiring medical treatment due to working with hazardous substances is always a concern.

For example, authorities are still investigating an explosion that recently occurred at an ethanol plant in another state. The circumstances surrounding the explosion could call into question whether the company had the proper safety measures in place in order to prevent such an event. The damage done to the building may slow down the investigation into the cause of the explosion.

Musculoskeletal injuries can cause permanent disability

Numerous Colorado workers suffer musculoskeletal injuries each year. Many of them are able to manage those injuries, but others are left with a permanent disability. This may affect not only the work they are able to do, but their personal lives as well.

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that musculoskeletal injuries are pervasive in the meat and poultry processing industries. In fact, OSHA recently concluded an investigation of a chicken processing plant in another state in which an unknown number of its approximately 960 employees suffer from these types of injuries. The specific injuries include trigger thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and shoulder pain.

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