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Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Some hospitals disregard workers' rights to safe workplaces

Employees of hospitals in Colorado are exposed to multiple health hazards. Chemical substances that are handled by health workers can be life threatening. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued citations after an investigation was launched to determine compliance with safety regulations at a hospital in another state. Workers' rights include protection from safety hazards, and hospitals are being closely monitored to limit instances of health workers being injured at work due to safety violations.

OSHA investigators found that workers were exposed to methylene chloride without the knowledge that it is a cancer-causing substance. Employers must provide safety training that will equip workers with the knowledge needed to identify hazardous chemicals and also ensure they know what to do in cases of contamination. Inspectors determined that exposed workers were not monitored.

Company cited for violating workers' rights to safe work places

Owners of tank cleaning companies nationwide, including those in Colorado, have to comply with safety regulations pertaining to the particular hazards of that industry. Failure to do so is a violation of workers' rights to safe workplace environments that are free of known hazards. Following the completion of a recent investigation in another state, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed $226,000 in penalties for a company's continued failure to protect its workers.

The inspection followed the death of one worker and the need for two others to be hospitalized last October. OSHA said the employer sent workers into the confined space of the tank without testing the potentially toxic air inside. Workers were not provided with respiratory protection, nor were their safety harnesses attached to rescue lines.

Baggage handling at DIA: What factors contribute to work injuries?

You probably know very well how astoundingly busy Denver International Airport (DIA) is. To quantify it, more than 54 million passengers streamed in and out last year. Plenty of cargo came through as well.

All types of airline industry workers struggle to keep up with this volume. For baggage handlers, however, it's particularly challenging because so much lifting and bending often causes injuries.

In this post, we will take note of some of the common hazards for baggage handlers and discuss the role of workers' compensation when injuries occur.

Family of worker killed at glass factory can claim death benefits

Losing a loved one in a workplace accident is naturally a devastating experience for any Colorado family. Along with the emotional loss, the sudden lack of income can leave a family struggling. Fortunately, death benefits offered through the workers' compensation insurance fund may relieve the financial burden. A man in another state recently lost his life after a workplace accident at the premises of a glassware manufacturer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident in which the collapse of a brick ceiling caused the worker's death. The 52-year-old man was reportedly a masonry worker who was part of a crew rebuilding a tank for glass manufacturing. Two other workers who were also in the tank at the time reportedly escaped injury, but the fatal victim was buried under a load of bricks. Fire fighters tried to rescue him, but he died before they could extricate him.

Death benefits may be available to family of woman in freezer

Colorado workers in the hospitality industry may be exposed to the dangers posed by walk-in freezers in the kitchens of hotels and restaurants. Sadly, when a person is trapped inside a freezer, he or she may not be discovered before it is too late. Investigators are looking into such an incident that recently claimed the life of a worker in another state that could result in the award of death benefits to her survivors.

Although the cause of the death of the 61-year-old woman will be determined during an autopsy, the reason for her failure to open the freezers door from the inside is being investigated. It was reported that she entered the freezer on a recent evening and never exited. Her body was discovered approximately 13 hours later on the morning of the next day.

Workers' rights: Unguarded band saw causes loss of fingertip

Federal safety regulations mandate that workers in industrial workplaces nationwide, including here in Colorado, must be protected against the dangers of working machine parts. Workers' rights include the right to safe workplace environments, and employers who fail to comply with safety regulations may face substantial fines. The owner of a grocery store in another state recently received a $45,000 penalty for disregarding safety regulations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires all equipment to be fitted with devices that isolate energy during maintenance or repairs. Also, safety guards must be installed to prevent contact between workers and the working parts of equipment. These safety features were not in place when a 65-year-old grocery store employee lost the tip of his left middle finger while he was butchering meat with a band saw.

A death benefits claim may follow fatal fall of worker

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the leading cause of workplace fatalities is falls. Company owners across the country, including those in Colorado, must provide employees who work at heights of six feet or more with appropriate fall protection. A family in a neighboring state who lost a loved one in a workplace accident earlier this month will likely find comfort in knowing that death benefits may be pursued to provide financial assistance at this difficult time.

According to initial accident reports, the 62-year-old worker had only been working for the construction company for one month when he lost his life. He was apparently busy installing a platform 38-feet above ground level when he fell. He suffered fatal blunt force trauma injuries upon impact with the ground below.

Man fatally injured at work after falling 35 feet

Colorado workers in all industries have a right to safe workplace environments. Employers must comply with the safety regulations that are prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Along with taking all the necessary steps to prevent workers from being injured at work, adequate training must be provided to ensure employees know how to effectively utilize personal protective equipment.

A worker in a neighboring state recently lost his life in a workplace accident at a renewable energy plant. An incident report indicates that the 62-year-old worker was on a walkway or scaffolding structure when he fell approximately 35 feet to the ground. The circumstances that led to the fall are not known. However, it was reported that, although the man was wearing fall protection, he had -- for some reason -- unhooked the safety harness for a moment.

After an injury: when you can't do your old job anymore

Life can change dramatically for anyone after a serious injury on the job. It can happen in many different work settings, from construction sites to hospitals to airport runways.

The injury can be sudden or it can build over time. But the phenomenon of a life change is exemplified perhaps most vividly in the high-profile world of professional football, where one fateful play can sometimes derail a flourishing career.

Long-time Broncos fans will remember former NFL MVP Terrell Davis, who along with John Elway led the Broncos to their first two Super Bowl titles. His career was derailed by injuries not long after winning those two titles.

Of course, running backs are known for having relatively short careers. But many types of workers far from the spotlight are faced with the challenge of having to find a different type of employment after suffering a serious work injury.

Workers' rights to safety violated by psychiatric patient

The dangers that nurses are exposed to nationwide, including here in Colorado, are a concern of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A recent incident at a hospital in another state has prompted OSHA to take action to address workers' rights to safety. Attacks on health care providers by patients seem to be more prevalent in psychiatric facilities.

It was reported that a 22-year-old patient was restrained and transported by ambulance after he attacked psychiatric hospital staff. During the transfer, the patient reportedly managed to free one hand from the restraints. He grabbed a nurse's ear and viciously tried to rip it off while also causing serious scratches around her eye.

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