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August 2017 Archives

Permanent disability or death can follow struck-by injuries

One of the biggest hazards facing construction workers, particularly those who work in road construction, is struck-by incidents. The Center for Construction Research and Training says between 2011 and 2015, 804 construction workers lost their lives after suffering struck-by injuries. The number of deaths resulting from being struck by equipment was slightly higher than those that were struck by vehicles. These figures represent construction workers nationwide, including Colorado, who lost their lives but exclude those that suffered a permanent disability or less severe consequences.

Work duties can increase the likelihood of heart disease

Heavier than normal work activities can result in a heart attack, even in a person who does not exhibit any signs of heart problems. In the parlance of the Colorado workers' compensation system, this is known as "unusual exertion". When unusual exertion does cause a heart attack, a worker can claim workers' compensation benefits, though such cases are often contested by insurance companies.

Worker's death after being injured at work explained

Following up on our blog post about an explosion in Weld County from June 7 ("Death benefits claim possible following Colorado explosion"), investigators have now reported their findings of the cause. It was a tragic event in which four contract workers were injured at work, and one of them succumbed to his injuries. Although the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have not concluded their investigations, the Mountain View Fire Protection District announced its findings.

How to avoid suffering a hand injury

You might be surprised to learn that hand injuries are one of the most common work injuries. They comprise about one-third of all injuries in the workplace and 20 percent of disabling injuries. A hand injury can threaten the livelihood of nearly every worker, because it can make performing even a simple task difficult if not impossible.

Injuries suffered by mental health workers

Workers in psychiatric and mental health facilities face a variety of hazards on the job. Among the most serious of these are assaults by patients and injuries sustained while subduing out-of-control patients. In the opinion of one California psychiatrist, violent assaults happen on a daily basis in most inpatient mental health facilities. He tempers that by saying that just 15 percent of psychiatric patients are responsible for 90 percent of the violence. But even criminally-violent patients are given a surprising amount of freedom. This exposes workers to significant risks.

Prevention can limit cases of roofers being injured at work

Roof workers in Colorado are at as much risk as other roofers nationwide. Extreme weather like high winds or excessive heat along with fall risks has led to many employees being injured at work -- some fatally. These jobs will always have hazards, and it will be the ability of employers and employees to identify the hazards that may prevent injuries and save lives.

Treating low back pain without opioids

Back pain is one of the most common disabling work injuries. In some cases surgery can provide permanent relief. But millions of people face the prospect living with chronic back pain for the rest of their lives. To get relief, some turn to opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. But the relief those medications provide come at a terrible price - the risk of opioid addiction. What other treatment options are there for injured workers suffering from chronic back pain?

Pilots and flight attendants at risk from toxic engine fumes

Many airline pilots and flight attendants have experienced a "fume event" while flying. That can happen when bleed air from the engines (containing fumes from high-temperature synthetic oil) is brought into the cabin for heating purposes. If the concentration of toxic fumes is too high, then pilots, cabin crew, and passengers can become sickened or even pass out.

What is occupational asthma and how is it treated?

Asthma: Anyone who has it or knows someone who suffers from the affliction is aware of asthma's frightening effects. Out of the blue, an asthma sufferer can start coughing, wheezing or gasping for breath. Often, a sufferer must stop everything he or she is doing and seek relief from an inhaler. When an asthma attack happens to a person who is performing a critical function such as driving or operating heavy equipment, it could result in a serious accident.

Many fatally injured workers are older than 55

Authorities say there are now more older workers in the U.S. workforce than ever before. It is reported that many baby boomers nationwide, including in Colorado, choose to continue working past the typical retirement age. The government estimates that one in four workers will be older than 55 by 2024. Some find that fact disturbing, considering the higher rate of injured workers among the older employees in many industries.

Work-related car and truck accidents

When people hear the phrase "on-the-job accident", most think of accidents that happen in factories, warehouses, offices, and construction sites. But a significant number of work-related accidents in Colorado happen on streets and highways. For example, 41 percent of work-related deaths occur in the transportation industries, primarily the trucking industry.

Life after the loss of a limb

The loss of a limb can have devastating physical, financial and psychological effects. But life goes on after the loss of a leg, arm or hand. What's it like to lose a limb? What challenges do amputees face and how do they cope? Does everyone who loses a limb experience "phantom pain"?

Death benefits claims are not what an employer wants to see

There is undeniable evidence that trenches pose life-threatening risks to construction workers nationwide, including in Colorado. Nevertheless, death benefits claims continue to be filed by family members whose loved ones died in collapsed trenches. The president of a risks management company in another state says three aspects are common to cave-ins of excavations -- inadequate safety training, cutting corners to speed up projects and failure to establish a safety culture.

Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and workers' compensation

It's August and though summer will eventually turn to autumn, many hot days still lie ahead. And when the temperature gets too high, danger lurks for people who work outdoors in the form of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These are potentially life-threatening conditions that result from exposure to high temperatures combined with dehydration or salt depletion.

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