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Any worker who handles metal parts, works in extreme heat, or uses electricity places themselves at a higher risk for a workplace injury. Those working in the welding profession perform all three of those tasks daily. By understanding the most common causes of welding accidents, welders can take the necessary steps to protect themselves from serious workplace injuries.
One of the most common causes of welding accidents is electrical shock. When metal pieces containing electrical voltage touch, their electrical circuit can cause primary or secondary voltage shock. Without proper grounding, these shocks can enter a welder’s body. Electrical shock can result in first and second-degree burns. Using proper grounding equipment and following safe work practices can prevent electrical accidents.
The welding process often produces toxic fumes that can be dangerous to workers who breathe these dangerous gases into their lungs daily. Welding fumes can contain harmful chemical byproducts, including lead, manganese, aluminum, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and arsenic. Toxic exposure to metal oxide compounds can lead to the development of respiratory illnesses and lung cancer. To avoid injuries caused by toxic exposure, welders should work in ventilated areas with properly maintained equipment.
Also called arc eye, welder’s flash occurs when a welder is exposed to a bright flash of ultraviolet light coming from a welding torch. Welder’s flash typically causes inflammation of the cornea and can lead to light insensitivity, blurred vision, infection, and even loss of eyesight. Workers can protect themselves from flash burn by wearing coated safety googles, a welder’s mask, or specially designed sunglasses.
Noise pollution is another potential cause of welding-related injuries. The average welding working environment produces over 85 decibels of noise. Without proper ear protection, welders risk significant hearing loss or damage to the ear canal.
High temperatures produced by the welding arc can contribute to dangerous working conditions. Welders face significant burn risks from fire given the necessary high temperatures and amount of chemicals involved in the welding process. Molten metal and hot slags also present significant burn risks. Hot sparks and flying metal pieces can present an additional safety risk for workers. Debris landing in a welder’s eye or penetrating the ear canal can cause irreparable damage affecting the welder’s vision or hearing for the rest of their lives.
Welding accidents can result in serious injuries requiring years of medical treatment and result in an ability to return to work. Significant medical expenses and lost wages can place great financial stress on families caring for an injured worker. Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment for their workers may face liability when a workplace injury takes place. The first step in determining whether compensation may be available for a workplace injury is to contact an experienced Wilmington work accident lawyer to discuss your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a welding accident, the experienced Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware to serve work accidents victims throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 302-427-9500 or submit an online inquiry form.
Workers’ Compensation benefits provide compensation for lost wages and medical expenses when a work injury requires medical attention and lost time from work to recover. Although injuries vary according to each industry, there are several common accidents that occur in all types of work environments. The most common workplace accidents include:
The most common injuries related to workplace accidents include:
Accidents in the workplace will happen despite our best safety efforts. It is important to follow the protocols for reporting your injuries and filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are injured at work. These include to:
In some cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits are denied, but this does not mean benefits are not available. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can appeal the denial and claim the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, call the Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We will fight to obtain the benefits you deserve. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Seaford and Elsmere.
Employees are susceptible to a variety of injuries each day. One type of injury, called a crush injury, often leads to severe complications, including death. Due to the nature of this type of injury, victims often need a long recovery period that often leads to expenses, including hospital bills and lost wages.
Crush injuries occur when an individual is pinned between two items. Ultimately, these incidents can lead to fatalities, nerve damage, internal bleeding, amputations, and other severe injuries.
Crush injury complications include:
Employees can obtain crush injuries whenever they are crushed between two items. However, there are a few common ways to obtain crush injuries. An employee may experience a crush injury from falling objects. For instance, if a construction worker is working in an unstable building, the ceilings, walls, or other objects may collapse and cause a crush injury.
An individual may also obtain a crush injury from being run over. Employees may experience this from a large piece of machinery, such as a forklift. The equipment used in construction settings are often extremely heavy. Therefore, severe injuries and fatalities may occur. Trench collapses can also cause injuries. Trenches are built by employees working on the inside. When trenches collapse, it often leads to fatalities.
Motor vehicle accidents may also lead to crush injuries. Professional drivers spend a lot of their time on the road. When an accident occurs, it may cause a crush injury. Mechanics may also obtain crush injuries if a vehicle falls on them due to a faulty jack stand.
Due to the nature of crush injuries, employees may be unable to work. This can lead to financial difficulties for victims and their families. Therefore, it is important for injured employees to consult a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. This will help families secure funds for medical bills and lost wages. Similarly, if an injury was caused by an external party, it is possible that the victim can file a third-party personal injury claim. This would be applicable to parties, including construction site managers, vendors, and contractors. This option may be used if a party’s negligence led to the injury.
If you or a loved one obtained an injury at work, please consider contacting a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our lawyers work closely with clients to fight for entitled compensation. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Working in the construction industry presents significant risks to its workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over 18 percent of all workplace deaths in this country happen to construction employees.
In situations involving fatal construction accidents that were caused by another’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
In most cases, wrongful death suits are initiated on the behalf of any surviving family members, or any other parties affected emotionally and/or financially by the loss. The cases are brought against defendants that have contributed to or caused a person’s death though intentional harm or negligence.
These lawsuits can be undertaken by surviving spouses, parents of minor children, and minors that lose their parents.
If the surviving person is an adult child, sibling, other close relative, or life partner, suing for a wrongful death can become more complicated. Laws vary by state, but it must be shown that the survivor was at least in part financially dependent on the victim.
There are many kinds of personal injury cases that can become wrongful death claims. If the victim is killed on purpose, as in a murder, this would be an intentional act. Other examples include car accident deaths caused by negligent drivers, and medical malpractice suits.
OSHA points out that construction site fatalities commonly fall into certain categories. Electrocutions caused by power surges can occur if the work is not properly grounded and managed. Collapsed buildings can be deadly to workers; they can be crushed or fatally injured by falling or flying debris. Falls from rooftops, ladders, scaffolding, and high elevations also contribute to wrongful deaths.
Work-related construction accidents and injuries that lead to death may be required to go through the company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance; this may impact the amount of damages received. These regulations vary by state.
To prove liability in a construction accident wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant was responsible for the victim’s safety, but was negligent in this respect. The defendant also must show that this negligence directly caused the victim’s death, which caused the damages they need to recoup.
There are two main areas for damages:
Losing a loved one is traumatic, and is only made worse if it is due to another’s negligence. You need not suffer alone; call a Milford wrongful death lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We provide compassionate, experienced counsel in personal injury, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death cases. Contact us today by filling out an online form or call our offices in Milford at 302-422-6702, Bear at 302-834-8484, or Wilmington at 302-427-9500. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford.
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nearly one-quarter of all private sector worker deaths happened in construction.
More than 60 percent of these accidents were caused by the “fatal four” hazards. OSHA estimates that by eliminating these fatal four risks, we could save 631 lives every year.
OSHA’s “Fatal Four” construction accidents are:
Falls: Many construction workers find themselves high off the ground every day on roofs, scaffolds, ladders, and windows. Falls can leave victims with cuts, bruises, broken bones, head, neck and spine injuries, and even death. Personal arrest systems, guardrails, and safety nets are all effective in either preventing falls or protecting construction workers if they should fall.
Being Struck-by Objects: In 2016, 96 construction workers were killed after being struck-by an object. To address this common construction risk, OSHA established regulations to protect workers with canopies, guardrails, and screens designed to contain falling objects or protect workers from being struck-by moving parts and equipment.
Electrocutions: Electrocutions accounted for 8.3 percent of all fatal construction accidents in 2016. Employers are required per OSHA standards to prevent workers from coming in contact with hazards which are known to pose a risk of physical harm or death to workers, including electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.
Caught In/between Accidents: Construction workers can find themselves caught in or between equipment, building materials, and trenches, resulting in broken bones, amputations, and even death. Loose clothing, hair and jewelry can potentially get caught in/between the moving parts of machinery, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
If you are the victim of an unfortunate work-related accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, regardless of who is at fault. The purpose of Workers’ Compensation benefits is to help injured workers replace lost income while they are unable to work, and to pay for medical bills incurred after a work accident.
After a work accident, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Even if you do not have apparent injuries, you may still be hurt. Internal injuries are not always obvious to the naked eye.
Notify your employer about your accident right away. Keep all documentation related to your accident and injuries, including photos of the accident scene, witness testimony, and medical reports. This information is useful for your Workers’ Compensation claim.
The next step is to contact a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow who has extensive experience managing complex Workers’ Compensation claims. We understand the claims process, what is needed to prove a claim, and how to appeal a denied claim if necessary. No one likes to think about getting hurt on the construction site, but the reality is accidents do happen.
Schedule a consultation by calling 302-427-9500 or contact us online to get started today. We have locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford to serve clients throughout Delaware.
Accidents taking place on construction sites can result in devastating and life changing injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, internal bleeding, broken bones, and even fatality. Of the 4,693 workplace fatalities taking place in 2016, over 20 percent resulted from construction site accidents. Most construction worker fatalities are caused by the fatal four, consisting of falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in or between objects. Using proactive strategies can help reduce the number of construction site fatalities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth a wide variety of construction safety standards, including those related to fall protection, scaffolding use, respiratory protection, machinery guarding, control of hazardous energy, ladder use, and the operation of powered industrial trucks. Construction site managers should adhere to OSHA’s safety standards as a way of improving construction site safety.
Construction site safety begins with the example of supervisors and managers who play an integral role in creating a safe workplace. When workers observe senior management focusing on the importance of worker safety through the implementation of safety training and emergency planning steps, it can lead to a culture where safety takes priority. At many construction sites, the day begins with an informal safety talk to provide important information about the safest tools, equipment, materials, or processes to use on that job. These tool box talks have been shown to promote a greater worker understanding of safety expectations and safety discussions on construction sites.
Many workers express hesitancy to report risky construction site issues. Construction workers should be encouraged to report safety issues, which can help prevent future accidents. Managers should reassure workers that there will be no retaliation for safety reporting.
Workers should be provided with the proper tools and personal protection equipment before undertaking a construction project. Providing safety gear, such as goggles, hard hats, or proper footwear, should go hand in hand with installing appropriate safety nets or scaffolding for the construction site. Proper zoning to block off dangerous areas and the elimination of hazardous distractions or obstructions are additional ways to improve the safety of every construction site.
Digital technology can improve both the efficiency and safety of construction sites. Project managers can use unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones, to assess immediate safety concerns through remote site inspections and safety audits. Safety data from construction sites can be instantaneously shared to workers and onsite supervisors using project management software, smartphones, and tablets. Providing construction workers with wearable digital technology, such as smart watches or augmented reality glasses, can result in instant safety improvements on construction sites.
Digital technology resources can improve medical response times when an accident occurs and trigger alarms to improve emergency procedures in the event of an evacuation or hazardous condition. These digital technological resources include free iOS applications that can be easily installed and used by all types of construction companies.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at a construction site, the experienced Delaware construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain compensation for these injuries. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.
Every year, thousands of workers become sick from heat stress. In some cases, these injuries can even be fatal. When people become dehydrated, their bodies lose the ability to sweat and cool down. As their core temperature continues to rise, internal body temperature can reach dangerous levels. Although many people associate dehydration with headaches and fatigue, symptoms of severe heat stress can include fainting, seizures, and even death.
Many people assume that heat injuries are related to a person’s failure to stay hydrated. But many heat injuries are caused by severe working conditions. Outdoor operations conducted in hot weather and direct sun, such as construction or landscaping, expose workers to the risk of heat-related illnesses. Additionally, employees who work in bakeries, factories, and chemical plants are often exposed to hot air temperatures indoors.
As the weather continues to warm, more workers will be exposed to both indoor and outdoor high heat conditions If proper precautions are taken, heat-related illnesses can be prevented. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges employers to keep employees safe with environmental and scheduling strategies for heat injury prevention.
There are a number of steps that employers can take to help prevent heat injuries. These include implementing engineering controls, monitoring work practices, supplying personal protective equipment, and providing workers with adequate training about heat injury risks.
Employers can reduce worker exposure to high heat situations by cooling the environment and increasing ventilation in the following ways:
For those environments that cannot be adequately cooled, workers will need several days of light labor to get acclimated to extreme heat conditions. Other preventative methods include scheduling heavy physical work at the coolest times of the day, and allowing employees to work in labor-rest cycles, with breaktimes spent rehydrating in the shade or some other cooler area.
When the body becomes overheated, a heat rash could develop. These tiny clusters of red bumps usually appear on the neck and upper chest. At the first sign of heat rash, it is important to move to a cooler, less humid space and keep the affected area dry.
Muscle cramping is another, more serious symptom of possible heat stress. Those who experience this should stop all activity at once, get to a cooler area, and drink plenty of fluids. If the cramping does not cease after cooling down, it is important to seek medical attention.
Heat injury prevention is not limited to the workplace. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heat illness is a leading cause of death among high school athletes.
Whether you find yourself on the ball field or in the workplace, recognizing the early signs of heat illness can reduce the chances of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and possibly save a life.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work, the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your circumstances. To schedule a free consultation, call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705, or you can contact us online. We represent injured workers throughout Delaware, including those in New Castle County and Sussex County.
Cranes and hoists are massive pieces of heavy equipment that are used throughout the construction industry for many different tasks. Hoists are used to lift and lower loads vertically while cranes are able to move loads both vertically and horizontally. Because of their size and the weight of the loads they are designed to carry, proper safety when using cranes and hoists is of the utmost importance.
Although most crane and hoist accidents are preventable, every year hundreds of construction workers are seriously injured or killed working with or near cranes and hoists. Common crane accidents include tip overs, crane boom collapse, and load accidents.
Cranes and hoists should be installed only according to manufacturer’s specifications. Attention must be given to location and clearance allowances so as to avoid overhead power lines and existing structures. After installation, both operational and load testing of the crane or hoist should be completed. The work area of the crane with regard to its swing radius should be clearly marked and blocked off from foot and vehicle traffic to prevent other workers from being struck by the load.
An initial inspection by a qualified professional must take place after installation to verify a crane or hoist is safe to use. Any modification, alteration or repair to the crane or hoist warrants another inspection before use. Alterations and modifications may only be made by a qualified technician and with approval from the manufacturer.
Cranes and hoists should be inspected using a checklist before the start of service each day and any hazards reported immediately to a supervisor. Periodic documented inspections should be part of any safety program.
Maintenance of cranes and hoists should be performed as recommended by the manufacturer and kept on record with the dates when each maintenance task was carried out.
When performing maintenance, lockout/tagout procedures should be used to prevent accidental shocks or electrocutions.
Proper safety procedures and maintenance of cranes and hoists can prevent unnecessary injuries and fatalities to construction workers.
If you are a construction worker who has been injured on the job, the Delaware construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow, LLC can help. We will evaluate your case and then fight to get you the maximum compensation available for your injuries, whether from Workers’ Compensation or a third-party claim. An initial consultation is free so call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we help injured workers across the state of Delaware.
Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Workers perform physically demanding jobs with hazardous equipment and chemicals while often exposed to the elements. Electrical hazards are also common in the construction industry. Exposure to electricity causes injuries ranging from minor superficial burns to organ failure and even death.
After electrical workers, construction laborers suffer the most electrocutions on the job every year. The main cause of electrical accidents among non-electrical workers is contact with overhead power lines. Workers in contact with ladders, cranes, lifts, trucks, or metal poles that come in contact with live power lines can be electrocuted immediately. This is often the result of a failure to de-energize power lines, secure them, or maintain a safe distance from them.
Other common causes of electrical injuries include:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clear and current standards and regulations to keep America’s workers safe on a construction site. Employers and construction site managers are required to adhere to OSHA regulations or face fines and other penalties for non-compliance.
In addition to standardized safety regulations, employee training is key to preventing electrical injuries and other work-related accidents. Workers must understand the inherent risk of working with electrical equipment in proximity to power lines and other live wires.
Other basic construction site safety tips include:
Employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation benefits for construction workers who are injured on the job or develop a work-related illness. Some workers are also entitled to additional benefits from third parties, including property owners who create an unsafe working environment or companies that manufacture defective or hazardous equipment. Some employees and insurers will challenge injuries that are not easily traced to a job incident. For this reason, it is smart to contact a qualified construction accident lawyer after an electrical accident to discuss your legal options.
Electrical accidents among construction workers can leave devastating and even fatal injuries. Even if your actions somehow contributed to your injuries, you may still be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits to alleviate your medical costs and lost wages. Because work injury claims have strict time limits, it is crucial to contact a Delaware construction accident lawyer at Rhodes & Morrow immediately after an accident to protect your rights to benefits. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 302-427-9500 or contact us online today. With locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we are proud to serve clients throughout the state, including those in New Castle County and Sussex County.
Construction sites are busy places with multitudes of workers doing many different jobs all in an effort to finish the project at hand. They are organizationally complex and can involve multiple employers. What happens when one of the workers is hurt on the job? Who is liable for their injuries? Liability in a construction accident is a complicated issue.
Potentially liable parties can include everyone from the owner of the land where construction is taking place to the architects and engineers that design the project and the contractors that carry out the work. There are safety standards that must be upheld in all facets of the work taking place on a construction site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extensive regulations governing the safety of workers, but there are also state guidelines and the safety rules of the contractor itself. Typically, whoever is overseeing the day to day operations carries the most responsibility when things go wrong, but multiple parties can be held accountable if more than one party has demonstrated negligence.
Landowner – The degree to which a property owner can be held liable for injuries that occur there depends on how much control over the land they maintain during construction. For instance, they may have ceded most of it to the contractor when work begins. The landowner may be liable for any injuries resulting from existing hazardous conditions that they should have known about within reason. If the hazards were created by work being done, then it is likely the landowner could not have known about them and their liability is reduced.
Architects and Engineers – The people who design the project have the responsibility to meet safety standards during design and construction phases. Depending on the contract they have signed with the owner of the site, they may also be required to observe the progress of the project to ensure it is proceeding according to plan and in compliance with standards. They may be held accountable for injuries suffered by construction workers.
General Contractors and Sub Contractors – Both of these parties are responsible for the safety of the construction site and complying with applicable safety regulations. It is their duty to warn of any onsite dangers or hazards. They must also hire competent workers that will not jeopardize the safety of those around them.
Prime Contractors – Specific jobs are sometimes hired out to prime contractors who are only responsible for the work identified in their prime contract and the safety conditions related to that work.
Manufacturers of Construction Equipment – When a construction injury is due to a defect in machinery, tools or equipment that was being used properly, the manufacturer may be liable for any injuries caused by their product. The equipment could have a design flaw, or a flaw that occurred in the manufacturing of the product.
Liability in a construction accident is not easily determined. If you are seeking compensation for a construction accident injury and have questions, contact an experienced Wilmington construction accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We offer dedicated and personalized service and can help you with any legal matter from Workers’ Compensation to product liability. Call 302-427-9500 to schedule a case review at no charge to you, or contact us online. Rhoades & Morrow proudly serves clients in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford and throughout the state of Delaware.