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Landscapers keep outdoor spaces neat and attractive, but the work often involves difficult labor in harsh conditions with dangerous tools and numerous hazards. There are many dangers involved in landscaping work. While protection from these dangers is not always present, workers who do become injured doing these jobs are offered protections under the law.
Fortunately, landscaping workers who become injured on the job should be able to collect Workers’ Compensation to protect them. In some instances, a landscape worker can be compensated for another person’s negligence.
Some common hazards for landscapers include the following:
Dangerous Tools: Landscapers have to operate dangerous tools to trim trees and bushes, mow lawns, dig holes, and to lift heavy materials. Some of these tools are heavy machinery, others are handheld. Some have fast moving parts, others have sharp blades. These tools can cause injuries, like deep cuts or severed limbs.
Falls: Falling accidents are common in this line of work, as landscapers often work on uneven or slick surfaces. They can trip and fall into holes that were created for planting flowers, bushes, shrubs, or other landscaping projects. Workers can fall from trees or off of work equipment as well.
Since landscaping work involves traveling from one client’s property to another, many work-related injuries in the landscaping industry happen en route from one job to the next. These motor vehicle accidents may be considered work injuries because they occurred while performing job duties.
Extreme Heat and Cold: The outdoor nature of landscaping is hard on workers. Extreme temperatures and weather conditions can create dangers for landscapers. Landscapers are best known for lawn and garden care in the warmer months, but they also care for properties throughout the year, including handing snow removal and salting icy pathways and parking areas. During winter months, risks include frostbite and other cold-related dangers. At the height of the summer, these workers are at risk of suffering from heatstroke.
Toxic Substances: Landscapers work with all kinds of toxic chemicals, such as weed killers, fertilizers, pesticides, and other substances that can be harmful to humans. Some of the most common landscaping chemicals still in use today have been associated with illnesses, including cancer.
Landscapers can suffer from various types of injuries. Some common injuries in the landscaping business include:
Electrocution: Landscapers may be at risk of being electrocuted by coming into contact with overhead power lines or utility cables buried underground.
Overexertion: Overexertion injuries can be caused by attempting to lift a heavy or unwieldy object. Repetitive stress injuries result from repeated motions, such as digging, raking, or shoveling.
Eye Injuries: An object propelled by a high-speed mower blade is a danger to anyone in the vicinity. Even the smallest of rocks or sticks can become a flying danger that can cause a permanent injury.
Hearing Loss: Using noisy equipment, like lawn mowers and trimmers, can cause permanent hearing damage without the use of proper hearing protection, such as industrial earplugs.
Crushing Injuries: Landscapers can be seriously injured by falling branches and debris. Heavy equipment and materials may also pose crushing hazards to workers.
If one is injured on the job as a landscaper, one may worry that one has no recourse to seek compensation for an injury. An injured worker’s options after a landscaping work accident will be determined by a few factors.
If a landscaper is injured while working and performing job-related tasks, they should be able to collect compensation for the work accident through the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. Importantly, a worker does not have to prove that anyone was negligent in order to receive compensation through a Workers’ Compensation policy.
A Workers’ Compensation claim should cover all medical bills as well as benefits for a disability or lost wages caused by the accident. These benefits may be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury and the expectations for recovery. If the accident results in death, the family of the deceased is entitled to death benefits through Workers’ Compensation.
If a person is operating their own landscaping business or they are working as an independent contractor for a separate business, they will not be eligible for such coverage unless they have their own independent policy.
Laws mandating Workers’ Compensation insurance are in place to protect workers, but they also protect employers by preventing injured workers from directly suing employers. However, there is nothing barring a worker from filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party.
When a work accident involves third-party liability, the injured person may be able to collect additional damages. For example, if a lawnmower part breaks off and causes an injury, the manufacturer of the mower may be held liable for the machinery defect. A landscaping professional may sue a homeowner for hazardous conditions on the property.
In a personal injury case, one will have to prove negligence in order to collect compensation. If a case is strong, the liable party may opt to offer a settlement instead of going to court.
Unlike Workers’ Compensation claims, a personal injury suit may seek damages for pain and suffering, psychological distress, or other emotional losses. After a work accident, it is important to contact a lawyer to determine eligibility for compensation.
Landscaping can be dangerous work. If you were injured while you were performing landscaping work, you may be able to collect compensation. Our Delaware work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you determine the best way to seek fair compensation. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
In 2018, private sector employers throughout the country reported 2.8 million non-fatal occupational illnesses and injuries. Contact with objects and equipment and slips and fall accidents are among the most common job-related accidents that can leave workers with painful, debilitating injuries.
Not only do these workplace injuries take a physical and emotional toll on workers, but they also have an impact on productivity. To protect workers, every job should have an effective workplace safety program that includes safety training, maintained equipment, safety protocols, and safety enforcement measures.
Safety training is essential for every job. Training should be clear and straightforward and relate directly to the jobs that workers perform daily. Hands-on practice and modeling real-world scenarios will keep employees engaged and will properly prepare them. Safety training needs to be an ongoing process as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and other safety practices evolve and new employees are hired.
While not all jobs require specialized protective gear, many do; without protective clothing, workers could face catastrophic injuries or even illnesses. Safety equipment can be anything from metal gloves for factory employees to fall prevention equipment for those who work at great heights. Additionally, machines, tools, and equipment that workers use every day should be cleaned, inspected, and serviced regularly to prevent dangerous malfunctions.
Established safety protocols and procedures create good habits that prevent tragic workplace accidents and debilitating injuries. OSHA sets and enforces safety standards for most private employers and some public sector employers with education, training, and assistance. These highly specific guidelines are passed down to workers who practice them every day. Employers that violate OSHA standards face fines and other penalties.
Even with good training and protocols in place, some workers still do not take proper precautions before undertaking certain tasks or activities. This negligence can cause injury to not only themselves but to all workers on the job site. Employers should be vigilant while enforcing good safety practices and make certain that all workers comply, or they will face possible disciplinary actions. Also, those who consistently make safety a priority should be recognized or rewarded in some way.
Every worker has an important role in keeping the workplace safe. It is crucial to implement a safety initiative to avoid tragic job-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses.
If safety oversights at your job caused you harm, you may be able to collect compensation. Our skilled Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will evaluate your case and recommend the best legal course of action. Based on the details of your case, we will fight for you to obtain the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost income. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also represent clients throughout the state including the communities of Elsmere and Seaford.
While many enjoy the vibrant colors of the autumn landscape, all those beautifully colored leaves must fall. Wet leaves can become as slippery as an icy pond while piles of leaves can hide hidden dangers, such as uneven sidewalks, potholes, and wheel stops in parking lots. Injuries from slip and falls on autumn leaves can result in serious injuries requiring long recovery periods and lost wages.
Autumn leaves can be overwhelming to keep under control. Just when you think you cleared your property, a windy day can bring more leaves that cover your lawn, sidewalk, and steps. When someone falls and is injured on your property, you can be held liable if you fail to properly maintain it. Clearing leaves from sidewalks, driveways, steps, and curbs is the responsibility of the home or business owner. Failure to keep up with clearing leaves on your property can result in liability for the injuries of those who slip and fall.
When individuals are injured in a slip and fall accident in public places, retail establishments, and entertainment venues, liability falls on the property owner or the proprietor responsible for maintenance of the property. Many people realize the dangers of snow and ice at these establishments, but others may fail to realize how dangerous autumn leaves can be when they get wet or accumulate.
Walkways and parking lots covered in leaves can hide a multitude of dangers. Uneven sidewalks, potholes, wheel stops, debris, rocks and sticks, and icy patches under the leaves can easily cause someone to lose their balance. Sharp objects such as broken glass and metal pieces under the leaves can cause serious injury when victims fall on them.
Homeowners and property owners are responsible to maintain their properties and keep them free from hazards. While making sure every leaf is picked up as soon as it falls is impossible, a realistic effort at maintaining the leaves is required by law. Proving that landscaping crews have worked on the property, visible piles of blown or raked leaves, or reasonable amounts of leaves on the ground can help a property owner prove that they were not negligent in their legal responsibilities.
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, it is important to know what to do to protect your legal rights.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, call the Delaware personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We will review your case and fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Seaford and Elsmere.
For many families, summertime means a trip to a water park. While most people associate water parks with fun and relaxation, personal injury lawyers know they can also become accident sites. It is not difficult to imagine all the ways that a patron could get hurt or even killed in a water park environment. Some of the more common reasons for injuries sustained at water parks include slip and falls on wet surfaces, falls from water slide stairways and other heights, cuts from poorly maintained equipment, bacterial infections from improperly sanitized water, and drowning in pools.
These events can cause a host of physical issues, such as broken bones, muscle sprains and strains, lacerations, amputations, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, intestinal distress, and death. However, not all injuries may be the water park owner’s fault. That is why it is important to follow specific guidelines after getting hurt at a water park.
People who are injured at water parks should seek medical treatment immediately, if necessary. They should also carefully document everything that happened leading up to and after the incident. Names and phone numbers of witnesses should be collected. Images of the area where the injury occurred should be taken as close to the time of the injury as possible. Writing down this information is critical because people’s memories tend to fade quickly.
In addition to comprehensively documenting the event, any person injured at a water park should contact a personal injury lawyer. Attorneys can help water park injury victims file a lawsuit. For instance, if a patron slipped and fell because he chose not to follow posted safety rules, the owner might not be responsible. On the other hand, if a child nearly drowned because an untrained lifeguard was on duty, the child’s parents could bring suit based on premises liability. Each water park injury case is a unique situation, which is why obtaining advice from a lawyer is recommended before pursuing legal action.
If a victim of a water park accident wins a lawsuit, the court may award damages to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Often, cases are settled to avoid the high cost of a trial, especially if the injury is high-profile and could damage the reputation of the water park.
If you suffered harm due to the negligence of another party, call the Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to set up a free initial consultation. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Accidents are the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer, according to statistics available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those under the age of 44, accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. The National Safety Council (NSC) has dedicated the month of June for National Safety Month and is behind a campaign to promote ways to prevent accidents and save lives. The NSC aims to prevent injuries in the workplace, in the home, and in our communities by educating people on how to recognize, report, and reduce safety hazards in our daily lives.
Each week throughout the month will highlight a different safety topic consisting of Hazard Recognition, Slips, Trips, and Falls, Fatigue, and Impairment. Additional areas of focus for the campaign include advice and distributable materials on the following safety topics:
The NSC will also provide videos that illustrate the importance of safety, including receiving enough sleep to avoid grogginess that could lead to injuries, among other unhealthy outcomes linked to chronic sleep deprivation, such as obesity, heart disease, and depression. Another video warns of distracted walking, a sign of our preoccupied times that causes trouble for people looking at digital devices instead of watching where they are going.
On June 21, the NSC will host a free webinar and take the opportunity to introduce its new resource website on injury statistics. With a focus on injuries that occur in the workplace, on the nation’s roadways, and in our communities, the website will highlight statistical trends in preventable injuries and their related costs. Plans for the website’s future include international data and state-specific information on preventable injuries and deaths.
The NSC is enlisting families, neighbors, and organizations to join the effort and keep vigilant about safety. Everyone is encouraged to take the safety pledge and commit to making safety a priority on the job, at home, and in our neighborhoods. National Safety Month is the perfect time for the NSC to persuade everyone from jobsite managers to cautious and concerned workers to join its cause. Members will receive additional resources and materials, such as posters and tip sheets, to share with loved ones and coworkers.
If you were injured in a preventable accident on the job, the New Castle work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent injured workers throughout the state, including those from Elsmere and Seaford.
Anyone who is familiar with various social media sites can agree – giving online followers a glimpse into your personal life can be a positive or negative experience. Social media fosters connections between friends, family, and community. Yet there are times when social media posts can reveal things that might just come back to haunt you later.
If you are involved in a personal injury case, saying the wrong thing or posting a misleading photo on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram can jeopardize your claim, costing you the compensation you deserve for your debilitating injuries.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have become a part of our everyday lives. For many users, sharing photos or commenting on others’ posts is a daily occurrence.
In fact, according to The Pew Research Center, more than 70 percent of people in the United States utilize some form of social media. For example, 75 percent of Facebook users visit the platform daily.
What some users may not realize is that what they show online could contradict the information they present in their personal injury case.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times that social media information has become a part of the discovery process for many personal injury claims. When it comes to social media and discovery, defendants are looking for any evidence that a plaintiff may be faking their injuries, or at least exaggerating their severity.
For example: If you have suffered a lower back injury after a slip and fall accident at the local mall that prevents you from standing or walking for long periods of time, any photo, video, or post suggesting otherwise will damage your claim.
Social media can be misleading. For example, maybe you recently posted pictures of a ski trip that your family took years before you became injured. It will be up to your Wilmington personal injury lawyer to verify those dates and prove that you are, in fact, too hurt to participate in that activity in the present.
Most lawyers working with personal injury clients will advise them to:
It is also important to note that it is not only your own personal social media activity that can get you in trouble. Remind your friends, family members, and coworkers to leave you out of their social media posts. Lawyers will likely check the social media activity of your loved ones as well.
When in doubt, take a hiatus from social media if you have an active personal injury, Workers’ Compensation, or any other ongoing legal claim.
We review your situation and recommend the next best step for your case, always taking the time you need to answer your questions and explain the legal process. To learn more about the legal services we provide for victims who have been harmed by another’s negligence, schedule a free consultation today by calling our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484,our Milford office at 302-422-6705, or fill out an online contact form. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.
Along with flames and smoke, one of firefighters’ worst enemies is intense heat. Exposure to such high temperatures can cause heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Yet, during frigid winter calls, the cold can present just as much danger. It is common knowledge that firefighters train to encounter uncontrollable blazes and take precautions to deal with high temperatures. What is less obvious is the additional risks these heroes face when temperatures drop.
In extreme winter weather, the large amount of water used to battle a fire becomes a frozen hazard to those working in an already dangerous area. As fire hoses blast water to tame a fire, water sprays everywhere, creating an icy hazard in addition to the fiery one.
Water hoses drench everything in the vicinity, turning streets and sidewalks into treacherous frozen terrain. The frozen water builds up on hydrants, freezes in hoses, and interferes with the operation of pumps.
Nearby water sources, such as lakes and ponds, which are sometimes tapped during a fire, can become inaccessible when frozen. Often, firefighters need to draft water from these alternative sources when hydrants are not available, are unable to meet the flow rate required for the job, or—perhaps due to the weather—not functioning properly.
The necessity of hacking at a layer of ice for access to this water in an emergency presents an added job hazard.
Besides the frozen sheets of ice that may cause slip-and-fall injuries, the spewing water creates unsafe conditions for the firefighters by drenching their gear. The personal discomfort of soaking wet gear is one thing; but when that gear freezes, the difficulty and dangers of the job are compounded.
Even though the gear worn by each firefighter is designed to avoid being penetrated by water, water can still cover their coats, boots, gloves, and helmets. Working with this much water—sometimes for hours—when the air temperature is below freezing is a recipe for disaster. Water is bound to seep in and become a problem. This is especially true when the stakes are so high that adrenaline prevents these emergency workers from focusing on the cold until after it has caused harm.
Fire chiefs try to cycle firefighters through to prevent these issues. But they still encounter problems going from one extreme temperature to another, and back again. It can be unsafe to alternate back and forth within such a wide temperature range with little chance for the body to acclimate.
The U.S. Fire Administration says that fires are more common in winter months than at other times of the year, as homes are more susceptible to trouble stemming from overloaded furnaces, unsafe chimneys, or combustibles being stored too closely to a heat source. Misuse of space heaters and even kitchen ovens can also cause problems as people try to keep warm.
Firefighters put themselves in harm’s way every day to save lives. Additional risks brought on by wintry conditions make the job that much more perilous for them.
Firefighters who have been injured during a cold-weather fire should know that they may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Talk with the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to learn more. Fill out an online contact form or call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and throughout Delaware.
As we get deeper into autumn, new risks that can lead to dangerous slip and fall accidents are all around us. The fall season is often accompanied by a large number of outdoor slip and fall accidents caused by changing weather conditions, poor lighting, and the use of seasonal décor.
To avoid slip and fall injuries as the autumn months roll around, be aware of the following types of accidents that can take place during this time of year:
Many slip and fall accidents during the autumn months result from surfaces covered with leaf debris as the trees begin to shed their leaves. Piles of leaves can cover holes and other hazards on sidewalks. Individuals who walk over dents or cracked sidewalks hidden by leaves can lose their footing.
When fall weather brings more frequent rain storms, high winds and cooling temperature, walkways and roads can become more dangerous. Wet leaves and early frosts can create slippery conditions if wet or snow-covered surfaces, including standing puddles and leaf-filled entryways, are not properly cleared.
Property owners should remove wet leaves as soon as possible, even though they may become difficult to rake.
As the number of daylight hours grows shorter, poor lighting can result in slip and fall accidents in parking lots, on decks, sidewalks and curbs, and other outdoor walking areas. Property owners may forget to put on their exterior lights as nightfall approaches earlier in the day. Without proper light, pedestrians can trip and fall when cracks, holes, and uneven surfaces are not detectable due to insufficient lighting.
Drivers may also experience problems as the timing of direct sunlight hours change. Sun glare can occur at unexpected hours as the sun’s location changes in autumn. When direct sunlight obstructs a driver’s view of the road, serious and potentially fatal car accidents can take place.
Autumn brings about the beginning of the holiday season with Halloween, which for many families is a time to decorate with colorful lights or spooky outside decorations, which require electricity to work. Unfortunately, hidden wires and cords can become significant tripping hazards.
Decorations that obstruct a pedestrian’s view, such as hanging cobwebs or large cornstalks, are other potential causes of accidents during the autumn months.
Slip and fall accidents can result in catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, paralysis, concussions or traumatic brain injuries. Serious physical injuries can lead to ongoing medical expenses for treatment, medications, and rehabilitation – including physical and occupational therapy.
Individuals injured in slip and fall accidents may suffer loss of wages as they are unable to work. Negligence due to poorly maintained properties and the failure of property owners to repair problems are the sort of situations where an experienced Bear personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall, you may be entitled to compensation for these injuries. Call today at 302-834-8484 or contact us online. The experienced Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow fight on behalf of accident victims in Elsmere and Seaford and throughout Delaware.
A simple trip to the playground can turn into a painful experience if you or your child slip and fall or are otherwise injured. Public parks, public and private schools, daycare centers, and private homes may all have playground equipment. Unfortunately, playground accidents are common occurrences and can result in serious injuries. Anyone injured in a playground accident should seek immediate medical attention and consult an experienced Delaware accident lawyer for legal advice.
Some of the injuries that occur on playgrounds include:
According to Delaware law, dogs must be leashed. Aside from a few exceptions, owners have strict liability for dogs that bite or injure people.
In the case of children injured in a playground accident where daycare or school staff is in charge, negligent supervision may be a factor in the accident. The ratio of staff to students is important to investigate in these cases.
There are many steps that can be taken to keep children safe from injury when they are playing including:
Probably the last thing you expect on a children’s playground is to experience an accident with serious consequences, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 45 percent of playground related injuries are serious. If this happens to you or your child, it is crucial to:
The more evidence you can gather, the better chance of success you will have in recovering potential compensation for your injuries.
Contact an experienced premises liability lawyer who can investigate the accident and ensure that your claim is filed within the Delaware statute of limitations.
It is always a tragedy when a child is injured, but even more so when it happens at a place meant for play. Contact a dedicated Wilmington slip and fall lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow if your child has been injured in a playground accident. Our team will investigate on your behalf and ensure that negligent parties are held accountable. Call us today at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. You can also contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford serving clients throughout the state of Delaware.
Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time of year; but the holiday rush creates crowded and sometimes chaotic shopping conditions. Moreover, store workers may be overworked or too understaffed to stay on top of hazards that arise. Winter weather brings slippery sidewalks and parking lots as shoppers try to get to their destinations.
Some common causes of slip and falls in stores include:
At first, a slip and fall injury may seem minor, but some sprains and strains can leave lasting damage. If a fall causes a victim to land on his or her back or head, the injuries could be catastrophic. Concussions and other head and neck injuries, or back injuries from slip and falls can all require extensive medical treatment and recovery periods that result in missed work.
Every property owner has a duty of care to maintain their property and keep it safe and free of foreseeable hazards. Despite this, a slip and fall in a store does not always mean the owner is responsible. A successful premises liability claim must show that there was a hazard that the owner knew about or should have known about, yet chose to neglect his or her duty instead of fixing it or properly warning the public about its existence. Furthermore, the hazard must have caused the accident and any injuries must be a direct result of the slip and fall.
Slip and falls can be difficult to prove because the conditions that caused the fall may not stay the same. Snow and ice can melt, and a spilled drink can be cleaned up. Therefore, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible when the accident happens. Take pictures of the scene where the accident took place and of any resulting injuries. Ask witnesses for a written account of what they saw and their contact information. Injured victims should make detailed notes of what happened, because later it may be hard to remember everything clearly. It is also important to see a medical professional to document the cause and nature of the injuries.
Depending on the seriousness of the injuries, slip and fall victims are advised to seek the counsel of an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can help to determine if there is a valid premises liability claim. In Delaware, the statute of limitations is two years from the date when the injury occurred. However, the sooner the legal process is started, the better the victim’s chances are of a successful resolution.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, a Delaware slip and fall lawyer from Rhoades & Morrow can answer any questions you might have and help you seek compensation for your injuries. We will provide personalized representation and review your case free of charge so call 302-427-9500 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment. From our offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, we represent clients throughout the state of Delaware.
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The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.
We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.
We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.