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Many people associate summer weather with outside recreation, but for outdoor workers, summer brings a variety of occupational hazards. The most common summer safety concerns for outdoor workers are heat stress, sun exposure, noise pollution, and biological hazards.
Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their outdoor workers, including training and education about the different types of workplace injuries and accidents, occupational illnesses, and the proper use of personal protective equipment.
Heat stress and heat-related illnesses are major concerns for outdoor workers. Workers who are 65 years old and older may have heart disease or high blood pressure, are overweight, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
Exposure to extreme heat can result in heat rashes, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which can be fatal. To prevent heat-related illnesses, employers should provide cool, shaded areas for workers to take frequent breaks, and avoid scheduling strenuous work during the hottest hours of the day. Workers can also be rotated in shifts to do outdoor tasks.
Outdoor workers may experience various types of injuries and illnesses. Some heat-related injuries and illnesses are more common. Workers should be aware of outdoor hazards so that they are prepared for summer work.
A common hazard in summer is heat rash. Heat rash is the irritation of the skin caused by excessive perspiration. It appears as a cluster of red pimples or small blisters usually in skin creases at the elbows, groin area, under the breasts, or on the neck and upper chest. Workers can use powder to keep the rash area dry and should not use ointments or creams to treat heat rash.
Heat cramps are also common. Heat cramps occur because excessive sweating in extreme heat can deplete the body’s salt and moisture levels. Workers may experience heat cramps as pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs. To combat heat cramps, avoid salt tablets and drink water. In addition, have a snack or sports drink to replace electrolytes every 15 to 20 minutes. Workers with heart problems, low sodium diets, or whose cramps do not subside within an hour, should seek immediate medical attention.
One serious danger is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is a severe bodily response to the loss of water and salt that is caused by excessive sweating. Workers should be aware of certain symptoms:
Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should be taken to an emergency room for treatment. While waiting for help to arrive, the worker should be moved to a cool area and given frequent sips of cool water and cold compresses to the head and neck area.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat stress and can cause permanent disability or even death if emergency treatment is not given. With heat stroke, the body temperature rises rapidly, and the sweating mechanism fails. The body is unable to cool down and regulate its temperature. It is important to be mindful of heat stroke symptoms:
Emergency medical care must be called. Until help arrives, the worker should be moved to a cool area and treated with cold, wet cloths, or an ice bath, if possible.
When workers are outside all day, sun exposure can cause many issues. Sun exposure can have short and long-term consequences for outdoor workers. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can penetrate beyond the top layer of the skin and alter the structure of the skin’s cells.
Unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays can cause painful sunburn and skin cancer. The risk of sun exposure is high between 10 a.m. until four in the afternoon. Additionally, light-colored surfaces or water that is reflecting sunlight increases sunburn and exposure.
Even on cloudy days, outdoor workers should protect themselves from sun exposure by wearing light long-sleeve shirts made of tightly knit fabric, and wear sunscreen and wide brimmed hats. Workers suffering from sunburn can use topical creams to moisturize the area, cool the skin, and ease discomfort. Outdoor workers who develop any irregularly shaped moles or discolorations should see a dermatologist immediately.
Noise pollution can result in occupational hearing loss, which is one of the most common work-related injuries in the United States. Almost all work-related hearing loss is permanent and can profoundly impact a person’s quality of life.
Many outdoor workers use power tools that expose them to hazardous noise levels. If it is difficult to speak with someone at arm’s length and you have to raise your voice, then your work environment is too loud. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict guidelines for workplace decibel levels. Employers should use the quietest equipment available and provide workers with hearing protection.
Workers can also experience biological hazards. Biological hazards for outdoor workers include venomous insects, poisonous plants, and vector borne diseases, which are contracted by insect bites.
Depending on the region of the country, outdoor workers may encounter venomous snakes, spiders, and insects. Also, poisonous plant oils can cause severe reactions to the skin. Clearing dangerous plants and brush can release toxins into the air.
Mosquitos and ticks can carry bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Diseases carried by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria. Tick borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
Outdoor workers are more at risk for insect bites in the summer months and should protect themselves by wearing light long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks that cover the ankles. Make sure to carry insect repellent. Work sites should have tall grass and brush cut back and all sources of standing water eliminated.
Outdoor workers have the right to a safe working environment during the hot summer months. There are many preventative measures that can be taken to protect outdoor workers from heat stress, sun exposure, noise pollution, and biological hazards. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, report it to your employer, and seek medical care immediately.
After you suffer an injury or illness, it is important to contact a lawyer who will help you with a Workers’ Compensation claim. A lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure you receive necessary compensation.
If you have a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dedicated Delaware work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you get the maximum benefits available to you so that you can recover. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
May is Electrical Safety Month, and everyone should be extra cautious when working with electricity. Electricity can cause serious accidents and different types of workplace injuries, so it is important to learn about electrical safety. Electrical workers and employees alike should advocate for safety during Electrical Safety Month and all year round.
In 2016 alone, there were 154 fatal accidents involving electricity on worksites. While this number may seem small compared to the population of the United States, no one should be killed by electricity on a worksite because it is often preventable.
Additionally, 53 percent of these accidents occurred in the construction industry. Proper safety procedures should be used to avoid these accidents in the future. There were also 1,540 non-fatal accidents where employees had to miss work to recover.
If you or your employees work with electricity every day, you should:
You must train your employees to use all the tools that you have provided, and you should update this training every year. You should also give your employees a handbook that outlines the basic safety procedures that are used by your company.
Electrocution or electrical accidents can occur when:
As previously mentioned, you must keep a safe distance when working with electricity, and you should not bring conductors or conductive materials to the worksite. You do not want to accidentally ground the electricity yourself or with another object.
Workers can be injured by electrical currents at any time. These injuries occur when electricity is discharged:
Employers should train their employees to use all equipment properly, and employees should be trained to use basic safety precautions around electricity. At the same time, employers should provide their workers with equipment that is made from non-conductive materials, like ladders. Additionally, ground fault circuit interrupters should be implemented on all worksites. Employers should call off all electrical work if it is wet, extremely hot, or bitterly cold.
Workers often assume they must complete all tasks no matter what because they have a job to do. Your employer, however, should not force you to work in unsafe conditions. Use your better judgement to avoid electrical accidents and protect your coworkers. If a worker does become injured, he or she may be able to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
You should talk to one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow when you have been injured in an electrical accident at work. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
Ladders are a common and important everyday tool for those working around the house and at work, but they are certainly not without their dangers. Some people may think ladder injuries may not be serious, but statistics show that falling accidents can lead to disabling injuries, or even death.
In the United States, falls from ladders account for 80 percent of hospital visits from construction workers while other industries see about 20 percent of fall accidents involving ladders. It is also one of the leading causes of disabling workplace injuries, companies see over $5 billion spent on workplace falls each year. Ladders rank among the top 10 on OSHA’s Most Cited Violations Risk when inspecting workplaces. Furthermore, over 100 people a year die due to ladder-related accidents.
There are many common errors people make when using a ladder. The errors mostly involve overreaching for something, improper ladder position, using the wrong ladder or a damaged ladder, improper foundation, and lack of training. The following list contains ladder safety tips:
Workplaces around the country should always make their employees’ safety top priority. Ladder safety awareness is paramount in almost every job industry. Proper use of ladders and training can lower disability costs and prevent injuries in every ladder-related accident across the country.
It is your employer’s duty to provide a safe work environment, including giving you and your fellow coworkers proper safety guidelines and training. Not providing these parameters can lead to unnecessary workplace injuries. If you have been injured at work, then contact one of our Bear Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Complete our online form or call us at 302-834-8484 for a free consultation. With our offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also proudly serve the communities of Elsmere, Seaford, Dover, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth and Middletown.
On March 11, 2020, a fire was reported at the Delaware City Refining Company at the Route 9 industrial complex. Two employees were critically injured in the 1:40 p.m. fire that sent flames and black smoke into the sky surrounding the facility. Both victims were first flown to Christiana Hospital in Stanton and then taken to the Crozer Burn Center in Upland, Pennsylvania. The fire was responded to immediately and the flames were controlled quickly. The fire is still under investigation and a cause of incident is currently unknown.
Injuries at work happen frequently and can cause physical, mental and emotional harm on the injured worker. Employers must provide Workers’ Compensation benefits to those who experienced an injury in the workplace. Burns resulting from a workplace fire is covered under Workers’ Compensation. Worker’s Compensation insurance will provide the appropriate benefits to the worker. Benefits include medical compensation, missed wages, disability benefits and more depending on the injury.
If you have been injured at work, contact the dedicated Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for a free consultation. We understand how difficult this time is for you and will work hard to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 302-407-0827 or fill out our online form. We represent clients across Delaware including Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.
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.
Regardless of your profession, you may be at risk for suffering a work-related injury. Falling object or a misplaced filing cabinet could easily lead to one of the most common workplace injuries, a fractured or broken bone. Of course, the severity of a fractured bone depends on location and circumstances. Unfortunately, suffering a broken bone at work could lead to extended time off and lost wages.
Broken bones can happen in many circumstances. The leading cause for fractures in the workplace stem from slip and fall accidents; improperly mopped areas or misplaced warning signs could lead to serious injuries. In fact, any kind of impact can break a bone, and it could take weeks or months for fractured bones to properly heal.
There are different types of fractures, some are more serious than others. Fractures can even lead to immobilization and deadly infections. Some common types of fractures include:
Regardless of the type, bone fractures are easier to prove in a workers’ compensation claim. The actions of a negligent employer can lead to an injury like a fracture, so keeping the right medical records are vital to your case.
With a fracture, doctors have an easier time to diagnose the injury and recommend the right therapy or time to heal. Due to a straightforward diagnosis, it is easy to prove that the broken bone happened at work. However, with any workplace injury, a knowledgeable lawyer is required to help you receive the right compensation.
Suffering a fractured bone at work could lead to long rehabilitation, extended time off from work, expensive medical bills, and lost wages. If you have been injured at work, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhodes & Morrow will get you justice and the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear and Milford, Delaware, we also proudly serve the communities of Elsmere and Seaford.
Traditionally, hard hats were allocated to construction sites to protect workers from falling objects and to protect themselves in other potential construction accidents. Safety helmets were used by bicyclists, motorcyclists, and in other sports. The lines became blurred as safety technologies advanced and newer models were replaced. Nowadays, old-fashioned hard hats are articles of the past.
The evolution of the hard hat began a century ago when shipbuilders wanted to protect their heads from falling objects. The first stage was shipbuilders covering their regular hats with tar. In later years, protective hats were made from steamed canvas, aluminum, steel, leather, plastic, and fiberglass. Today, the most common element used is polyethylene. Some hard hats come with visors, lights, face shields, radios, and ventilation. The next stage was evolving standard construction safety helmets.
Helmets are generally used to protect someone’s head when operating objects such as bikes, ATVs, and skateboards. They are also worn by outdoor sports aficionados and rescue workers. Outdoor enthusiasts normally attach helmets closer to their head with chin straps; these helmets typically do not have brims. Newer features of safety helmets may include Hi Viz materials, ear protection, and attachable visors.
Construction hard hats have remained the same over the past 40 years, but Bloomberg BNA claims that this is changing. Bloomberg BNA recently posted designs of helmets for construction workers. These helmets were originally designed for mountain climbing and other outdoor sports. The main reason for this is so that helmets have better side impact protection and do not fall off during impact. The safety director of Skanska USA Commercial Development, explained that a hard hat may fall off when a worker falls and jerks their head.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies head protection into different classes and types. These classifications also coincide with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). OSHA also requires that employers provide head safety gear that meets or exceeds industry standards. Each class indicates protection from an electrical accident and each type indicates the protection level from an impact. The following are three different classes provided by OSHA:
The following are two types of helmets that are classified by the OSHA:
Understandably, modern construction helmets have pros and cons. The helmets provide security from side impacts with a lifespan up to 10 years; helmets are also more stable with chin straps. However, they can be costly, prices range from 100 dollars to 150 dollars each. In contrast, hard hats average around 15 dollars with some models feeling too heavy on the head. Another barrier is a worker’s preference. Hard hats have a long association with construction workers and many workers may not want to change the traditional appearance and feel of standard hard hats.
If you were injured in a construction accident while at work, you may be eligible for compensation. Our devoted Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow support workers who have suffered injuries from a construction accident. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford, Delaware.
Nail guns are commonly used in industries, such as construction and carpentry, due to their ability to boost productivity in the workplace. However, nail guns can also cause serious injuries; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that they are responsible for 37,000 emergency room visits each year. Nail gun injuries vary on site and severity, however most are penetrating injuries to the hand.
Nail guns have the potential to cause serious, even fatal injuries. According to a study published in the ePlasty Journal, it only takes projectile velocities of 150 feet per second to penetrate the skin; projectiles fired from nail guns can reach velocities of up to 1,400 feet per second, causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue, nerves, and bones. Accidentally discharged nails that become embedded in a worker’s hand can not only cause musculoskeletal injuries, but can also leave the wound open to infection from foreign substances.
Although workers report nail gun injuries to the thorax, abdomen, flank, pelvis, and face, they most commonly occur to the hand. The hand is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body in any job, however there have been an increasing number of nail gun accidents in the construction industry over the last few decades. While nail gun injuries can cause blindness, cerebral damage, or even death, they most commonly result in:
Treatment typically involves removing the nail, irrigating the wound, and applying antimicrobial dressing. Nail gun injuries tend to heal quickly, however they often cause significant pain and loss of mobility, which can lead to disability claims and lost time from work.
Most nail gun accidents are preventable. According to the CDC, employers can safeguard employees against nail gun injuries by:
If you suffered a nail gun injury at work, contact a Wilmington work accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our experienced attorneys can help you file a claim and receive the benefits to which you are entitled. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. For a free consultation, complete our online contact form or call us at 302-427-9500.
Fractures can be the result of many different workplace accidents and leave you with financial worries, especially if you must miss work due to your injury. For this reason, it is important to understand your legal options after being hurt on the job. If you were injured as a result of a workplace accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
A fracture is another word for a broken bone. It is a common type of injury and occurs when physical force on a bone is stronger than the bone itself. Fractures are normally caused by a traumatic event, such as a fall or a blow. It can be difficult to tell whether you have a fracture, but there are symptoms to look out for. Fractures can cause:
Fractures can be categorized into displaced and non-displaced fractures, which refers to the alignment of the bone that is fractured. There are also open and closed fractures; an open fracture is when the bone breaks through the skin, while a closed fracture refers to when the bone breaks underneath the skin.
Workers’ Compensation protects workers who have sustained an injury on the job, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident. It provides financial support, medical benefits, and even death benefits to the family if an employee dies as a result of their workplace injury or illness. If an employer does not provide employees with Workers’ Compensation, they may be subject to fines, lawsuits, or criminal charges.
The most important thing to have in a case involving a broken or fractured bone is medical evidence, which includes x-ray images of a fractured bone. Black and white x-rays make it difficult to dispute that a bone was broken or fractured. This makes it easier to negotiate a settlement. If there is little to no proof that the accident occurred as a result of a workplace injury, the Workers’ Compensation payment may be lower than if there was substantial evidence.
If you or someone you know was injured in a workplace accident, contact a Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Despite their best efforts, employees sometimes experience injuries while on the job. Whether nagging or severe, injuries can lead to lost opportunities to receive income, high medical bills, and sometimes the need to switch occupations. Back injuries remain among the most common conditions reported by team members seeking Workers’ Compensation. In fact, injuries related to the back and spine can happen in a wide range of environments, sometimes without warning.
The most common reasons for back injuries stem from improper, poorly delivered, or non-existent training. A worker who does not understand how to stay healthy and safe while working may make errors, such as lifting items the wrong way. Over time, these missteps can lead to stress on the back, which turns into long-term back problems.
Even workers who have been trained the right way from the beginning may not realize the gravity of workplace safety. For instance, an employee in an industrial plant may attempt to skip safety steps to get a task completed faster because of a demanding manager. This can lead to mistakes and the opportunity for injuries. If the demanding manager is acting outside of corporate orders, the company could be held liable for the worker’s injury. Certain employees have back trouble due to repetitive stress. Merely twisting and turning a certain direction, day after day, can cause repetitive injuries on the back and the rest of the body. Repetitive strain can then snowball into more serious, permanent conditions.
Whatever the reason for back injuries, they all manifest themselves uniquely. Therefore, every case needs to be custom considered. As an example, some people with workplace back injuries complain of lower back strain that worsens or cannot be alleviated. Other workers may be diagnosed with herniated discs, requiring occupational or physical therapy, or even surgery. Pinched nerves and damage to the spinal cord are other medical problems associated with work-related back injuries.
Ideally, employees who experience any type of back injury on the job should feel free to make a Workers’ Compensation claim and have it approved. Sometimes, though, insurance carriers and companies that self-insure deny relevant claims. In those situations, or if a back injury is due to extreme negligence on the part of the employer, the worker may want to seek advice from a Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
If you suffered a back injury at work, talk to the Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you deserve. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Statement Regarding Coronavirus Disease ("Covid-19"):
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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.