OSHA urges rest, shade and water in summer heat campaign

Published on Jun 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm in Workers Compensation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a safety campaign to remind employers in Maryland and around the country about the dangers of working outdoors during the summer months. Heat issues were responsible for the deaths of 18 workers in 2014 according to OSHA data, and more than 2,600 others suffered a heat-related illness of some kind. The federal workplace safety agency is urging employers to pay particular attention to their training and orientation programs, as many of its heat-related investigations involve workers with just a few days of on-the-job experience.

Water, rest and shade is the driving message of the OSHA campaign, which is being supported by a social media push and a redesigned webpage. Training materials include a video and illustrations of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Employers can also download a heat safety smartphone app.

Accident kills 44-year-old Maryland woman

Published on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm in General Blogs.

Police in Maryland have reported that a 44-year-old woman was killed and three others were injured in a June 16 chain reaction accident in Anne Arundel County that involved seven vehicles. Police say that the driver of the sanitation truck that caused the crash made no effort to stop his vehicle or avoid a collision. Investigators say that excess speed is also thought to have been a contributory factor. Authorities are said to be reviewing the accident reports before deciding if any charges are warranted.

According to a police report, the woman’s Honda Accord sedan was stationary at a red light on Richie Highway in Pasadena with several other vehicles when a sanitation truck struck it from behind. The accident took place at approximately 2:10 p.m. near Jumpers Hole Road. The sanitation truck struck the Honda with sufficient force to push it forward and to one side. Witnesses say that the truck then continued on and struck several more of the vehicles that had been waiting for the signal to turn green.

Employers must record injuries related to alcohol consumption

Published on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:46 pm in General Blogs.

If a person in Maryland consumes alcohol before they go to work, they could be injured on the job as a result of their intoxication. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to record alcohol-related injuries if the injuries are severe enough that they require more treatment than simple first aid.

Though there are certain exemptions to OSHA’s injury reporting rule, the fact that an injury was caused by off-the-job alcohol consumption does not make the injury exempt from reporting requirements. OSHA allows employers to keep injuries that are related to self-medication for a non-work-related condition out of their work injury records. Injuries that are intentionally self-inflicted or directly caused by an employee’s personal grooming activities are also exempt from reporting requirements.

Sprains, strains top list of workers’ injuries

Published on May 31, 2016 at 5:32 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland workers who are injured on the job may be interested in some statistics to see how their ailments compare to injured workers nationwide. Roughly 3.7 million people suffer workplace injuries across the United States every year, according to federal statistics.

After analyzing 1.5 million injury claims that were filed over a four-year period, the nation’s biggest workers’ compensation insurance provider found that 30 percent of injuries suffered were sprains and strains, with employees missing an average of 57 work days. Cuts and punctures made up 19 percent of the injuries, accounting for 24 days of missed work. Contusions accounted for 12 percent of the injuries, with fractures and inflammations each accounting for 5 percent. All other injuries not in any of these categories amounted to 29 percent.

Protection from work boots

Published on May 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland residents who are in the construction industry or other occupations in which they need to wear work boots should take care when choosing which ones to purchase. There are state and federal safety standards for work boots, and it is important for people to make certain the ones they are considering meet or exceed them.

While many shoe companies claim that their work boots do meet the standards, that is not always the case. It is important for workers to check the standards that are specific for their individual lines of work along with the standards set out by the state. This can help them with identifying the specific features the boots they purchase should have.

Injuries to communication tower workers

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland workers in high-risk occupations may be able to learn a lesson from a conference spearheaded by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. The February 2016 workshop brought a number of representatives from the communication tower industry together to highlight ongoing safety issues. Although factors like work-site design were revealed to impact safety, employer operating standards also played significant roles.

OSHA said that 36 workers perished in communication tower falls and other related accidents between 2011 and 2015. One factor that could have contributed to these statistics is the fact that many work sites may lack proper direction due to overuse of subcontracting. Industry safety advocates claimed the situation was so out of hand that in some cases, it was hard to determine who was in charge of a given job or whether they even had the proper insurance and credentials to do the work at hand.

Cancer diagnoses hampered by potential inaccuracies

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland patients may benefit from new technology that seeks to make up for inaccuracies in diagnostic processes. Although one in seven males suffer from prostate cancer, current techniques for diagnosing the disease commonly fail to catch it in time for effective treatment due to its lack of early symptoms. Annual prostate cancer screenings, often referred to as PSA tests, have also been known to result in false negatives in patients who actually have cancer.

Statistics say that prostate cancer claimed the lives of more than 27,000 men in the United States in 2015. To improve prognoses for suspected cancer sufferers, multiple startup firms have invested in diagnostic technologies known as liquid biopsies. Instead of using invasive tissue samples to hunt for cancer markers, these tools rely on the fact that cancer cells often release small quantities into the bloodstream.

Car crash injures 12 in Maryland

Published on Apr 8, 2016 at 5:31 pm in General Blogs.

At least 12 people were injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles in Montgomery County on April 3. Four of the injured were children.

According to authorities, the incident took place on the northbound side of Interstate 270, between Routes 121 and 109 in the evening hours. The accident, which involved at least five vehicles, left one person trapped in a car and who had to be extricated by rescue workers. One woman suffered serious injuries. Seven other people, including the four children, were taken to various hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Curbing insurance fraud in Maryland

Published on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm in General Blogs.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau workers’ compensation fraud is almost $7.2 million per year. Therefore, insurance companies are looking to take steps to prevent fraud before it happens. Two tactics that insurance companies may use in the future are social media and surveillance of a claimant. While there may be higher upfront costs related to monitoring someone who may be committing fraud, it could cut down on costs later on.

Looking for signs of a fraudulent insurance claim can make it easier to determine who may be attempting to commit a crime and catch that person in the act. One sign of fraud are claims being made on Monday morning for injuries that allegedly occurred the previous week. If there are no witnesses to the injury or conflicting reports of what caused it emerge, that could also increase the odds that a claim is fraudulent.

Woman sues hospital over wrong site surgery

Published on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm in General Blogs.

Many Maryland patients have been the unfortunate recipients of wrong-site surgeries and other types of surgical errors over the years. A recent case in New England has focused attention on this important issue.

A woman went into a hospital for the removal of a cancer-stricken rib in May 2015. At some point after she was put under anesthetic and prepared for surgery the medical personnel treating her became confused or misdirected in some fashion, and they removed the wrong rib. Although there is evidence that they realized their mistake quickly and tried to bring the woman back for further surgery immediately, the contention of the injured woman was that they were not forthcoming with information about what had occurred and lied to her in an attempt to conceal the error.

The woman has filed a civil suit against the doctors and the hospital. She alleges permanent and debilitating injuries resulting from the error. The plaintiff’s representative pointed out that although a surgeon with expertise in this field reviewed the details of the case and found major irregularities and gaps in proper care, much of their complaint stems from the hospital’s apparent attempt to cover up the accident.



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