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Queens Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Don't be a victim of landscaping accidents

Summertime is in full swing. Landscapers from different sized private companies to municipal and government agencies are hard at work all over New York. As with all other industries, landscaping poses various workplace dangers that range from hazardous equipment, repetitive hard work, toxic chemicals, heat exposure and more.

If you are an employee in this profession, your employer can take precautions to protect you from known hazards. First, you must receive the necessary safety training to enable you to recognize dangerous conditions and know how to avoid injury. Furthermore, your employer must provide appropriate personal protective equipment as stipulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Wood chipper incident causes partial amputation of worker's leg

Employees in the landscaping industry nationwide, including in New York, do not always take appropriate care when they work with equipment such as wood chippers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 39 workers suffered fatal workplace injuries while working with wood chippers over the most recent 10 years for which data is available. Most of these deaths resulted from people getting body parts caught in wood chippers.

The safety agency reported that it impounded a wood chipper for inspection after a recent incident in West Babylon. A report indicates that the leg of a 72-year-old man became trapped in a wood chipper on a recent Sunday morning. Reportedly, the incident occurred shortly before noon while the man was working with the dangerous machine.

Construction workers' accidents: Crane drops load onto 3 workers

A spokesperson for the New York Fire Department says it was the commitment and training of firefighters that made a recent rescue operation successful. FDNY is frequently called when employee lives are on the line in construction workers' accidents. This was also the case on a recent Tuesday afternoon when three members of a construction crew became trapped under thousands of pounds of rubble on a building site.

The incident occurred at the site of a residential renovation in the northwestern corner of the New York City borough of Queens. Authorities say a crane dropped a massive load of construction material on the home. It crashed through the building's roof and buried one worker under a ton of construction material in the basement.

Construction workers' accidents: 3 injured in building collapse

Those who work in construction in New York are likely aware of the potential dangers they face while they complete their job responsibilities. While added safety precautions can prevent some construction workers' accidents, they can still occur. Unfortunately, three workers were recently injured when part of the building they were working on collapsed.

The incident happened one afternoon on a day in June. The construction project reportedly involved adding a third-story to a two-story structure. Unfortunately, the upper portion of the structure is said to have collapsed, trapping three construction workers. One of the workers, a 37-year-old man, was reportedly able to free himself before firefighters arrived at the scene; he suffered serious injuries.

A herniated disk can be a big problem for a New York worker

Any time a worker suffers an injury, it can lead to big problems for his or her ability to work and earn a living. This threat is particularly significant for individuals who suffered an injury to the back, as this type of damage can affect standing, walking and other work-related tasks.

If you are dealing with a herniated disk as the result of your job, you do not have to face the painful aftermath alone. While this may not seem like a major injury, it can significantly impact your life in various ways, and you may require time away from work to fully recover. You could also have a rightful claim to workers' compensation benefits, which would cover your medical needs and other injury-related costs.

Workplace injuries par for the course at some factories

A New York manufacturer of animal bedding made from wood shavings is once again the subject of Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations. On this occasion, the company faces proposed fines of almost $60,000. This follows two inspections that were carried out in November and February. The agency says the company has a history of exposing employees to workplace injuries, with three penalties issued since 2013.

The November inspection involved a log that rolled onto an employee, who suffered hip and leg injuries, sending him to the hospital. Investigators determined that the company failed to install the necessary safety equipment to a wood shaving machine. The incident, which occurred during the clearing of a jam, could have been prevented had the required safety devices been present.

Construction workers' accidents are often preventable

Employees in the New York construction industry face many safety hazards on site, many of which involve working at heights. Safety authorities say the confidence of some experienced workers who are comfortable with working at heights cause disregard of safety precautions. However, supervisors must ensure compliance with safety regulations to prevent construction workers' accidents that often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide fall protection for any employees working at levels of six feet or higher. The protection options include fall harnesses worn by workers and harnesses attached to a secure anchor to arrest falls, guardrails and netting. The latter is a recommended measure for work sites where roof or floor openings pose dangers and when employees have to move about weak or unstable roofs.

Construction workers' accidents: Collapsing excavation kills 1

Excavations are some of the most dangerous areas on work sites, and if they are not adequately supported or shored, the walls may collapse. Every construction company owner knows this along with the mandated safety precautions that must be in place to prevent construction workers' accidents. However, families in New York continue to lose loved ones in collapsing trenches or other excavations.

A recent collapse claimed the life of a 59-year-old worker at a work site on Long Island. Reportedly, a crew was working on the installation of a cesspool at a residence when the incident occurred. Reportedly, the man was busy directing a crane operator when the walls of the cesspool collapsed. Two workers were sucked into the sinkhole that formed.

Empowering younger workers can help prevent workplace injuries

A large number of young workers between ages 15 and 24 join the workforce in Long Island and New York City every year. They are the ones who typically replace older workers who leave the workforce every year. Unfortunately, many of these young workers suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries due to inexperience and the lack of adequate training. Safety professionals suggest employers engage young workers in the development and execution of safety protocols.

Many teenagers enter the job market as laborers in food service, retail and hospitality industries in which business owners provide inadequate training because the staff turnover is high. Other industries that attract young workers include agriculture, construction, transportation and mining -- all of them have high injury rates.

Workplace accidents: Window washer electrocuted in cherry picker

Workers who work at heights face multiple hazards, regardless of their occupations. Those in New York and other states who wash the windows of high-rises put their lives on the line for every job they do. The dangers that window washers face are frequently underscored by tragic workplace accidents like the one that happened on a recent Tuesday morning that claimed the life of a worker in a neighboring state.

According to authorities, the deceased man was a 46-year-old employee of a private company. Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene at approximately 10 a.m. An incident report indicates that the man was in the bucket of a cherry picker from where he was washing windows. Reportedly, the cherry picker made contact with an overhead power line that carried 23,000 volts of electricity.

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