I live in Minnesota, and I have arthritis, so you can imagine how bad that gets in the winter. The cold, and the damp (the lakes are wonderful, but the damp, my goodness, my hands hurt just thinking about it), it can be a real nightmare. Now winter is fast approaching again, which means I probably won’t be able to write much in the coming months. Before that, though, I’d like to put a few words down about workplace injuries.

My arthritis is almost certainly due to my work, or my former work now. I worked my way up from being a secretary to writing business reports for my entire floor at my office. I loved my work, from day one all the way to retirement (early retirement, because of these hands). I loved my boss and my colleagues. I loved the research I got to do for my reports. I loved that what I did felt like it meant something, that people would read what I wrote and really think about it. You see, I always harbored the dream of being a writer. I never got around to that (and never will now, I think), but that job got me pretty darn close to what I had been dreaming of.

Then, my hands started hurting. A little at first and then it became unbearable. By then, though, it was too late. I did some treatment, and it did get to the point it became manageable, but the doctors told me that I had done too much damage to walk it all the way back to how my hands used to be. There were surgery options, but by then, of course, I was an old woman, and I didn’t want that. So, I took early retirement.

I was lucky to be treated so well. I did have to battle a bit with the insurance company about the injury, though, which is what I want to write about here. I was lucky in that I had a great boss who went to bat for me and helped me get the evidence together to prove my injury was work-related. Not everyone has such a boss.

So, if you are in an industry that requires a lot of repetitive motion, I recommend all of you, no matter your current age, start documenting everything that you can related to that repetitive motion. If you work for eight hours straight typing and your hands hurt afterward, go see a doctor and get it on record that it was due to work. Keep track of how much writing you do every day. Talk to your boss about your concerns. Then, at regular intervals, talk to them again.

You need to create an evidence trail that proves your work could cause problems like mine. Otherwise, the insurance company may try to claim your arthritis is your fault.

If you have any questions about this, talk to a lawyer now, even if you’re a youthful twenty-five year old who thinks you’ll never have the same problems as an old lady.

Those problems do come eventually, and I’d just like to see everyone prepared for them.

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Employers are required to provide a safe and healthy environment for their employees. The United States Department of Labor oversees occupational safety standards and, at the most basic level, requires that employers “provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act.” This act provides the standard minimum requirements that an employer must take to provide the proper work environment within his or her company. Employees must be kept physically safe while at work no matter what the work entails. There has also been an increased push in recent years to improve employees’ health beyond the basics of safety standards.

To avoid industrial accidents, employers must consider themselves safety leaders within the office. Employers can face grave consequences for treating their employees as equipment instead of people.  Every safety hazard exposes real people to serious harm and thus safety standards must be taken seriously. Common workplace safety hazards can stem from inherently dangerous work, such as working at a height, working with chemicals, or working with heavy equipment, such as forklifts. But even office spaces and other seemingly tame workplaces can allow for unsafe situations. Poor housekeeping, such as clutter around a fire exit, can cause serious harm during an emergency. These situations allow for workplace accidents to become all too common and further emphasize the need for office safety to be taken seriously. Not only does the law require employers to provide the proper environment to keep employees safe, but, according to the personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates law firm, if the misconduct results in an employee’s death, then legal action can be taken against the party who was responsible for the incident. This is one of the serious consequences of not providing a safe environment for employees.

Employers should also consider the benefits of providing a healthy environment for employees. There are many actions that an employer can take beyond the basic safety requirements to help provide a better environment for employees to work in. Health education classes provided by the company can help to improve employee lifestyle. Another way to improve employee health is by providing access to fitness facilities, either locally or on-site. Additionally, employers should consider making healthy food options available to employees on-site. All of these actions can significantly improve worker health and well-being.

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Hiring people to fill a particular job can be a difficult task, although many people believe otherwise. Finding the right people who are fit enough mentally, emotionally, and physically is vital in making sure possible conflicts and/or injuries are avoided. Employing the wrong person for a job or position can potentially put the company in considerable number of accidents as well as financial burden to the company.

Putting a person in a position where they are not suitable for could put him and other workers in danger. For example, if a person is not fit to control a crane was hired to perform the task, this would result in serious accidents on site that could cause injuries to him and to other workers as well. Aside from the possibilities of accidents such as a Wyoming workplace injury or a boater drowning, the company may be held liable for the damages that the accident caused, as well as providing worker’s compensation for the medical bills and rehabilitation of the injured workers. This could greatly affect a company in more ways than one.

This is why it is important to conduct a pre-employment screening. Through proper background checks and tests, an employer can determine the potentiality of an applicant. Pre-employment screening can protect employers from negligent hiring which could cost the company money. It can also prevent employing people who can potentially cause workplace violence or have a tendency to start trouble in the company. An appropriate pre-employment check would also protect the company from any litigation issues pertaining to state laws, as well as ensure that the potential employee has all the credentials necessary for the job.

Workplace injuries and lawsuits can damage a company in a number of ways, therefore having a strong pre-employment screening is more than just finding people who are willing to work for you but it is a factor that can make or break your company and its growth. Picking the right person for a job position is vital since companies have the responsibility for their worker’s actions, therefore it is also important to fight hiring an unsuitable person for the job.

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As society advances and as changes are being made, demolitions and renovations of old buildings and other structures have become commonplace. These old buildings and structures will make way for newer ones that will house families as well as commercial areas that are becoming more and more popular and necessary. Whether you are part of the construction company doing the remodeling or demolition, or you are a mere spectator or civilian living near the area, there are many dangers that these projects hold than what you think.

Many buildings or structures that were made in the late 20th century have used asbestos, a common and widely known component for construction materials mainly because of its ability to be fire resistant and a good insulator of heat and sound. It has been used in many other products, but has been deemed a health hazard in the 1970s after it was found out that it is responsible for a number of health ailments such as asbestosis, lung cancer and other complications. Since then, the use of asbestos in construction has been stopped, although structures that are made with them still stand today.

Because of the recent demolitions and renovations of old buildings, many construction workers have become exposed to asbestos without knowing it. According to the Environmental working Group, about 9,900 workers become exposed and experience asbestos-related ailments every year. This is aside from the dangers that these construction workers put themselves into, such as workplace injuries and equipment malfunctions.

As advised by New York law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, those who have suffered injuries, whether from asbestos exposure, equipment malfunction, or any other workplace accidents can file for a personal injury claim. This is particularly true if the accident was caused by another person’s recklessness or disregard to safety. Asbestos exposure or severe worksite accident can lead to life-long disability, but although worker’s compensation can help cover for the expenses, it helps to have the person liable for their recklessness.

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