Workplace/Premise Accidents

Ladders Top List of Workplace Dangers

By Richard Console on May 8, 2014 - Comments off

USA, Texas, Dallas, Handyman falling of ladder

The risk of workplace injuries involving ladders is, well, high. Falls are among the most common causes of deadly unintentional injuries, and not just in the workplace – everywhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed work injury data from 2011 and ladders play a significant role in fall injuries, especially in the workplace.

Ladder tilting under worker reaching for cardboard box in distribution warehouseOver the last decade, ladders were involved in 43 percent of all fatal falls and 20 percent of work-related falls. Photo Credit: Corbis Images.

Statistics? You’d Better Be Sitting Down

When we talk about falls from ladders, we’re not talking about harmless tumbles, but instead about serious injuries. In 2011, falls from ladders in the workplace resulted in 113 deaths, MSN News reported. That means more than 100 Americans went to work and never came home due to an accident that probably could have been prevented. Fortunately, most ladder-related work accidents weren’t deadly. An additional 34,000 nonfatal injuries sent employees to the emergency room, and 15,500 of those injuries made workers miss at least one day of work. The cost of ladder-related falls in the workplace in terms of life, medical expenses, and productivity is astronomical.

Who’s Most at Risk?

Ladder falls could conceivably happen in just about any workplace, even in situations as unremarkable as climbing a stepladder to change an office light bulb. However, some demographics and industries are associated with a higher risk of falling from a ladder than others. For example, men are more likely than women to experience a ladder fall, possibly because men are also more likely to hold a job that requires regular use of a ladder or perform infrequent tasks that necessitate the use of a ladder. Older employees may have a greater risk of falling from a ladder as compared to younger counterparts, as do Hispanic employees as compared to workers of other ethnic groups.

Ladder falls are so common in the construction industry that they constitute 81 percent of fall injuries in this danger-prone industry. However, other industries also raise workers’ risks, including installation, maintenance and repair, and mining.

USA, Texas, Dallas, Handyman falling of ladderIt’s no coincidence that construction and related industries often make “most dangerous jobs” lists. Photo Credit: Corbis Images.

Of course, many essential tasks in industries like construction, repair and maintenance, and installation require workers to be elevated in some way off the ground. Yet not all means of elevation are equally dangerous. The CDC urges employers to make safer alternatives to ladders, like supported scaffolds, lifts, and platforms, available to workers whenever possible.

Climbing Toward a Safer Workplace

For some jobs, no alternative will efficiently replace a ladder. There are still ways to make workplaces safer. Employees should complete as much work while on the ground as possible to minimize the time they spend on the ladder (and in the danger zone). Companies should have as many ladders as necessary to meet height requirements for a task or location and weight capacity for handling the combined weight of workers and materials. All ladders should be inspected regularly for safety. Finally, on-the-job ladder safety training for all employees can help workers stay safe even when they’re up on a ladder.

No one should have to fear for their lives or their safety on the job. While there are programs in place like workers compensation to help injured workers, they don’t do near enough, and employees’ rights to pursue additional claims are often very limited. The best time to do something about a workplace safety hazard is before an accident happens, not after the damage has already been done.

 

Instances That Would Lead to a Personal Injury Claim in Addition to Your Worker’s Compensation

By Richard Console on September 18, 2012 - Comments off

When you are injured at work, you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits through your employer, but there are also some instances that would lead you to have a personal injury case in addition to the worker’s comp claim. When the accident you were involved in was the fault of someone other than your employer you may also have what is known as a third party claim that will provide you with additional compensation for your injuries—speak with a personal injury attorney in New Jersey today to learn of your legal rights to collect damages.

Accidents With Third Party Claims

For example, if you were involved in a car accident while working, you may have a claim against the insurance of the at-fault driver in addition to the worker’s compensation benefits that you are entitled to. So, in this situation your employer would be responsible for certain coverage such as your medical treatment and lost wages, but beyond that you are still able to seek compensation from the other party’s insurance policy.

Another instance where a third party claim may be available to you is in the case of a premises liability accident. Say you are at work and there is a hazard within the building such as damage to the floor and your employer does not own the building (just rents the space). If you fall because of that defect in the flooring, and it was supposed to be the responsibility of the building owner to make such repairs you may be entitled to additional compensation beyond your worker’s comp benefits.

Defend Your Legal Rights to Compensation

The same goes for any instance where the accident was caused by another person (not your employer) while in the course of your job. Some people are weary about pursing legal matter such as worker’s compensation or personal injury claims, but there is no reason to harbor bad feelings towards these areas of law. The insurance industry exists so that there is money to compensate for an unexpected incident such as an accident resulting in injury—the money is owed to you under these policies.

At Console & Hollawell, our New Jersey worker’s compensation attorneys never go after an individual to compensate you for your injuries, we only pursue insurance companies. We will handle all aspects of your worker’s compensation and third party claims while you focus solely on your recovery. For more information about your rights regarding worker’s compensation or for a free evaluation of your claim, call us today at (800) 455-2746. Rest assured that you will never have to pay for our services, if we are unable to win money for you.

 

5 Tips to Make Your Office Safer

By Richard Console on February 6, 2012 - Comments off

For many Americans, the workplace is like a second home. You spend many hours each week there and that makes it a common place for injury. No one wants to get hurt at work, accidents do happen even in low-hazard jobs. Professional offices can have many dangers that could cause serious injury.

The following tips are not only easy to follow but will make your office a safer place to be. By taking these simple steps you can drastically reduce the chance of an unnecessary and avoidable accident.

Arranging Furniture

When it comes to the placement of desks and other furniture in your office you should consider a few things. First of all try to place furniture against a wall or patrician to keep walkways clear. Also be sure to keep bags and other products off of the floor to avoid someone tripping over them. There should be plenty of space for people to move with ease throughout the office.

Opening Cabinets and Desks

When you are going to open a file cabinet or desk drawer be sure that there is enough space to do so to avoid hitting someone. Also make sure you close the drawers when you are done with them to avoid someone running into them and getting hurt.

Office Flooring

Flooring in an office needs to allow employees to move about without tripping or slipping. If choosing a hard wood or laminate floor try to pick one that is slip resistant, with good traction. If you are going to have an area rug make sure there is padding on the bottom to prevent the carpet from moving. Carpets should be well maintained and free of tears or flaps that someone could trip on.

Chairs

In many offices one can expect to spend a good portion of their day sitting down. It is important to have chairs will adequate support to avoid harm to your neck and back. Also people tend to tip or rock their chairs when they are sitting and having the proper chair can reduce the possibility that they will fall. So, when possible you should get chairs that are more than 4-legged as they will be sturdier and less likely to tip or break.

Fixing Machinery

Every office has the same problem the fax machine or printer constantly breaking. Instead of allowing employees to try their hands at fixing it, call in a professional to address the problem. Yes, it can be aggravating to have to wait to have the machinery fixed, but it is much better than having someone injure themselves trying to fix unfamiliar machines.

If you or someone you loved has been injured at work, contact the Philadelphia accident attorneys at Console & Hollawell. We will guide you through the process of getting compensated for your workplace injury. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free consultation.

 

5 Books That Will Change the Way You View Personal Injury

By Richard Console on January 24, 2012 - Comments off

People in this country typically have a negative view of personal injury law until they are actually the victim of an accident. Unfortunately, these misconceptions have been created by large companies and politicians that want the public to believe these cases are unfounded and frivolous. The truth of the matter is, people do legitimately get injured as the result of someone else’s carelessness and they then have to face the social stigma that they are just out to make a quick buck. This is not to say that there aren’t fraudulent cases because there are some people who abuse the civil justice system which perpetuated the stereotype, but this is a small percentage of the time.

The following books all show a side to personal injury and personal injury law that may surprise people. Through the tales of real life stories and experience the following novels and memoirs shatter the misbeliefs and reveal the true suffering behind an accident. They are moving and could change the way you view personal injury forever.

1. An Almost Life – Kevin Mednick

Photo credit: Amazon.

In this fictional story of a personal injury lawyer, readers get to see a side rarely portrayed—the motivations behind a lawyer representing those injured in an accident. The main character is Mike Samuels, he has been working at a New York personal injury law firm for 20 years and his world is changed forever with one case. He seems to be stuck in a rut in his life, just going through the motions until Evelyn Walker seeks his legal help. She had been seriously injured in a workplace accident. The novel follows Mike through the trial, keeping readers at the edge of their seat as they take on a big company that delves into tricks meant to thwart Evelyn’s valid claim. This ignites a fighting spirit within Mike pushing him to aggressively defend his client’s rights. It also has a humorous side to it with Mike’s musings on life and the justice system. Mednick’s debut novel takes personal injury law and exposes the truth, breaking the barriers of public belief.

2. The Unbearable Truth of Reality: Life After Head Injury – Terry Ann Johnson

Photo credit: Amazon.

This memoir immediately removes the barriers and thrusts the reader into a sobering world. A world that was once blissful and unaware until it is suddenly turned upside down after a tragic accident that resulted in a brain injury. Johnson allows the readers to come into her family, taking them through all the pain, frustrations, and confusion suffered by the family and friends of an accident victim. It is a story of one family’s strength that will inspire those who have never been in this situation and will reveal the truths of those who have.

3. Unthinkable: A Mother’s Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph Through a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury – Dixie Coskie

Photo credit: Amazon.

Imagine you sent your child off to the bus stop only to receive a panic-stricken call from a neighbor saying there has been a car accident and your child has been hurt. It is one of the hardest things for a parent to hear. This memoir follows Coskie through her experience with her son’s accident and resulting brain injury. A necessary read for anyone faced with caring for an injured loved one, Coskie offers insight and useful tips to help get through this extremely difficult time. It portrays all of the emotions, the pain and despair, the anger and frustration, the need for answers, and the result is a moving story of overcoming these feats with strength and love.

4. An Excellent Life: One Family’s Experience with Traumatic Injury – Jody Cramer

Photo credit: Open Library.

In this memoir, Jody Cramer gives a moving account of her and her family’s struggles with her son’s traumatic injury. It sheds light on what an injured person and their friends and family must endure after an accident resulting in a serious injury. It is a stirring portrayal of the sacrifices and pain surrounding this type of injury and shows the struggles outside of the courtroom. The book also serves as a step-by-step guide for other families and caretakers of someone who is severely injured. It gives advice on everything from working with the medical staff to choosing an attorney to battling with insurance companies. Cramer selflessly lets readers into her life and the trials she has faced and will help many people as a result.

5. Wrongful Death: A Memoir – Sandra M. Gilbert

Photo credit: Amazon.

This is the moving story of one women’s experience with the loss of her husband in one of the worst ways possible. He went in to the hospital for prostate cancer surgery and never came out due to the negligent actions of his doctors. It follows Gilbert though dealing with the loss of her husband and the battle for justice. Reviewers praise Gilbert for shedding light on the taboo subject of medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. It is a women’s quest for justice and answers as to why the love of her life was taken away from her.

Whenever someone is injured as the result of someone else’s negligence the effects are long-felt and can be extremely traumatizing. As illustrated above, people really are affected by injury and accident, and the social belief that these people are greedy is far from being true. All of these books are available on Amazon.com.

If you or someone you love has been injured you need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer you can trust, one that will fight aggressively for your rights. The attorneys at Console & Hollawell have been doing just that for the past 17 years and we are ready to help you. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to find out your legal rights and options. You don’t have to endure this on your own.

 

Officer Sentenced for DUI Accident which Injured 3

By Richard Console on December 16, 2011 - Comments off

On Wednesday, December 7th, a former Philadelphia police officer was sentenced to 11 ½ to 23 months in jail in relation to a car accident on February 20th, 2010 which injured two state troopers and a tow-truck driver. At 3:30 a.m. a police cruiser and a tow-truck responded to an abandoned vehicle on I-95 near Girard Avenue. Off-duty Philadelphia police officer, Matthew Sharkey, 25, was intoxicated when he drove his personal vehicle through the warning flares and rear-ended the parked police cruiser.

State trooper, Matthew Sheeran, whose legs were crushed between the police cruiser and the abandoned car as a result of the accident, sustained the most severe injuries. Matthew Sharkey, a member of the Philadelphia police force since 2007, was fired following the Pennsylvania car accident. In June, Sharkey pleaded guilty to aggravated assault by vehicle while intoxicated and other charges related to the accident. Matthew Sharkey is expected to report to prison on January 3rd to serve his sentence, which is accompanied by six years of probation.

We hope that the three victims injured in the February 2010 car accident on I-95 are able to make a full recovery from their ailments.

According to Pennsylvania state law 3735.1, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence is defined as “any person who negligently causes serious bodily injury to another person as the result of a violation of section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and who is convicted of violating section 3802 commits a felony of the second degree when the violation is the cause of the injury.” This law defines “serious bodily injury” as “any bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you can learn more about your rights as a victim by contacting a car accident attorney in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. You may be entitled to financial compensation for damages suffered in relation to the accident. For over 17 years, the award-winning personal injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell have been serving victims and their families in NJ and PA. With a 97% success rate, the attorneys at Console & Hollawell dedicate their time and expertise to obtaining the maximum compensation for each client.

 

Recycled U.S. Automobile Batteries Endangering Workers, Surrounding Residents in Mexico

By Richard Console on December 12, 2011 - Comments off

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 96 percent of all lead-acid automobile batteries are recycled. Recycling is a word that brings up thoughts of saving the planet and living “green.” However, batteries conjure thoughts of poison. So what exactly happens to all those old batteries that contain so many toxic chemicals?

An article in the New York Times revealed that more and more of these batteries are being sent to Mexico where workers extract the lead from the used batteries. The problem in Mexico is not only the effect this dangerous procedure is having on the employees but also the effect it is having on the surrounding communities and its residents.

The NYT went on to explain that in 2007, 6 percent of automotive and industrial batteries were exported to Mexico. What is the percentage now, you may wonder? 20. 20 percent of these batteries are being sent to Mexico, and that’s only the ones that are being brought their to the government’s knowledge. Smuggled batteries and batteries within other goods are also going into the country.

What’s the big deal about Mexico having a bunch of our trash essentially? The workers that recycle the batteries in Mexico have to break the battery open in order to do so. This releases lead from the battery and later when the used batteries are melted down that releases the lead in emissions.

Lead poisoning has been linked to a number of harmful health effects including kidney damage, severe behavioral and developmental issues in children, abdominal pain, and more.

According to the NYT article, soil at a school near one such recycling plant revealed traces of lead in it when tested. Countless people are being exposed to lead due to these recycling plants. Batter recycling plants in the U.S. seem to have safety and security measures that lock down the place like they were avoiding an airborne plague, but the Mexican plants do not have access to these types of secured methods.

The reason nothing is being done basically boils down to the fact that Mexico has regulations about proper recycling but they are poorly enforced. There are limits on how much each plant is allowed to release both here and in Mexico, but in Mexico they can release 20 times more than they would be able to here, says the NYT.

Companies that are sending their recycling to Mexico have the ability to turn out more than they could in the U.S. These companies make claims that they will bring their plants there as safe as the ones here, but it could simply be it’s more cost effective there and nothing will be done to fix the hazards. Lead is valuable and companies can get away with more by outsourcing the recycling to Mexico—you tell me, do you think they care about the lead poisoned residents and workers?

If you have been exposed to lead poisoning from an automobile battery contact a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer. Call us today for your FREE, no obligation consultation at (866) 778-5500.

 

How Much Could Your Dog Bite Case Be Worth?

By Richard Console on November 4, 2011 - Comments off

For over 17 years, the New Jersey accident attorneys at Console & Hollawell have seen just how serious dog bites can be. In addition to causing lacerations and broken bones, they also cause emotional wounds that are slow to heal. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, speak with a NJ personal injury lawyer at our firm today. Like the dog-bite victims below, you may be entitled to compensation.

Sue Gorman – $2.2 million

In August of 2007, Sue Gorman, 59, was attacked by two pit bulls that entered her home through a sliding door. Upon finding Gorman in bed, the dogs attacked, causing injury to her face, arms and hands. The dogs had been reported to police on several occasions prior to the attack. A Washington jury decided that Gorman’s case was worth $2.2 million.

Elizabeth Jackson – $512,000

Back in 2010, Elizabeth Jackson, just 4 years old, was playing in her front yard when she was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull. After seeing that the attack left her with serious physical and emotional injuries, a Pennsylvania jury decided that  Jackson’s case was worth $512,000.

Anne Krystopik – $1.5 million

Thirty-year-old Anne Krystopik was attacked in 2006 by a pit bull that her father was watching for a friend. The attack left her with 17 lacerations that needed 300 stitches. After considering the dog’s history and the fact that it was improperly restrained, a New Jersey jury decided that Krystopnik’s case was worth $1.5 million.

Alan Hill – $7.25 million

Alan Hill, 60, was attacked by three pit bulls as he mowed a lawn in 2008. The attack caused extensive damage to the majority of his body, and his physician predicted that his recovery would take years. After considering Hill’s medical bills, his pain and suffering and his reduced earning capacity, a Missouri jury decided that his case was worth $7.25 million.

Important Information for Dog-Bite Victims

The compensation you receive for a dog-bite injury depends on at least three things: the medical bills that result from your injury, your level of pain and suffering and whether the injury has caused you to lose wages or has reduced your earning capacity. The New Jersey accident attorneys at Console and Hollawell can help you assess these things to determine the potential worth of your case. If a dog has attacked and injured you, speak with a NJ personal injury lawyer from Console & Hollawell today.

Call Toll Free Today: (866) 778-5500      

 

 

 

Child Awarded Arbitration Amount of $1.75 Million after Sustaining Serious Injuries

By Richard Console on August 5, 2010 - Comments off

Tamarrah Brown, 12, was recently awarded an arbitration amount of $1.75 million by the Superior Court of New Jersey, after it was determined that the negligence of her father’s employer, Solid Surface Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of stone countertops, resulted in severe and devastating injuries.

Brown was just nine years old when her father, Joseph Brown, took her to his workplace and subsequently ran her over with a forklift. The result was foot and ankle injuries severe enough for the Social Security Department of Disability to classify Brown as permanently disabled. In addition to the physical injuries, Brown also suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress as a result of the accident.

Those who testified said that Brown and her sibling had been allowed to play in the Solid Surface Design workspace, which was highly industrial and dangerous, between six and 12 times before the accident. The court agreed that the actions of Solid Surface Design were wanton and reckless, causing them to award not only economic damages to Tamarrah Brown, but punitive damages as well. The $1.75 million will cover past and future medical care, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

 

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