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Articles Tagged with workplace accidents

A retail clothing chain has come under fire from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration once again. Forever 21 was cited following an inspection at one of its stores at the Burlington Mall in Dec. 2012. The store was accused of exposing its employees at the Massachusetts location to the risk of a workplace accident.

The issues identified in the OSHA investigation were a repetition of the very same problems OSHA encountered when it previously inspected a Forever 21 store in another state. The prior violations were found in 2011. As a result of the repeat violations, the latest fines against the company total $55,000.

Two workplace safety issues were identified. Stock items were discovered piled in such a manner that employees were placed at risk of injury from falling boxes. Moreover, the emergency exits were either blocked or the passageways otherwise too small to accommodate the safety of the company’s workers.

A gas explosion in Springfield recently decimated a strip club and a day care center, destroying or imperiling as many as 42 buildings in the downtown area. The accident injured a number or gas workers, policeman and firemen as well as several civilians. As such, the tragedy raises some important issues about workers’ compensation benefits as they are applied in the state of Massachusetts.

The gas company received reports of a gas leak late on a Saturday afternoon. Officials moved to evacuate the area ahead of the 5:30 p.m. explosion. The people injured were primarily city and gas company employees. When gas workers discovered an explosion was imminent, most of the individuals who were injured took cover behind a utility truck. The truck was destroyed in the blast that followed.

In all, nine firefighters and two policemen, as well as four gas company workers, two civilians and a Springfield government employee were taken to two area hospitals for treatment. The nature and extent of their injuries was not detailed in a news report. However, officials lauded the quick thinking of the workers involved to prevent the potential for catastrophic injuries to a great number of people.

A country club employee was recently injured in an on-the-job accident involving a work cart. The Massachusetts workplace injury occurred at about 8:30 a.m. when the worker got out of the cart. As he did so, it was said to have rolled backwards on a hill. He apparently tried to stop the movement of the cart but fell when he tried to get back into it. Consequently, the front wheel of the cart rolled over one of his legs, pinning it in a position from which he was unable to free himself.

The worker was said to have been stuck for nearly a half hour before he was discovered and 911 was alerted. Local firefighters responded. Shortly before they arrived, others at the country club were able to lift the cart from the injured man. Though conscious, he was said to be in pain.

Rescue workers applied a medical splint. It was noted that the device used was intended for circumstances where a bone had been broken. Once placed on a backboard, he was transferred to Salem Hospital for treatment. No further word on his condition was immediately available.

A 1998 Massachusetts study found that the average cost for the complete series of rabies treatment was $2,376. Another state indicated the cost can now exceed $7,000. Those significant figures were relevant to a recent workers’ compensation claim in a southern state, filed by a former veterinarian assistant.

The woman was working as a vet assistant on May 2, 2011 when she was asked to hold down a cat so that blood could be drawn. She did so, though she was reported to have open wounds and scratches on her arms that were unrelated to the cat. Subsequently, the cat was diagnosed with rabies, and the worker underwent a two-week series of rabies treatment that was initiated two days later. The treatment was based on the fact that she was exposed to the saliva of the cat during the blood drawing procedure. As a Massachusetts worker facing a similar predicament might do, she filed a workers’ compensation claim to cover her expenses related to the treatment.

A veterinarian in the clinic where the woman worked submitted a letter on her behalf. The doctor stated the worker was exposed to the cat’s saliva and thus could face the possibility of contracting rabies. Essentially, if the cat licked its wounds and the worker’s open wound came in contact with the saliva, the worker would be at risk for rabies. The doctor offered that she had confirmed with the local Virginia hospital that the worker needed post-exposure rabies treatment.

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