The Law Offices of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC
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Hickory NC Personal Injury Law Blog

Animals and work injuries

In North Carolina and other states, most workers are eligible to receive workers' compensation if they are injured by animals or insects while on the job. This can ensure that workers are not impacted by lost wages and medical expenses due to these types of incidents.

In many occupations, workers are exposed to the possibility of contracting animal-borne diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and some may also suffer adverse reactions to the bites of venomous animals. This is expected of workers who are in environments where this is a common possibility, but those who work in office spaces or other work areas can also be injured by animals or insects from an infestation. This is often an issue if the appropriate measures have not been taken by employers to ensure that areas are sanitized and properly secured.

OSHA updates rule regarding confined spaces

As many North Carolina construction workers know, certain projects often require them to work in confined spaces. If something goes wrong, the worker could potentially become trapped, increasing the risks of injury and even potentially death. As such, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration recently issued a safety ruling that is set to go into effect in August 2015.

Confined spaces are described as being spaces that are large enough for an employee to enter but are not meant to be continuously occupied. Additionally, the space has a limited number of entrances or exits. These confined spaces can exist in any number of locations, including in incinerators, tanks, manholes and transformer vaults.

How to safely operate a forklift at the worksite

In order to maintain safety, industries in North Carolina and across the country must follow the rules as designated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These regulations include directions for safely operating a forklift.

There are several hazardous situations involving a forklift that could lead to a workplace accident. These situations include dangerous floor conditions, floor loading limits and overhead clearance.

Guidelines for preventing worker injury in North Carolina

Workplace injuries remain a valid concern, particularly for those who are employed in hazardous occupations. Accidents can occur in any line of work, however, and employers have a responsibility to address any incidents of harm or injury according to the proper protocols.

In the event that an injury occurs, the priority is executing the appropriate steps for managing the accident. The employer needs to quickly assess the type of medical response required of the situation, such as a 911 call or an in-office medical evaluation at the nearest clinic. Once the employee's medical needs are being addressed, the employer will want to maintain the scene of the accident in case an investigation is necessary. Other employees should have limited access to the area to reduce the chance of another injury, and any materials or substances that contributed to the accident should remain available and, if possible, untouched, for investigative purposes.

Monitoring and reducing heat exposure on the job

As many North Carolina workers know, heat exposure at the workplace may be harmful if certain precautions are not taken. Designating someone to be trained in hazard management helps keep workers safe despite working in a hot environment.

The work site may be evaluated for worker exposure to heat, humidity and sun during the shift. The type of clothing and protective devices used while working might be reviewed based on how such items add to the overall heat exposure. Workers should be properly hydrated and given periods of recuperation in a shady or cool area.

Untrained construction workers at particular risk of injury

An accident in March that killed three Hispanic workers and injured a fourth points out the dangers faced by inadequately trained construction workers in North Carolina. The accident occurred in downtown Raleigh, which is still recovering from the recession. The recovery has prompted a building boom that includes higher demand for high-rise offices and apartments. The increase in demand for tall buildings increases the likelihood of serious accidents involving high-altitude contracting work.

The Raleigh accident occurred when the platform on a motorized scaffold, which is called a mast climber, collapsed and fell to the ground. Mast climbers are often used on tall building projects because they are easy assemble. However, many government safety guidelines do not include specific standards for mast climbers; harnesses connecting workers to the platform are required, but tethers connecting workers to the building are not.

Proposed Legislation Could Change Grandparent Visitation in North Carolina

The current law in North Carolina concerning grandparent visitation allows grandparents seeking visitation with their grandchildren to intervene into a pending or "on going" custody action between the grandchild's parents.  A grandparent must have a substantial relationship with the minor child, generally in the nature of a parent-child bond.  Grandparents have been successful proving this substantial relationship in cases where the child has lived with them for an extended period of time and the grandparent has assumed parental responsibilities.

Trenching accident causes death of 2 men

As North Carolina residents may have heard, two men were killed in an accident in Boonton, New Jersey, when the 9- to 13-foot trench the men were digging collapsed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the collapse and issued multiple citations for safety violations.

OSHA visited the site of the workplace accident in October 2014. After investigating, the agency determined that the trench lacked the mandatory protections required if a trench is 5 feet deep or more.

Examining OSHA's workplace safety requirements for employers

A: North Carolina employees interested in workers' compensation issues may want some information about an employer's safety responsibilities. Failure to live up to these responsibilities can put their employees at risk.

Part of an employer's health and safety responsibilities to their workers involve various requirements set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. OSHA requires that employers keep their workplace free from hazards, which includes complying with OSHA standards and providing their employees with the proper safety equipment and tools to help avoid worker injury. The employer must also provide safety training and keep safety procedures up to date in order to comply with these federal safety regulations.

OSHA cited contractor twice before fatal North Carolina accident

Workers for Associated Scaffolding were taking down a scaffold on a glass and steel building going up in downtown Raleigh when it collapsed and killed three men and injured another. Over the past decade, the company had received two citations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for serious safety violations in the state before this deadly accident.

The citations had concerned scaffold access equipment and the storage of welding materials. OSHA and the State Department of Labor plan to investigate the accident.


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Hickory, NC 28603

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