When you go to work, you're exposed to all kinds of hazards. If you drive for a living, you may be exposed to dangerous drivers or dangerous roadways. If you're a laboratory assistant, you may be exposed to dangerous viruses or chemicals. As a construction worker, you could be at risk of being hurt by falling objects or at risk of being struck by a vehicle in your road-side work zone.
The public has become accustomed to the prevalent use of gowns and gloves in health care settings. In fact, seeing these items often gives citizens comfort about the quality of care and cleanliness of any given medical facility. The health care workers who make use of gowns and gloves believe these items will provide protection against workplace illnesses, but a new study says this may not be the case.
In case you have been spending time in Antarctica this year, it is incredibly hot this summer! Consequently, you might be one of the Pennsylvania workers at risk for heat-related illnesses. Such illnesses can cause extreme sickness and even death, so it is important for the Pennsylvania workforce to gain an understanding of how the severe heat can have a dangerous effect.
Did you know that the flavorings used in your food could cause lung disease? As of now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have not said that consumers are at risk, but there have been cases in which those working in food production plants have been impacted. One of the most prominent cases came out of a popcorn plant where workers had developed bronchiolitis obliterans.
Some Pennsylvania workers are exposed to hazards periodically or regularly while on the job. Pottstown employers are obligated to take the necessary precautions to prevent workplace illnesses caused by these dangers, whether that means monitoring workspace air quality or providing employees with protective gear.
A group of hotel housekeepers in another state recently filed a purported class-action lawsuit against Marriott International, claiming the hotel chain willfully -- or even intentionally -- exposed them to toxic chemicals without training or personal protective equipment. That in itself is a big deal; the fine for violating federal hazardous workplace chemical regulations is $10,000 per day per worker exposed.
Sometimes it seems as if almost every company in almost every industry has to be constantly policed if they are to treat their employees lawfully, particularly when it comes to safety. If it does, it could be because we work with injured people a lot, so we don't get to see all the good companies who are doing their best.
Generally, in Pennsylvania, the Workers' Compensation Act does not allow for mental injuries stemming from the workplace. In other words, the legislature has been very hesitant to allow injured workers in Pennsylvania to claim a psychological injury related to work unless very specific factors are met. This makes sense that because it appears that the legislature did not want the common employee to be able to bring a claim for mental stress related to a "mean boss", or a very stressful job. If that were the case, the courts would be flooded with thousands of disgruntled employees who simply hate either their job or their immediate supervisor. Thus, the law requires a heightened standard for mental injuries stemming from mental stimuli at work. In other words, we are talking about injuries that are psychological in nature, and caused by some type of psychological stimulus. That heightened standard, which must be proved by an employee claiming this type of so-called mental-mental injury, is an "abnormal working condition."
Recently on this blog, we discussed the fact that it's possible for your workplace or job duties to expose you to toxic materials. Industrial chemicals, asbestos dust, microfibers, nanotechnology, chemical flavorings -- the list goes on and on.
You may have heard the phrase "toxic workplace" and assumed it meant something like "toxic relationship" -- until you started experiencing symptoms. The truth is, unaffected people seldom realize that a variety of work activities can literally expose them to an injury or illness they wouldn't otherwise have gotten.