Taking a look at Ohio’s most dangerous company

Workers should never fear for their safety while on the job. But one Ohio company is known to be an especially dangerous place to work.

JK Excavating, in Mason, Ohio, was the only Ohio company named to OSHA’s The Dirty Dozen 2018: Employer Who Put Workers And Communities At Risk. The company was recently in the spotlight because of a tragic on-the-job death.

Zachary Hess, an employee of JK Excavating, died at work in a trench collapse in December of 2017.

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Protect yourself on the job. Particularly on these jobs

Every occupation comes with some amount of risk to people’s safety, whether they might be crushed in a machine or develop carpal tunnel. And certain accidents can happen no matter where a person works, from slipping on a wet floor to getting hit by a falling object.

That said, some occupations are more dangerous to workers than others are. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down accident injuries and fatalities by industry, which we examine below.

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Are workers’ rights further limited after recent Supreme Court decision?

Employees who have grievances against their employers may now be limited in their ability to take legal action. A recent Supreme Court decision could affect more than 25 million people, including both employees and employers.

In Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 majority that employers could limit the rights of employees who wish to take legal action against them. Companies can now force employees to settle disputes through independent arbitration.  Employees may no longer have the option to settle a complaint in court.

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The 12 most dangerous companies for workers

No job is 100 percent safe: An accident at work can happen when you least expect it. And there are many jobs that are inherently dangerous. More than 20 percent of all worker deaths in 2016, for example, occurred in construction-related positions.

But there are some specific companies that are notorious for being dangerous places to work.

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I got hurt at work: what should I do?

Getting into a work-related accident can be painful, stressful and upsetting. This is particularly true if an injury is serious enough to warrant medical attention and time away from work.

If you are in this situation, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed, and you may not know what you need to do to get the help and financial compensation you deserve. Below, we examine some critical steps injured workers should take after a work accident in Ohio.

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Social Security Disability claims can take years. But why?

How long does an SSD claim take?After having Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) premiums automatically deducted from each paycheck, many Ohio residents are surprised to discover how difficult it is to get a decision on collecting disability benefits, despite a diagnosed qualifying medical condition.

According to an exposé printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, thousands of Ohio workers who have applied for SSDI benefits are waiting months and years for a decision on their claim, in large part due to federal underfunding and the current bureaucratic process. The current claims system requires claimants to present their case in front of a judge, who then must weigh the evidence before making a decision. In many cases, the slightest flaw in the claim can result in a denial, pending further clarification.

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The most common causes of worker injuries and fatalities in Ohio

worker injuriesWorkplace accidents and injuries are an unfortunate reality in the modern workplace. Even more unfortunate is the fact that every year in the United States, thousands of workers die in work-related accidents.

Although any worker can suffer an on-the-job injury, there are certain industries that see more incidents. Continue reading “The most common causes of worker injuries and fatalities in Ohio”

When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workers’ Compensation AttorneyWhen an individual gets injured on the job, many questions may come to mind:

  • Do I need a workers’ compensation attorney?
  • Can I handle this on my own?
  • At what point should I hire an attorney?

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Ohio law expands to allow firefighters to collect working wage loss for cancer

firefighterAmendments to Michael Louis Palumbo, Jr. Act go into effect

As of Sept. 29, an Ohio law honoring a local hero has been expanded to allow firefighters diagnosed with cancer to collect compensation for working wage loss. Continue reading “Ohio law expands to allow firefighters to collect working wage loss for cancer”

What can employees do about dangerous work conditions?

A Cleveland-area manufacturer was recently hit with nearly $90,000 in proposed penalties after being cited for a variety of dangerous work conditions. Fifteen serious violations, one repeat violation and one other-than-serious violation were issued following inspections earlier this year. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited fall hazards, slippery work surfaces, lack of proper machine guarding and electrical safety hazards, among other violations.Dangerous Work Conditions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 4,800 fatal work-related injuries occurred in 2014. Nearly 3 million nonfatal injuries or illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces throughout the same year. Employers are required by OSHA to eliminate known dangers in their facilities, provide employees with proper protective equipment and teach workers about hazards they may encounter.

Dangerous work conditions commonly investigated by OSHA include:

Fall Hazards

Falls from elevated platforms and work stations or into holes in facility floors are among the most common causes of death and serious injury in the workplace. Employers are required to use guard rails, toe-boards and any other means necessary to prevent workers from suffering these injuries.

Eye & Face Hazards

According to OSHA, thousands of employees are blinded each year by preventable workplace injuries. These incidents are often caused by chemical, environmental and mechanical hazards that could have been addressed with proper eye and face protection. Related expenses, such as worker compensation and medical bills, total around $300 million each year.

Respiratory Hazards

OSHA Respiratory Protection Standards require approximately 5 million employees to wear respirators in their workplace. Dust, smoke and vapors are among the threats to the respiratory health of these workers. Hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses could be prevented if all employers and employees followed OSHA’s guidelines.

How do I file a complaint or request an inspection of my workplace?

If you believe there are serious health or safety hazards in your workplace, or feel your employer is not following OSHA standards to prevent dangerous work conditions, filing a complaint could prevent injuries or even save a life. OSHA keeps all complaint information confidential, and it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for exercising their right to a safe workplace.

Three Ways to File an OSHA Complaint

  • Download and fill out an OSHA complaint form. Fax or mail the form to your OSHA Regional or Area Office.

NOTE: Written complaints are more likely to result in onsite inspections.

If you have questions about health and safety in your workplace, email OSHA.

If you or a loved one suffered a serious workplace injury, call 1-800-ELK-OHIO for a free case review or fill out an online contact form