When Tensions Are High

There are many qualities about work that can make or break the job for you. Whether or not you enjoy the work, and presence of pressing deadlines are big factors, but there is another that is just as important: your coworkers. The issue with coworkers is, unless you own a business or run a branch, you don’t get to choose the people you work with. For many people, this isn’t an issue. Fortunately, most employees are professional and at least acceptably courteous — they learn to be; otherwise, they will find it difficult to hold a job. Sometimes, however, a couple of employees just don’t work well together. Whether it’s the competitive atmosphere or simply a clash of personalities, there are times when it is very difficult to diminish tensions throughout the workday. Although the likelihood is small, there is always the possibility that employees with tension between them may lash out and act violently towards one another. In order to increase productivity of tense employees and avoid the possibility of violence, there are a few things you can try to diminish the antagonism and resentment that may be present between your employees.

Boss shouting at employee

  • Confront the Issue: The longer you let an issue stir the worse off it will be. Once you determine that there is an issue between any employees, you should consider the issue and address it immediately. Allowing it to “work itself out” is usually not a good idea.
  • Listen to Both Sides: Showing favoritism or immediately taking sides will simply exacerbate things. Before you decide to hand out punishments or penalties, make sure you know both sides of the story well. Instead of acting as a judge, act as a mediator.
  • Find Common Ground: as a mediator, you should seek to find something that both employees can agree to, which will allow you to bridge the gap between them.
  • Seek Compromise: Unless one employee is being completely unreasonable, your best option to eliminate tensions is to seek compromise. Favoring one employee in the resolution will only cause the other employee to be as angry with you as he or she may be with the other, and will likely raise tensions altogether.

Of course, these are only things you can do to try and stifle the aggravation. As DUI lawyers in Washington, DC know very well, acts of violence may sometimes be very hard to avoid in the workplace. Once it has happened, however, it is important to take care of it properly. If you have been charged for assault at work, contact Washington DC criminal lawyers today for a consultation.


A Short History of Asbestos

Today, asbestos is notorious for its known link to a cancer of the lungs known as asbestos cancer, or ‘mesothelioma’. Thousands of workers have been affected by asbestos in the United States in the construction of offices, industrial buildings, ships and factories. But why is asbestos illness still so prevalent, even though its use has been widely halted since the 1970s and banned in more than 40 countries? Why was asbestos used so extensively in the 19th and 20th centuries that it still commonly causes illness today?


The earliest records of the use of asbestos come from as far back as ancient Greece. In fact, the word “asbestos” is the ancient Greek word for ‘inextinguishable’. Asbestos is a mineral that is fireproof and acts as a great insulator. These ancient people understood the benefits of asbestos, and began to use it in the construction of buildings, homes, and as cloth to make clothing and blankets. Asbestos has proven to be so detrimental to health, however, that even the ancient world was — albeit to a lesser extent — aware of its danger. Documents from the Holy Roman Empire illustrate that the Romans recognized illness the slaves they forced to work in the asbestos mines.

Despite the fact that even ancient people with little understanding of illness and science could recognize the dangers of asbestos, it was still widely used until the 1970s. Those who mined asbestos faced severe lung damage and had an average lifespan much lower than that of the average person. Thousands of American workers have fallen ill due to asbestos present in older buildings, offices and ships. Many have been able to receive compensation through the help of personal injury lawyers in Brooklyn NY. If you have developed mesothelioma through exposure on the premises where you work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Brooklyn NY personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

Those most likely to fall ill due to exposure to asbestos are navy veterans and retired shipyard workers, although they are only a small number of the thousands who fall ill to asbestos in the United States every year. Today, over 200,000 American citizens are living with mesothelioma, and more than 10,000 will develop it this year. Personal injury lawyers in Brooklyn New York can help.


Work Fatalities

worker fell from a ladderForty three years ago, the number of work related deaths in The United States was around 14,000 deaths per year. This was the year the United States Department of Labor decided to do something about it. They had just developed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and through their efforts managed to cut work related deaths down by two thirds. What makes this feat even more astonishing is that the US population has increased by over one hundred million people since then. This is surely a victory for the American people.

But the fight isn’t over.

In the US last year, 12 workers were fatally injured on average every day. The five most common industries for worker deaths were found to be:

  1. Construction
  2. Natural Resources and Mining
  3. Professional & Business Services
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Leisure and Hospitality

Clearly many Americans are in danger — these are huge industries. So what can be done to combat this unnerving trend?

One useful tool is the legal protection of informants, introduced in section 11c of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is intended to protect employees against retaliation by their employers (such as being fired) if they speak out about hazardous conditions and employer negligence concerning employee safety.

Critics, however, argue that this act has not been very effective. It may be of little comfort to those who have lost loved ones to workplace fatalities, but there has been some success for families of these unfortunate people in obtaining compensation by hiring attorneys who specialize in wrongful death cases, such as personal injury lawyers in Frederick MD. If you or someone you know has died as a result of an unsafe work environment or employer negligence, contact Frederick MD personal injury lawyers– or personal injury lawyers in your area– for a free case evaluation.

For some people in the United States, it can be difficult to avoid dangerous work in the face of desperation. It is important to know that you do have options available. Every worker has the right to feel safe on the job, and their families deserve compensation with the assistance of Frederick MD personal injury Lawyers if the worst should happen. Our improvements in worker safety over the past few decades does not stop here.


Sun Safety for Outdoor Workers

BLD046474No one enjoys sunburn, and the fact that skin cancer rates are rising certainly doesn’t help. While outdoor workers and their employers account for many risks, one that is often overlooked is sun damage. This is despite the fact that the sun plays such a dominant role in an outdoor worker’s life. Those who work outdoors would be wise to know the risks, and invest in protective materials and habits (if their jobs do not already provide them), especially as the months warm up.

Risks of sun exposure:

The links between sunburn and skin cancer have been well documented by dermatologists in Washington DC, London UK and around the world. People with fairer skin and previous sunburns are most at risk for skin cancers such as Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell carcinoma, and the most dangerous form, Melanoma. However, nobody is immune to these risks and those with darker skin may be less likely to get cancer, but their cases are more likely to prove fatal. Other risks include dehydration and even heat stroke, which can also have catastrophic results.Therefore it is important to protect oneself, especially in professions that frequently take one outdoors.

High-Risk Jobs:

Some of the jobs with high risks for sun exposure include:

  • Park ranger
  • Outdoor sports (surf/ski/snowboard) instructor
  • Lifeguard
  • Farmer
  • Marine biologist
  • Geologist
  • Landscaper

Modes of Protection:

If you find yourself working in one of these fields, consult with a dermatologist in Washington DC or your own area about how to stay safe in the sun. Here are some tips that may help you protect yourself.

  • Keep your skin covered- You don’t have to wear short clothing to stay cool. Long sleeves and pant legs can help keep your skin from burning while lighter materials like cotton and linens, and dry-wicking exercise fabrics can keep you well ventilated. Hats are also a great way to cover the thinner, more sensitive skin around your face.
  • Wear glasses with UV protection- The sun can damage more than your skin. It is important to care for your eyes and use glasses with UV protection on the label. Those drugstore glasses you bought may help you see better, but may not be giving you any real help in the long run. Invest in a quality pair.
  • Stay hydrated- We shouldn’t have to tell you the importance of drinking water, but we will just in case.
  • Wear sun block- SPF 30 or higher is ideal. Make sure you cover all exposed skin including your back, which is particularly susceptible as it often goes neglected. Water/ sweat resistant sunblock is also best, and should be reapplied every 40 minutes, after which it loses its effect.

Every job has its risks, but an outdoor job can also prove very rewarding. Just remember to keep yourself safe, and consult with a DC dermatologist for more more advice on staying healthy.


Guidelines for Victims of Domestic Violence

Depositphotos_10713088_mWhen you are committed to protecting your employees from abuse, it means you as an employer should know the best means for protection. Remember, being an employer means you are responsible for the wellbeing of your business, and the wellbeing of your business often rests on the wellbeing of your employees. Educating your employees about how to protect and care for themselves is a great way to boost company morale. When creating educational materials for your employees, here are some guidelines we encourage you to keep in mind:

  • Seek medical and legal help- If you are physically assaulted, it should go without saying that you should see a doctor for examination and treatment. However, a victim of domestic violence should also call the police, as his/ her life may be in danger. A partner who attacks someone once is likely to do so again. The minute legal authorities are involved, an abuser is on watch. The victim can gain an order of protection and begin to regain control of his or her life.
  • A plaintiff is not a passive role- A complainant in a domestic violence case has the power to help or hinder law enforcement. Be aware that victims do not have the power to drop charges, as assault is often viewed as a crime against the state, not just the individual. Many domestic violence victims feel remorse for putting their partners in legal trouble and feel the need to protect them. The truth is, it is the abuser’s actions that put him/ her in legal trouble, and the victim has the right to argue for his or her protection, and the responsibility to tell the truth about what happened so the crime can stop.
  • Victims should be wary of speaking to opposing counsel- Whether you live in Elizabeth NJ and are dealing with Elizabeth NJ criminal lawyers, or live in San Francisco CA, speaking to opposing counsel without your attorney present is a risk. Even the smallest, most casual statement can be used to discredit the victim’s allegations, and the best criminal lawyers in Elizabeth NJ, San Francisco, and across the country, are highly trained at analysing witness statements to find fault with them.

These are just three points of wisdom an employer can impart to employees when educating them on abuse. If you have the power to stop a crime, you should. Continue to read the Safe at Work Coalition’s blog for more tips on preventing and handling domestic violence.

5 Safety Issues Professional Drivers Need to Know

Depositphotos_54631699_mIf you drive for a living, you know better than anyone the dangers of the road. According to The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), around 2.35 million Americans are injured in car accidents annually. It can’t be ignored that as a person who drives for a living — from being a trucker to a cab driver and everything in between — the fact that you spend much more time on the road means you are more likely than the average citizen to become a part of this statistic. Therefore it is crucial that you make yourself aware of everything you can do to minimize your chances of a driving related injury – even if you have heard it all before. Here are 5 common causes of driving injuries to note.

  1. Overwork
    This issue especially applies to you if you are a truck driver. Being overworked or simply choosing to work more hours than allowed is extremely common among those in this profession. Often times employers will assign routes and deadlines that aren’t properly aligned. The routes may require more time than the legal amount of hours required, and this will force the driver to drive extra hours to avoid missing deadlines. Even with laws to stop the practice, there is no doubt it will remain a serious issue for a long time to come. Be aware that this is a leading cause of accidents for truckers. If your employer is forcing you to work to the point of exhaustion – often illegally – it may be time to look for a new one.
  2. Lack of Sleep
    Of course, lack of sleep and overwork are strongly correlated, but sleep can be missed for many other reasons as well. Stress from work or your social life, insomnia, or simply having poor time management skills may mean that you aren’t getting as many hours of rest as you should be. Driving while drowsy is akin to driving under the influence of alcohol, and for people who drive for a living is actually more likely to be the cause of an accident.
  3. Vision Impairment
    Vision impairment can sneak up on you. Vision is usually something that fades with age, and can happen so gradually that you may not notice it is time for an updated contact prescription or even surgery. One common cause of eye troubles is the development of cataracts, which happens to many people with age. When you depend on your vision for a living, it is essential to take care of them as soon as you notice them. Top cataract surgeons in DC can help you deal with the issue before it gets out of hand. If you drive for a living, the long term costs of cataracts – such as vehicle damage or even personal injury – will likely be more costly than the surgery itself. Don’t wait longer than necessary. Make a Washington DC cataract surgeon appointment as soon as you can if you think you may suffer from the development of cataracts.
  4. Neglect of Vehicle Maintenance
    Frequently inspecting and properly maintaining your vehicle is an essential part of avoiding accidents that will cost you much more in the future. Often times drivers neglect these procedures because they don’t feel urgent. The same principle that applies to seeing a dentist can be applied here – if you go to a dentist only after you’ve encountered tooth pain, you haven’t gone enough. The key is to avoid actual incidents by ensuring your vehicle is in top shape at all times. To do otherwise will have major consequences.
  5. Aggressive Driving
    This one can be easy to resort to as a person who makes a living on the road. When you feel another driver is slowing you down or being reckless, you may be have a stronger emotional reaction that the average citizen because it could cost you money or negatively affect your performance. Aggression on the road is a prominent reason for work related accidents amongst drivers or truckers. Don’t let yourself be overcome by your emotions to the point at which you make irrational decisions on the road – it could cost you dearly.

Most of these issues can only be fixed by having the discipline to accept these issues and doing what needs to be done to avoid them. Maybe you can pick up meditation to resolve your anger on the road. You may need to speak frankly with an employer who overworks you or see a doctor about sleeping issues. Vision impairment, however, can be a quick fix. Again, if there are signs that you may be suffering from cataracts, see the best cataract surgeons in DC’s website for more DC cataract surgery information. And if you experience any of these issues, don’t wait until it’s too late!

Eye Injuries at Work

It is easy to take our eye health for granted as, for most of us, we use them normally without hindrance. However, there are many occupations that pose particular hazards to the eye. Every year, approximately 300,000 Americans go to the emergency room for eye-related injuries. Of these injuries, 40% are work related. These may range from temporary eye-strain to blinding trauma. Retinal detachment, for instance, can happen when a blunt object hits the eye, causing the retina to partially or totally detach from the underlying surface at the back of the eyeball. When a serious injury like this occurs, it is best to see a retinal specialist like Dr. Charles Eifrig in California immediately. This, however,  is just one example.Read on to learn more about the different kinds of eye injuries and protecting your eyes in the work place.

Some of the most common jobs where work-related eye injuries occur are welding, construction and chemical work. The dangers you need to be aware of include:

  • Flying objects and shrapnel
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals

It is important that you observe all safety protocols at your workplace, and, your workplace in turn, needs to follow the guidelines set forth by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Eye protection is extremely important, as is use of engineering controls, work screens, and safety guards for your machinery. If you work in an environment that regularly poses dangers to your eyes, you may be wise to schedule regular checkups with a licensed ophthalmologist like Charles Eifrig, MD or even an optometrist. Optometrists can treat most eye conditions that you may develop. If there is a serious concern, an optometrist may refer you to a Medical Doctor like Dr. Eifrig. You may need surgery. If this is the case, be sure to research Dr. Charles Eifrig’s reviews– or the reviews of any specialist you work with– before you commit to a procedure. Start researching immediately, however, because eye injuries and conditions often worsen rapidly without treatment.

If you are already in contact with an ophthalmologist like Dr. Charles Eifrig, speak to him or her about the dangers your workplace poses to your eye. Also speak to your employer if you think your workplace can take more preventative measures. You have a right to report any sub-standard conditions to OSHA without fear of punishment. An eye injury can lead to lost wages when you take time off work or worse, it can lead to lost vision. Make sure that your workplace is safe for your vision.


Recovering from Injury: Does Insurance Cover Septorhinoplasty?

Septorhinoplasty rhinoplasty septoplasty Washington DC If you or someone you know has sustained a nose injury due to domestic violence or a work accident, septoplasty may be an option and is quite popular in metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. While some of the country’s top plastic surgeons reside in these cities, they may not always be accessible. Septoplasty surgery DC-based patients, for instance, may wish to enlist the services of the best plastic surgeons in DC. However, those surgeons may not accept a patient’s personal health insurance plan, and even if they do, if the nose injury is due to a work accident, a workers compensation insurance provider may provide a very finite list of doctors from which to choose. Septoplasty can therefore be tricky.

There are different kinds of nose surgery and these differences can determine whether an insurance provider is willing to pay for the procedure. The three kinds of nose surgeries are septoplasty, rhinoplasty and septorhinoplasty.

  • Septoplasty is meant to fix a deviated septum. The septum is the cartilage structure that separates the nasal passages. This structure is normally straight. However, severe trauma to the face and nose can misalign the septum which in turn affects one’s ability to breathe. If you notice difficulty breathing after getting hit in the nose, you would be wise to speak to an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. That doctor may be able to help you or refer you to a surgeon who can perform septoplasty surgery.
  • Rhinoplasty, unlike septoplasty is purely cosmetic. Perhaps your injury has affected the shape of your nose, though your breathing is normal. This is very rarely the case, but if it is– if your desire for surgery is purely aesthetic– you will not be covered by insurance for the procedure.
  • Often the outer change in nasal structure is accompanied by an inner one. When this is the case, patients may desire septorhinoplasty, surgery designed to correct both the health and the appearance of the nose. Health insurance typically covers septoplasty only, to help with the deviated septum. However, sometimes a septoplasty procedure can incidentally make slight changes to the nose shape. In this case, you will be covered for septoplasty. Mind you, more often than not, septoplasty does not affect the nose’s outer appearance.

If you are interested in nose surgery following your accident, you would be wise to speak to a workers compensation attorney and determine what treatments are within your rights. All 50 United States have some form of workers compensation in place and most workers compensation lawyers work for free. It is always good to seek free professional advice and see if plastic surgery is an option, depending on your injury’s unique circumstances.

Facts About Workers Compensation

We’ve discussed, at length, the importance of employees seeking compensation– and employers assisting– when hurt at work. We have listed many valuable resources and workers compensation lawyers in Palm Beach, Elizabeth NJ and other parts of the country. In difficult situations, nothing can take the place of sound legal advice from a qualified professional. While we are not licensed workers compensation lawyers in Palm Beach– or any part of the country, we can offer these brief, basic facts to help you with your cause, should you become involved in a workers compensation matter:

  1. All states have workers comp laws- If you are hurt at work, you are more than likely entitled to compensation no matter where you live and work. Even if your boss tells you you do not have a case, your boss is probably not a legal expert and most certainly looking out for his or her best interest. It is always good to get an opinion from a legal professional about whether you are entitled to benefits.
  2. The employer’s role does not end once workers’ comp is paid.- If you are an employer looking to keep workers safe, this tip is for you. There are many helpful employers who will see to it that their workers receive immediate treatment and file all the correct forms. While this is the right thing to do, it is not the end of your duties as an employer. According to a 2009 study, 86% of companies have a return to work program. Calling to check in with your injured employee, and helping him/her get back to work, can assist your employee in physical and psychological healing. This, in turn saves money in benefit payments and keeps your future cost of insurance down. If your employee returns to work, you will be paying him or her for productivity, rather than paying benefits for lost productivity, so your company’s money is better invested.
  3. Time is of the essence- This tip goes for employees, employers and insurance claims adjusters. For employees hurt at work there is a statute of limitations on filing a claim, and even if you can prove that you were hurt at work your company’s insurance provider may no longer have to pay. If your boss tells you to wait, don’t. Talk to a trusted workers comp attorney in Palm Beach or your respective state. The Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt are a fine example of a Florida firm helping injured workers obtain benefits. If you are an insurance claims adjuster, you may think that you can ignore an injured worker and he or she may “just go away,” but if you delay in helping, the cost of settlement may increase over time, as newer, more expensive medications and treatments become available. You may also have to pay additional costs as the employee’s condition worsens. The best time to act, for all parties involved, is now.

These words of advice are just the tip of the iceberg. We aim to offer more on our blog soon but in truth, nothing can supplant the advice of a legal professional, like these West Palm Beach workers compensation lawyers. We suggest learning the correct protocol and taking action the minute an incident occurs at your place of business.

Showing Your Employees You Care

nondiscriminationWhether it is through an at-work injury, domestic violence, or unstable health, there are many obstacles in an employee’s life that can affect his or her wellbeing and, in turn, performance at work. We hope that employers will take a compassionate approach and understand their employees’ issues, not only for sensitivity’s sake, but also for boosting company morale and productivity. If you are an employer, the following guidelines will help you in showing employees that you are invested in their health and peace of mind:

  1. Provide them with proper healthcare. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, employees who work 20 hours per week or more are entitled to healthcare benefits. As an employer, we encourage you to provide your employees with reasonable health plan options. We are not saying to break the bank, but be considerate of the fact that an employee with a lower-end salary may not be able to pay a multi-thousand dollar deductible before obtaining full benefits. Vision and dental care benefits are also options. Not all workplaces offer them. However, if you do, be sure to find plans that are widely accepted by healthcare professionals in your area. Many Cary NC dentists, for instance, take several forms of health insurance. You also want to be sure that your insurance is accepted by top professionals, so if you offer dental insurance at your Cary NC workplace, be sure that the best dentists in Cary NC are within your healthcare provider’s network.
  2. Keep them nourished. There may be times when your employees will have to work late. As an employer, this is your opportunity to keep them energized and ready to work. If your employees are fueled with natural healthy vending in Washington DC– or whatever your place of business– they are likely to stay on site and on-task. Keeping them fueled with natural, healthy vending will also protect them from the “burn out” and heaviness that comes with eating unhealthy sugary snacks.
  3. Be open and available. We have spoken previously about setting domestic violence policies. If your employee is being physically, mentally, sexually or financially abused, it is going to affect that employee’s performance. Abuse can happen to both male and female employees and may not always be recognizable. Intervening in an employee’s personal life can be tricky. We encourage you, therefore, to have a written copy of your policies around domestic abuse which you distribute to all employees on their first day, and host regular seminars on discussing said policies. Be sure that your employees know you can talk to them, and that you are well trained in discussing these sensitive matters. Speaking with a social worker can help you devise a helpful plan around discussing domestic abuse and seeking help.
  4. Handle all workers’ comp cases with care. Even when you follow OSHA regulations, accidents may happen. Of course nobody wants to lose a good employee to an accident, and it is normal to worry about the cost of treatment, but you as an employer are required to provide workers compensation insurance. This is true across all 50 states. It is important to see that your employee receives prompt and proper treatment for all injuries. It is the insurance provider’s responsibility to pay for medical costs and lost wages, but it is your responsibility to facilitate that process. Encourage your employees to come to you immediately if they are hurt and help them correctly file their claims. The workers compensation system can be somewhat convoluted, but the up-front work will save you the expenses of facing a workers compensation lawyer in Elizabeth NJ or a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles down the line. Again, all 50 states require that employers provide insurance for work related injuries and illness. What’s more, most personal injury lawyers across the country, be they work injury lawyers in Elizabeth NJ or car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, work on a contingency basis. They do not collect payment from their clients until their clients collect compensation, so these attorneys are extremely motivated to win. A personal injury lawsuit can also damage company image and morale. Therefore it is important that you handle the situation with compassion and swift attention.

Whether it is connecting your employees with the best dentists in Cary NC, or avoiding an encounter with a workers compensation lawyer in Elizabeth NJ, you have many responsibilities to your employees. We understand that you may not have the money and the power to provide your workers with everything they want, but we hope you will use these guidelines as a means of establishing a mutual feeling of trust and safety at your place of business.