The high cost of OSHA clean air violations

Business owners know all-too-well the high costs of “doing business”, especially when it comes to equipping the workplace with the proper safety tools and gear.  Environmental safety is also essential but is easy to overlook for some industries, and some companies have been forced to pay the price for failing to install the proper air ventilation systems to comply with clean air standards set by OSHA.

For those who are unfamiliar with the agency, OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency founded in 1971 with the purpose of assuring “safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” When it comes to the air quality in factories and manufacturing facilities, OSHA is the agency responsible for regulating and enforcing the standards required.

Because welding fumes, airborne particulates, and dust in the workplace can be harmful to the health of workers in the facility, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the proper air filtration systems are in place to protect workers from harm. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines from OSHA, and in some cases, an increase in workers’ compensation claims from employees who are harmed by poor air quality on the jobsite. Fines can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for only a handful of violations, so it is essential for employers to implement the correct OSHA standards to protect their employees.

Indoor air quality (or IAC) has a very real effect on workers, and poor IAC can result in irritation of the nose, eyes, or throat, headaches, fatigue, and trouble concentrating. There may be even more serious diseases and issues that go along with poor IAC, and one only has to look to reports from companies that exposed their employees to asbestos particles to see just how dangerous airborne particulates can be to workers’ health.

The right ventilation and care can go a long way toward providing a safe and healthy workplace for all of your employees, so if you are an employer of any size, from a small “mom-and-pop shop” to a major manufacturer, it is vital that you pay attention to the air quality in your workspace and take the steps to improve the air filtration and ventilation for yourself and your employees.

You can also check with your state to see if they have their own requirements regarding indoor air quality. Currently, several states including California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York have their own IAC regulations on the books, so in addition to federal regulations, it is wise to consult with state regulators as well to find out if your company is in compliance. At the end of the day, worker safety should be paramount, so any investment in their health and safety should be the main concern of any employer, and failure to do so may result in heavy fines and harm to the health of your employees.

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Minimizing Dust Exposure in the Workplace

Dust exposure is one of the most underrated hazards in the workplace. Dust can result into various bodily complications, and these complications can be external or internal.

Externally, dust can irritate the eyes and skin, especially dusts that are induced with chemicals. Internally, dust can irritate the nose and throat, block air pathways, help in the development of respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and of various types of cancers.

It is also a common misconception that dust exposure is a risk only to those who work in hazardous industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and mining. Though workers in these industries are more vulnerable, all kinds of workers are actually at risk of dust exposure, even those who are just sitting in a cubicle in their office buildings. Below are some of the ways dust exposure can be minimized.

Cleaning the surroundings

Cleanliness of the workplace is essential to workplace safety. Even the most typical office space is vulnerable to various dust particles, especially biological contaminants that develop because of improper food disposal, temperature, and humidity, such as bacteria, molds, and spores.

In inherently dusty places, such as construction sites, putting everything in its proper place and preventing dust buildup, especially of metal cuttings and cement and wood dusts, are good ideas.

Wearing appropriate gears

If the job directly relates to dust exposure, such as the cases for manufacturing and mining, the employer should provide appropriate gears to their employees and implement strict safety regulations regarding their mandatory use, so dust exposure can be strictly limited and controlled.

Gears may differ according to the industry, but usually, they take the form of goggles, masks, gloves, jackets, and boots.

Installing proper filtration systems

Air circulation and filtration are just as important as premises maintenance and use of safety gears. In office spaces, this can involve air conditioning and other ventilation systems. In relatively dustier workplaces like factories, this can involve industrial dust collection systems.

With the combination of engineering solutions, such as the installation of proper filtration systems, and of simple solutions, such as cleaning the place and wearing appropriate gears, dust exposure can be effectively minimized. As a result, the health risks are also less likely to be sustained.

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When Facing a Criminal Charge, Do Not Make the Mistake of Thinking that There is no Hope

Peter and Jane had a relationship: they were lovers. However, Peter was just 15 years old, while Jane was 23. After having consensual sex with each other, Jane got the shock of her life – she was charged with statutory rape despite the fact that both of them consented to the sexual act.

Statutory rape, though very much different from forcible rape which is non-consensual and accomplished through the use of force, is considered a serious crime in many U.S. states. For a non-violent offense, this sexual activity between an adult and a person below the legal age of consent, can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the ages of the victim and the perpetrator. This offense also carries very harsh punishments, including really large fines, years in jail and, in many states, a mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender.

While it is true that statutory rape statutes aim to protect minors from sexual predators, it cannot be denied that many of these statutes have unintended negative consequences due to many legal gray areas. One example is charging with statutory rape two teenagers who engage in consensual sex simply because both are just 14 or 15 years old. Though underage, they can both be convicted and carry the stigma of having been convicted for the rest of their lives.

According to the Flaherty Defense Firm, in the state of Florida “all sex crime allegations are felony offenses. Under the Florida Punishment Code Scoresheet, all of them will require a mandatory prison sentence if you are convicted. There are also several enhancements on the scoresheet related to sexual contact and sexual penetration that dramatically increase the sentencing exposure.

The vast majority of sexually related offenses (in Destin) are either second degree or first degree felonies. This means that the penalty can be anywhere between 15 years and life in prison if you are convicted.

When faced with such a terrifying ordeal, it would be easy to decide that there is no hope. That there is no way to get around the fact that your life is over and you are going to prison.

Do NOT make this mistake. Just because you have been accused does not mean it is a sure thing that you will get convicted. What it does mean, however, is that you must make a decision right now, before it is too late, that you are going to fight back and do everything you can to save yourself. However, fighting back with a state-funded public defender with hundreds of cases can be a bleak attempt at ensuring your freedom. If you value your freedom and your future, then having the very best criminal defense attorney you can afford may be the only way to save yourself.

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Advantages of Ridesharing to Passengers

Ridesharing is becoming more and more popular, and there are very good reasons for it. It gives advantages to both driver and passenger that cannot be achieved in other modes of transportation, such as public buses and private vehicles. To understand this phenomenon better, the advantages of ridesharing services to passengers have been written below.

More accessible services

Ridesharing services maximize the advancement of technology to make the entire process easier and more accessible. If you want to use a ridesharing service such as Uber and Lyft, all you need to do is download the respective app in your phone, register, customize your ride, and you are ready to get access to drivers around you who will compete for your ride.

Easier modes of payment

Ridesharing services accept credit cards you have registered in your account, so you won’t have to worry again that you do not have enough cash for a ride. You cannot say the same for taxis. Aside from that, most of these services are relatively cheaper compared to taxis.

Safer travel

It is true that ridesharing services are also accessible to potential drivers, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can just get the authority to do such a service. Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies have extensive background checks to make sure that the passengers are safe from unqualified drivers, especially those that can do them harm.

More pleasant experience

Ridesharing services trump not just taxis, but also the private vehicles of potential passengers. Instead of gassing up and fighting through traffic, they can just utilize a ridesharing service. This way, they wouldn’t think about the expenses of gas and the hassles of traffic. This gives them the alternative of a more peaceful journey.

Since ridesharing services are booming, it should not be overlooked that more and more people are also at risk of traffic accidents involving them. In those instances, getting the help of professionals who specialize on ridesharing accidents may be a good idea, such as the Mokaram Law Firm.

But these services are seldom involved in traffic accidents. In a way, utilizing these services is still worth it, considering all their benefits of accessibility, safety, and serenity.

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Preventing Falls In Nursing Homes

Falls are quite common in nursing homes. Nursing home falls attorneys will tell you that few other accidents will have the same effect on an elderly person than a fall. Several studies have revealed that approximately 1.5 falls happen in nursing homes in a year. While majority are benign and injury-free, 10% to 25% of falls result in hospital admission and/or fractures. Nursing home administrators and caregivers are constantly aiming to prevent nursing home falls.

Fall prevention among elderly patients poses a major challenge to nursing homes. While only 5% of adults more than 65 years old live in nursing homes, it represents 20% of fall-related deaths. Falls may lead to disability, functional decline, low quality of life, and even death. Every year, a total of 1,800 nursing home residents die from falls annually.

There are several steps that nursing homes can implement in order to prevent falls among elderly patients. The first step in prevention is risk assessment. There are different factors that contribute to nursing home falls. Most of them are well documented. In order to minimize them, it is important for the facility to conduct a risk assessment.

Another way to prevent falls in the nursing home is for the patient to be constantly moving. Physical activity can make a huge difference in preventing falls. The elderly can do different activities such as walking, water workouts, tai chi, and others. Constant movement can help reduce the potential of falls as it improves the strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility of the elderly.

Intervention is another effective method for preventing falls in the nursing home. Since there are many factors that can contribute to falls, no single intervention can lead to prevention of falls. A comprehensive assessment is therefore necessary in order to effectively develop a care plan for the residents.

Finally, obstacles in the nursing home hazard should be removed in order to keep the premises safe. Boxes, newspapers, and electrical cords must be removed from walkways. The nursing home should have adequate lighting to prevent the patient from tripping.

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Workplace Injuries: What to Do in the Aftermath

It’s not surprising to know that the workplace can be a particularly dangerous place for individuals involved in manual labor jobs. Accidents happen frequently in worksites for manufacturing, mining, and construction. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more than over 2.9 million workplace injuries were reported in the private industry sector during the year 2013. These reports showed that the most common accidents in high-risk workplaces are slipping and falling, toxic exposure, electrocution, and those caused by defective equipment or machinery.

There’s no foolproof way to completely prevent this accidents from happening in workplaces. However, as the lawyers of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC note, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was legislated in the US as a way to protect workers from the serious consequences of these situations. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that employers follow certain regulations, including ensuring that their workplaces live up to particular safety standards. When these standards aren’t met, other avenues have been made available for workers and employees affected by such negligence.

Workplace accidents often lead to injuries affecting an individual’s ability to work and earn a living. Workers in this position are left with very little options. Recovering from a workplace injury will require taking time off from work, and many individuals might not be able to afford taking such a long break from their source of income. Fortunately, the law entitles workplace accident victims to workers’ compensation benefits. The compensation awarded to victims can help in covering medical bills and additional expenses.

Still, even with the available legal procedures, many people still find it difficult to claim the workers’ compensation that owed to them. In fact, the process of claiming workers’ compensation can tediously take a long time. Injured workers are advised to seek out assistance from an experienced legal professional to help expedite the process.

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Possible Damages In An Overtime Wage Claim

If necessary, employees are willing to do overtime work. And if you do so, the FLSA requires your employer to pay you overtime wage. The sad news is that, as bared by the website of Williams Kherkher, many companies do not pay employees the overtime pay they are entitled to. For employees who were denied their overtime pay, they can file a claim and recover damages from their employer.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, employees can recover their unpaid wages with an overtime pay lawsuit. By filing a case, an employee can recover damages and make their employer liable. The FLSA usually awards liquidated and punitive damages to a plaintiff. Liquidated damages are unpaid wages which is equivalent to the amount that your employer owed you. It is often called as “double damages.” An employer can avoid paying liquidated damages if they can show that their act was done in good faith. Second, that they had the reasonable belief that they were not required to pay the wages being questioned.

When it comes to punitive damages, the FLSA does not have specific provisions. However, some courts will award punitive damages if there was retaliation from the employer for an employee who exercised their rights under the FLSA. However, Federal law restricts the awarding of punitive damages, However, some states have laws that award punitive damages for intentional wage violations. The available damage shall be dictated by either the state law or court discretion.

There are instances when interest on the unpaid wages can be awarded by the court. You will also be receiving what is so-called “waiting time” penalty which is equivalent to 30 days of the employee’s unpaid wages. If you win the case, your employer will also pay you attorney’s fees as well as the costs for pushing through with the case.

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