August 2017 Archives

Common pipe repair method exposes workers to chemicals

Municipal water and sewer departments in Minnesota can no longer assume that cured-in-place pipe repair methods do not pose a hazard to workers and citizens. A study of the technique conducted by researchers from Purdue University discovered that the process releases plumes of chemicals that could expose workers and perhaps the public to carcinogens.

Common Minnesota construction injury accidents

According to a report by the Center for Construction Research and Training, approximately 800 construction workers, lost their lives between 2011 and 2015 due to struck-by incidents. These include situations in which workers are hit by equipment, objects or vehicles. The CPWR reported that 48 percent of fatalities involved vehicle accidents, and that 57 percent of those cases occurred in designated work zones.

Drug testing injured workers may be considered retaliation

Due to a new OSHA rule on mandatory electronic reporting, some employers may experience problems when drug testing employers after injuries. The use of drug test after a work accident could potentially fall under rules prohibiting employer retaliation against workers. In essence, use of the mandatory screening could result in workers failing to report injuries. OSHA has also taken authority to file retaliation charges against employers, which means that an employee doesn't have to file the charge first for action to be taken.

Trenching accident injuries

Although all construction work in Minnesota has its hazards, trenching is considered to be one of the riskiest ones. In 2016, for example, the number of trenching fatalities around the country were more than twice that of the previous year. Trenching is so dangerous due to the fact that dirt can weigh more than a ton per cubic yard, which is heavy enough to crush workers if they become trapped in a collapsed trench.

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