Workplace Regulations: Clean air systems

Air quality in the workplace must abide by a series of strict, well-defined standards enforced by OSHA. These standards exist to ensure a safe working environment for employees in facilities where harmful fumes and particles create potential health risks. Employers who don’t abide by these regulations are breaking the law, and run the risk of being fined or sued.

OSHA has a responsibility to ensure that all workplaces are free of risks to employees that could potentially cause death or illness. In manufacturing facilities, these risks most often come from the fumes that are produced when welding metals. These weld fumes can cause serious health risks, such as prolonged, flu-like illness, and can even cause cancer if not properly regulated and controlled.

To prevent workers contracting serious illnesses such as these, OSHA has defined set amounts of fumes, called permissible exposure limits (PELs) that are acceptable in a workplace. Limits on metals such as cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, nickel, and manganese ensure that workers won’t contract illness from toxic fumes from these metals. The permissible amount of toxins in the air is constantly getting lower as well, and employers should keep in mind that their acceptable levels of toxins today may not be acceptable tomorrow.

If a facility finds that its emissions are exceeding OSHA regulations, there are several steps it can take to reduce fumes. The problem may be as simple as a poor manufacturing process, which only requires changes to that process to fix. It may be something as simple as a toxic weld surface, which can be easily switched out.

However, the problem is often more complicated than that and requires a dedicated solution. A capture system is usually utilized in these situations to collect toxic particles and fumes before workers breathe them in. These systems can use source capture, which manages local fumes in a specific area, and ambient capture, which is installed throughout the entire manufacturing facility and create an airflow within the building which captures and expels dangerous fumes. Which system a facility should install depends on the size and needs of that facility. Which one is more cost-effective depends and should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Before picking an air filtration solution, a facility should first have its air tested to determine if it needs filtration in the first place and if so, what dangerous particles are in the air. In order to test this, it’s necessary to bring in an experienced third-party industrial hygienist to perform an air audit. This not only produces a credible record of air quality to show inspectors, but it also indicates what areas the facility should improve on should OSHA decide to lower the acceptable toxin limit in the air.

Clean air is an essential element of everyday life and is even more important in the workplace. By staying aware of OSHA rules and hiring inspectors to ensure that air quality is acceptable, manufacturing facilities can foster employee goodwill and keep their workers safe.

Photos Can Be Used to Deny Disability Claims

Insurance is a business, and as such, an insurance company will do everything it can to increase the money that goes in and decrease the money that goes out. This usually means that it will exert significant effort in trying to deny as many claims as possible. However, this can become a problem if a legitimate claim has been denied.

According to the website of Fields Disability, denied claims can be appealed, so don’t be afraid to ask why your claim has been denied and fight back.

Questioning your disability

But why are claims denied? One of the most common reasons is that your disability is questionable. It can be questionable because of many things, like when you don’t have enough medical records to prove it or when you have photos that prove that you are still quite capable.

The first one can easily be fixed by undergoing more medical tests, getting your medical records, and asking medical professionals to write opinions to make your claim more authoritative. But the second one can be problematic.

Yes, pictures can be used to make your disability questionable, especially if these pictures signify that you are capable of doings things that a disabled person should not be.

Taking pictures

An insurance company investigates cases not just to save money, but also to give coverage only to those who truly deserve it. One way to investigate is to record you in public. The insurance company may employ an investigator to take pictures of you, like when you are casually walking outside, taking the trash out, lifting heavy objects out of the house, and other physical activities that may show that you are not as disabled as you claim, and therefore does not deserve to be compensated.

Searching social media

Because of the rise of technology, the insurance company may not even get off the building to investigate you. It may just look into your public profiles and look for signs that you are not as disabled as you claim. The most common public profiles it may utilize are social media ones, particularly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The website fieldsdisability.com has written an interesting piece about social media and denied disability claims.

If you have public photos that show you doing things that a disabled person cannot do, and that these photos are posted in a time where the disability claim is already relevant, your claim may be denied because of your disability being questionable.

Medical Malpractice: Birth Injuries

Medical Malpractice: Birth Injuries

Medical professionals need licenses to prove their competence. But there are times where even the most competent medical professionals become negligent or reckless. These instances can be overlooked if they didn’t cause harm to the patients, but if they do, it is a different story.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., those who have been victims of medical malpractice may take legal action against the responsible party, like the medical professional involved. A medical malpractice case can be viable if the following has occurred:

  • There is a legitimate relationship between the professional and the patient
  • The professional holds the duty of care for the said patient
  • The professional has compromised this duty of care through action or inaction
  • The compromise has resulted into the patient’s harm

The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP has enumerated various areas where medical malpractice can take place, and one of the most controversial ones involve birth injuries.

Birth injuries can occur in numerous ways. They can be sustained because of complications during the pregnancy or child birth. There are also instances where the incompetence or negligence of the medical professional is their direct cause, like when the medical professional has failed to diagnose or treat complications, mishandled a delivery instrument, or practiced improper delivery techniques. Below are just some of the worst birth injuries:

  • Brain and spinal cord damage and other traumatic injuries
  • Cephalohematoma and other bodily complications
  • Facial palsy and other forms of paralysis
  • Toxoplasmosis and other kinds of infections

However, it is important to mention that the medical industry is complicated. This is the very reason why those in the industry show their competence through licenses. Because of this complexity, some injuries and medical complications that have been sustained even while on the medical professional’s duty of care may be justifiable. They only become subject to medical malpractice cases if the medical professional has been negligent, reckless, or made a mistake that a reasonable professional shouldn’t have committed.

Common Defenses In Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Some of today’s nursing homes have become places where elderly residents get injured or die. When the family of the senior citizen entrusted them to the care of the facility, they had the assumption that their loved one is in good hands for spending the last years of their life. Unfortunately, the elderly gets subjected to physical abuse and left with serious injuries. As a result, the family of the elderly files a case to make the nursing home liability for the injuries.

Cases involving physical elder abuse can be long and complicated. Both defense and prosecution will gather evidences to get a favorable verdict. The nursing home will hire the best lawyer to get themselves out of the liability to the elderly individual. Their lawyers will use several defenses to bail their clients out of liability. Some of the common defenses will include:

Lack of Criminal Negligence

To get an acquittal for their client, lawyers will argue that there was no criminal negligence involved in the case. While the action was careless, negligence should also be present.

Lack of Intent

The lawyer will also use lack of intent in defending their client against any liability. They will prove that the accused did not willfully act in a manner that would cause harm to the elderly.

Victim Was Below 65 Years Old

Under the law, the victim should be more than 65 years old in order for the accused to be convicted. However, the defendant may still be criminally liable according to state laws.

Accused Was Unaware That Victim Was More Than 65 Years Old

The law stipulates that there should be knowledge on the part of the accused that the victim was over 65 years old. The defense can use the age factor as a reason for not being liable for elder abuse.

These are just some examples of defense that a lawyer will use to keep nursing homes from being liable for abuse or neglect of elderly residents.

Speeding may be Thrilling, but It is also Nothing More Than a Grave Act of Irresponsibility and an Act of Disregarding Your Safety and the Safety of Everyone Else

One sad thing about driving is once an individual (most especially someone between the age of 16 and 24) earns his/her driver’s license, he/she easily forgets how to be responsible on the road, more so when driving with friends. Once behind the wheel, so many drivers easily forget all the education, training, advertisements and reminders that tell them about safe driving and road safety rules which will help keep them away from an accident – from getting injured or killed, or from injuring or killing someone else. Due to this, more than five million vehicular crashes still occur every year, with at least 30,000 of these accidents resulting to death and more than two million leading to injuries.

The top four causes of car accidents, based on analysis of crash data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are drunk-driving or driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, distracted driving and overspeeding or driving above the set speed limit.

Driving above the set speed limit is the third major cause of fatal accidents among drivers, car passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. Every time a driver goes above the speed limit, he/she increases the risk of accident and compromises the safety of so many others. This is because speeding, as proven through studies and actual events, reduces a driver’s reaction time to danger, makes stopping or slowing down a vehicle much harder, and lessens a driver’s control over his/her vehicle.

There are millions of cars that fill US roads and highways every day, carrying people to different points of destination. The speed, convenience and comfort that cars give passengers have made these the most ideal means of transportation for Americans. However, like any other type of equipment, if cars are not used or driven safely, then bad results are always high possibilities.

According to a speeding accident lawyer from the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., when an accident occurs at high speeds, the amount of energy released during collision increases exponentially. The force of collision can cause life-altering injuries such as spinal and neck trauma (sometimes resulting in paralysis), head injuries, broken limbs, damage to internal organs, or severe lacerations and bruising; these are kinds of injuries that can rack up steep medical costs, and may prevent the victim’s ability to lead a normal life.

Speeding is something that a person willingly chooses to do. It can cause severe harm on anyone which, otherwise, may not even happen if traffic rules would properly be observed. This is why it is legally advisable for a victim to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault, first, to bring the liable driver to justice which, hopefully will make him/her have second thoughts about speeding again and, second, to seek compensation for the damages that his/her injury has caused, and will still cause. To make this legal move more beneficial to the victim, a seasoned personal injury lawyer or speeding accident lawyer may be able to provide the necessary legal assistance.

The Seriousness of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse has been on the rise, and the problem continues because many victims are too afraid to report their issues or they don’t know how to report them. Medical professionals have the legal and moral duty to report any abuse that occurs in a nursing home. In the state of Massachusetts, a number or laws and state regulations provide specific requisites for nurses to follow when reporting any form of abuse to their corresponding State Government.

According to the Board of Registration, abuse is defined as any “impermissible or unjustifiable contact or communication with a patient which in any way harms or intimidates, or is likely to harm or intimidate, a patient.” it can either be a verbal or non-verbal act that could cause the patient physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or even financial harm. Any nurse who has a direct observance of another nurse who committed in any form abuse has the responsibility of reporting the abusive nurse to the Board. The nursing complaint report should be completed and submitted to the Board.

Law firms such as Crowe & Mulvey, LLP suggest giving an oral report to their supervisor or their employer first, so that their supervisor or employer can inform the Department of Health. Families of the abused patient can file a personal injury claim against the staff or the nursing home facility if they prefer, and can hire a lawyer to help them with the claim. Nurses, and other medical professionals on the other hand, should follow the guidelines such as from M.G.L. c. 111, § 72G and from ref: 244 of the CMR 9.03(26). The penalties for failing to give oral and written report regarding the abuse when they where required includes a fine of less than US$ 1,000 and possible disciplinary actions by the Board.

Because of the fragile state of patients in nursing homes, any form or abuse, neglect, or maltreatment is and should be treated with seriousness. Regardless of their age, everyone has rights, and if those rights are taken advantage of then it is necessary to stop the abuse and ensure that the incident will not happen again.

Can Morcellators Cause Cancer?

Chances are, if a laparoscopic procedure is possible – that would be the most sought after option. There are many benefits with having a laparoscopic procedure done instead of a traditional one. The incision could be comparable to a paper cut in contrast to the intrusion that a traditional surgical procedure would entail. Thanks to the minimal intrusion, the recovery period would be dramatically reduced. In fact, some people who get laparoscopic surgery have been cleared out of the hospital only hours after the procedure, not weeks.

Procedures like this, however, do not come without risks. There is significant evidence, provided by claims cited on the website of Williams Kherkher Law Firm, that morcellators have been linked to women acquiring endometrial cancer after their hysterectomy procedures.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. Usually, these are done for purposes that are not, necessarily, life threatening. There is quite the debate between women who have that this procedure done who are now either pleased with the outcome or in a state of absolute regret due to having had it done. It can be reason enough for regret if this procedure has caused cancer.

Morcellators are surgical devices used for laparoscopic surgeries. There is a claw-like attachment at the end of it that allows for it to morcellate the noncancerous growth (otherwise known as grinding it to pieces) and then attaching meat, then suctioning it out through the tube. The morcellators manufactured by Johnson and Johnson have been recalled after numerous claims that state that it was the use of this device that had caused for the women to develop cancer.

If you or someone you know has gotten cancer due to a link with morcellators made by Johnson and Johnson, it is recommended that experienced legal help is sought in order to be represented justly and with the fullest extent of the law, all the while having the case and the victim to be cared for by capable, compassionate hands.

Man Claims He Invented the Safest Bike Ever

The website of the Law Offices of Williams Kherkher explains that the aftermath of accidents can be overwhelming. Many people are aware of this and take appropriate precautions to keep themselves safe. For those that love biking just as much as they love staying safe, British inventor Crispin Sinclair claims he has invented the safest bike in the world.

His invention is called the Babel Bike, which according to CNET Magazine is getting its financial start as an Indiegogo campaign. Aesthetically, the Babel Bike stays true to a traditional bike by having two wheels, but veers away from the typical model from there.

The bike comes with a safety cage, seatbelt, front and rear lights, rear-view mirrors, turn signals, a horn, brake lights, and hazard lights. Sinclair says the safety cage and seatbelt minimize damage to the biker because when getting hit the biker is pushed instead of crushed.

The monetary goal for the campaign is about $74,000. Both electric and non-electric versions of the bike can be bought. The electric bike currently can be purchased for a $4,430 pledge to the campaign and runs for 50-80 miles and the non-electric bike comes in a little less at $2,950.

People who have commented about the product online have critiqued it by saying the price is way too high, and that you can get a quality bicycle for just $100. Other critiques have focused in on the design of the Babel Bike itself. Because it is seated low, they fear the rider may become too relaxed and not have the level of alertness required for a biker on the road.

Only time will tell if Sinclair or his critiques will have the last word. Maybe the Babel Bike really is the biggest road safety innovation since the seat belt, or maybe it is just another tech fad.

What are PCBs?

PCBs are polychlorinated biphenyls, or a compound that links chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen atoms. These man-made chemicals were used in a number of products before being found to be severely toxic in the 1970s. Among the main uses of PCBs included in surface coatings of buildings, adhesives, paint, and electrical equipment. Because of the commonality of the use of PCBs, at least 10 percent of PCBs produced after 1929 are still in the environment today. This has occurred due to the poor disposal methods in place for PCBs. For example, when PCBs are incinerated or stored in landfills, the chemical releases more harmful toxins that can seep into the water, land, and air.

PCBs have a highly stable molecular structure that causes them to persist in the environment. This persistence affects the health of the plants and animals exposed to the dangerous chemical. In the 1970’s, it was found that PCBs are cancerous and can cause deformities and other serious health complications. This becomes hazardous when the irresponsible disposal of PCBs places the chemicals in direct contact with water, crops, and animals that are later consumed by humans. Consuming poultry, fish, and other contaminated meat is the primary cause of humans having higher levels of PCBs in their bodies.

Monsanto was the sole manufacturer of PCBs in the United States until the manufacturing of PCBs was made illegal. The main facility this took place at was outside of St. Louis, Missouri. This area currently has the highest rate of fetal death and immature births in the state due to the proximity of the PCB manufacturing plant. Other Monsanto PCBs are directly linked to pollution and contamination of entire cities such as San Diego, California and Anniston, Alabama. These contaminated spaces leave thousands of men, women, and children exposed to potentially fatal diseases.

You Can Sell Your Mineral Rights in the US

People who own land in the US are lucky; they not only own the surface land but they also own the mineral estate (or mineral rights). In other countries such as Great Britain, the general rule is that the government owns mineral rights.

Mineral rights are a form of real estate that is distinct from surface land rights. It is the legal prerogative of the owner to exploit whatever materials found under the surface, which may have commercial or industrial value. These materials may be organic such as oil or inorganic such as gemstones. In most countries, the financial benefits from these materials pass on to the state. The exceptions are the US and Canada.

A landowner in the US owns the surface land as evidenced by a land title or deed. Typically, the mineral rights are part of this deed unless it has been severed. Severed mineral rights means that the rights of ownership for the surface land is distinct from that of the underlying surface. If the owners of these are two separate people, the surface landowner has no right to any profit that comes from the mineral rights.

A landowner may have no clue that the land under the homestead, farm, or empty lot contains a fortune in things like metal, oil, natural gas, coal, stone, salt, or gemstones, but you can be sure that those who make it their business to know do. Speculators will frequently offer to buy the mineral rights of land in areas identified as a hot spot for valuable minerals, so that is a good sign that you can sell your mineral rights for a good price.

However, the only real way to exploit these riches is to mine them. That is usually a non-starter unless you are already in the business of doing that. Mining is by no means a simple or easy undertaking; you will be better off selling your minerals rights rather than trying to do it yourself.

You can sell your mineral rights to whomever you please and for whatever amount you want. However, if you have no idea of what you are doing, you should consider consulting with professionals before committing to a sale. You could be signing away your mineral rights for much less than you should.

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