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January 2018 Archives

Collisions Caused by Road Debris

A truck driver was recently killed in a collision in Grady County when he swerved to avoid road debris, then lost control of his vehicle. Dual rear tires flew off of a different vehicle traveling the opposite direction as the truck driver. As he swerved to avoid the tires, he went off the road and lost control of his tractor trailer, which flipped over. He was wearing a seatbelt, but was pinned and partially ejected from the cabin during the roll, and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to Oklahoma 4 News. Road debris itself may not cause a collision, but the act of swerving to avoid it is certainly a great hazard for everyone on the road.

Remaining safe around backing vehicles

Oklahoma workers should be aware that data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the number of job site deaths caused by backing vehicles has been constant across the country from 2012 to 2015. To remain safe at work and to avoid being injured or killed by vehicles that are traveling in reverse, there are some best practices that can be used.

OSHA loses inspectors under Trump administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency responsible for protecting workers, has lost a total of 40 inspectors during President Trump's first year in office. By early October of 2017, the number of OSHA inspectors fell below 1,000. This should be of concern to residents of Oklahoma who work in high-risk industries like construction and manufacturing as the decrease in inspectors has affected regional OSHA offices as well.

Crush Accidents on Construction Sites

According to Oklahoma News 4, a construction worker at a solar power plant near Covington was killed after being pinned under a trenching machine, which has chainsaw-like blades that dig into the earth to carve out trenches. No one witnessed the accident, and authorities believe that he either tripped and fell under the machine or a piece of his clothing was caught and pulled him in. Another employee was killed more recently in Preston, Oklahoma where he was crushed by an oilfield pulling unit. Pulling units are used repair oil wells, and the employee was on the unit when it collapsed. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fatal accident, according to Oklahoma News 4.

Workplace injuries up, with transportation incidents topping list

Workplace fatalities are continuing to increase, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately one out of every four fatal injuries on the job are due to transportation incidents, the top cause of workplace incidents. Employees in Oklahoma and throughout the United States are also at an increased risk of experiencing injuries due to workplace violence and exposure to harmful substances, although injuries attributed to fires and explosions are on the decline.

LGBT Employment Discrimination

Just recently a federal jury awarded over $1 million to a transgender plaintiff in Oklahoma. The lawsuit claimed that she had been discriminated against for four years as a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and had been denied tenure because of her transgender status, according to Lexology. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and while her hostile work environment claim was denied, the claim for discrimination and employer retaliation was accepted. If you have faced employment discrimination because of your sexual orientation, you need to contact a lawyer at once.

Court tosses industry challenge to silica rule

Oklahoma employees who have to work around silica should be aware of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It rejected the challenges from industry groups regarding the silica rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The court also required the agency to explain why medical surveillance provisions were left out of the silica rule.

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