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July 2015 Archives

Opioid drug addiction following workplace injuries

A recent report from the National Safety Council indicates that injured workers in Colorado and around the country are more than twice as likely to become disabled if they take opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycontin or Percocet for more than a week. The abuse of prescription drugs such as narcotic pain medication is a growing problem in the United States, and the NSC report indicates that these highly addictive drugs make up more than 25 percent of workers' compensation drug costs.

5-part protocol necessary for fall protection of workers

Not everyone in Colorado has the nerve to work in high places such as cranes, light towers, bridges or amusement park rides. The risks these workers take to build or maintain structures are well documented. Every year, falls account for a large share of construction site injuries. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration repeatedly cites employers for violations in fall protection safety procedures.

Recording leads to large judgment against anesthesiologist

Colorado residents may be aware of one-party consent, the legal requirement that only one person needs to be aware of the recording of a conversation in which they're involved. This issue contributed to the successful malpractice and defamation lawsuit against an anesthesiologist by a patient who inadvertently recorded the doctor during a colonoscopy in 2013. The $500,000 judgement in favor of the plaintiff hinged in part on the fact that the recording was deemed to be legal because Virginia, the state in which the medical procedure occurred, is a one-party consent state.

Hazardous materials and workplace safety

Colorado residents who are involved in the transportation of hazardous materials may be at heightened risk due to lack of regulatory action and poor technological implementation. Although many companies employ smart shipping container technology to keep track of freight, experts say that the same devices should also be used to help emergency response teams take corrective action following incidents like rail accidents and spills.

OSHA plans workplace safety inspections at nursing homes

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration could soon target many nursing homes and other inpatient health care centers in Colorado for inspections. On June 25, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators entitled 'Inspection Guidance for Inpatient Healthcare Settings." The memorandum is part of OSHA's heath care enforcement initiative that is aimed at lowering the number of workplace injuries and illnesses at nursing homes and inpatient health care facilities.

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