OSHA, Working to Ensure Safety and Health in the Workplace

The many different work-related accidents in the past have all contributed to the US government’s decision to enact a law that would ensure and enforce health and safety in the workplace for the benefit of all employees in the US.

This led to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which, in turn, gave rise to the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the task of which is to ensure that all work sites are compliant with the government’s safety standard and are medically safe.

Among all work places, construction sites are acknowledged as the most dangerous due to the dangers and risks constructions workers are exposed to. These dangers, according to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, which are also the usual causes of construction accidents, included scaffolding problems, falling tools and/or equipment, crane collapse, construction vehicle (such as cranes and forklifts) accidents.

Much earlier than the OSHA, the Workers’ Compensation Benefit was passed into law in 1908. The primary intention of this law was to give immediate financial benefit to workers injured during the performance of their job; those who developed job-related illnesses were also covered by the law. Workers’ comp was intended to financially assist the injured worker in his/her medical needs and to provide temporary monetary assistance due to loss of capacity to work and earn a wage.

Construction site and other job-related injuries number to more than two million every year, while the number of deaths total to about 14,000. Many other laws have also been created to significantly reduce these numbers. Government standards were also set regarding the quality of the tools and equipment to be used, provision of health stations where workers can avail of immediate treatment in the event of an accident and education of workers regarding proper use and maintenance of everything in the workplace.

OSHA believes that many workplace accidents can be prevented; all it takes is the business’ strict compliance with the agency’s policies. Failure to still maintain safety in the workplace, despite all the communications issued by OSHA regarding job safety and health, would already be a clear indication of an employer’s negligence in performing his/her duty for the benefit of the employees.  If you have been injured at your workplace, or specifically a construction site, an employment attorney or a construction accident lawyer may be able to help you with your situation.

The Hope to Rebuild After the Storm: A Hope Lost Due to Insurance Providers?

A year after hurricane Sandy hit and devastated the United States, many are still homeless and battling with their insurance provider about the claim they believe they deserve, which will enable them to rebuild either their ruined of torn down houses.

The superstorm, according to the US National Hurricane Center, was 2012 Atlantic hurricane season’s deadliest and the second costliest storm to ever hit the United States. This October 29, 2012, Category 2 storm, affected as many as 24 states, most especially New Jersey and New York, wreaking damages estimated between $50 and $68 billion and claimed more than 150 lives; 72 deaths happened during the storm itself, while 87 more lives were lost after the storm, due to accidents during the cleanup phase, carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia or extremely low body temperature because of power outages.

New York City, specifically, which the superstorm severely affected, suffered the destruction of thousands of vehicles and homes, flooding of the majority of its road tunnels, suburban communities and subway system, destruction of many business establishments and homes due to fire, power outages for several days, closure of businesses, such as the New York Stock Exchange, for days, and closure and evacuation of hospitals.

Almost everyone was in need of urgent care which many did not even know where and what the source would be, for almost all the residents of the city and neighboring states were just like them – victims of the natural disaster.

Equally worse, though, is the fact that even after a year, so many of those whose homes the storm destroyed are still homeless. Their hope to rebuild their destroyed properties cannot be started or finished as these individuals are still fighting against their insurance provider on the issue of hurricane insurance claim. With regard to dealing with Insurance companies for the financial benefit that ought to enable them to have a brand new start, it would seem that the storm has also washed away all their hopes.

Many legal experts believe that many Insurance firms employ a delaying strategy in releasing the claims of policy holders. This is besides assessing damage to properties inaccurately to give them the reason to award a benefit that is far below what the policy holder expects.

Sad to say, but, sometimes, dealing with Insurance providers is worse than dealing with a destructive storm. Insurance policies and the laws governing the Insurance business are long and complicated that for the policy holder to deal with his/her provider alone would be a hopeless endeavor. Having a legal expert to help you fight for your rights would be much advisable; this way, no Insurance firm would be able to mislead you about any stipulations indicated in your contract.

Sexual Discrimination and the Laws that Protect Employees against It

The early part of the 20th century and onwards was a turnaround in the business sector as this was the time when the US government started enacting and implementing laws that would protect the rights and interests of employees all across the United States. Laws against workplace discrimination that would ensure equal opportunity to all employees, as well as laws that would assure just wages and provision of financial assistance in the event of injuries or illnesses that are work-related are the targets of these laws.

The website of Cary Kane LLP, is right in saying that no employee can be unjustly terminated from work or unjustly treated, whether by his/her employer, manager or co-workers; anyone who believes that he/she is a victim of unfair and unlawful workplace practices can seek protection from the law to bring the perpetrator to justice and seek compensation for whatever damage and/or harm such injustice may have caused him/her.

Laws that prohibit workplace discrimination due to a person’s nationality, color, race, religion, age, genetic information, disability and sex, are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This agency of the federal government that is tasked to enforce anti-workplace discrimination laws also prohibits an employer or co-employee from resorting to retaliatory acts due to an individual’s decision to report, participate in, and/or oppose discriminatory practices in the workplace.

One illegal practice in the workplace that has earned the attention of the EEOC is sexual harassment. There are different Acts/laws that specifically address this concern; one of these is the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which says that male or female employees who perform equal work, so long as this work requires the same skills, responsibilities and efforts, and is done in the same workplace, ought to receive the same compensation. This law was enacted in 1963.

Another is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which was enacted in 1964, the law that strictly illegalizes any discriminatory and retaliatory acts against any employee; this includes discrimination based on an employee’s gender. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has had a few amendments; two of these are worth mentioning due to their connection to sexual harassment. One amendment, made in 2011, included sex discrimination as being committed through acts of “sex-stereotyping” made against gays, lesbians and bisexuals. The other, which was made in 2012, extended the law’s protection to cover gender identity and transgender status. Even pregnant women are protected against workplace and sexual discrimination. This protection is provided by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

These laws, with the others, are meant to establish good relationship, order, fairness and equality in all workplaces. Employees who feel that they have been discriminated in any way can file a complaint against the guilty individual who, by the way, may also be one of their company’s clients.

Actonel – A Harmful Osteoporosis Drug

A pharmaceutical drug, otherwise called medicinal product, medicine or medication, is manufactured for purposes of medical diagnoses, prevention, treatment or cure of diseases. Three well-known FDA-approved medicines, under the class known as Bisphosphonate, are Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva – all for prevention and treatment of (post-menopausal) osteoporosis, a medical condition wherein bones turn fragile and brittle due to loss of tissue, an occurrence that usually results from deficiency in vitamin D, calcium or hormonal changes.

Women suffering from post-menopausal osteoporosis are prescribed with one of the three medicines mentioned to help decrease the fracture of bones in their body. In a test conducted, called the Fosamax Actonel Comparison Trial (FACT) trial, Fosamax edged Actonel in the manifestation of decrease in bone loss, seen through a substantial decrease in bone turnover and increases in mineralization.

Another study was conducted, though, which compared the performance and effectivity of the three drugs. The study showed that, while Boniva and Fosamax manifested desired results (that is, decrease of bone fractures) after two years of use, Actonel proved effective only after a year of intake, enabling researchers to confidently say that Actonel works much faster.

The result of this last study has only reassured University of Cincinnati Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center director Nelson B. Watts, MD and Women’s Health Center at The Cleveland Clinic director Holly Thacker, MD, in their decision of to prescribe Actonel over any other drug for treatment of osteoporosis.

In January of 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a health alert, stating the possible risk associated with the use of bisphosphonates. These risks included serious bone, muscle and/or joint pains which may incapacitate a patient. Thus, use of any of the bisphosphonate drugs necessitated both physician and patient to fully understand the benefits and possible side-effects of the drugs.

Actonel, in particular, despite its benefits, is known to cause certain serious side-effects, such as femur fractures, rashes, skin reactions, hypersensitivity and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Actonel (with the generic name Risedronate sodium) was approved for distribution on March 27, 1998; it is manufactured by Procter & Gamble.

One side-effect caused by Actonel, which has resulted to lawsuits is Femur Fracture.

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