A Home-Grown Problem: Air pollution in America

Clean air is something that most of us take for granted—most of us don’t have to worry about whether the air that we breathe will cause health issues for us or not. When we think about the people affected by polluted air, we think of workers in third world countries or people with unique medical conditions that make them uniquely sensitive to dust and smog. However, clean air is a very real concern for regular workers right here in America—and ignoring it could lead to long-term health consequences for thousands, according to experts at Robovent.

Thousands of manufacturing workers work under conditions that could be hazardous to their health. The most notable form of air pollution in manufacturing facilities comes from weld fumes. Weld fumes are produced, as their name would suggest, by welding. The welding process creates microscopic metal particles that are released into the air and can be breathed in by unsuspecting workers or bystanders.

Weld fumes are dangerous in large part due to their microscopic size. They are unnoticeable when ingested, and can collect in lungs, and even move on to the bloodstream. Foreign objects in the lungs and bloodstream is a cause for concern in any context, but these weld fumes become even more dangerous when manufacturing workers are welding certain kinds of metals. Exposure to particulates of hexavalent chromium or manganese, in particular, can cause severe health issues. These two metals are alarmingly prevalent in common metals, such as stainless steel. As it’s very likely that workers will encounter weld fumes containing these dangerous metals, caution is a must in a workplace where welding is taking place.

Manufacturing workers that have developed health issues from weld fumes have reported an array of symptoms. The most immediate and common symptoms are a pain in the eyes and throat, the two areas most immediately vulnerable to metallic particles. More serious exposure could lead to a prolonged illness with flu-like symptoms. Long-term exposure could even lead to permanent damage of the kidney and nervous system. In worst-case scenarios, exposure to the dangerous metals hexavalent chromium or manganese could lead to Parkinson’s-like symptoms or even cancer. The link between cancer and weld fumes is well-established by years of research and must be taken seriously.

With health risks this serious, it’s no surprise that there are stringent regulations surrounding the manufacturing industry, specifically around the emissions of weld fumes. OSHA has limits on the amount of fumes that workers can be exposed to in order to minimize the risks of contracting the myriad health issues associated with them. If facilities don’t abide by these regulations, they run the risk of being fined or sued.

Management at manufacturing facilities has a clear responsibility to their workers. A workplace that has weld fumes in it is by definition a hazardous one and must be managed with the utmost caution. Compliance with OSHA regulations is a must not only because of the consequences that come with breaking them, but also because of the well-being and dignity of the many workers who put their well-being at risk while welding every day.

Clean Air and Ventilation Technology

Recent scientific studies show different kinds of dangers that threaten worker health and safety, especially in manufacturing plants. There are weld fumes, heavy metals, oil mists, silica dust, asbestos fibers and combustible dust, all of which render assuring and maintaining good air quality in these workplaces a really tough challenge.

Manufacturers and plant owners know that eliminating airborne contaminants in order to comply with air quality regulations is their major responsibility. Thus, while a number of them resort to reviewing their engineering processes to see if may be able to remove the obvious sources of contaminants, others have started to implement a dust or weld capture solution.  There are also manufacturers and plant owners who have moved to using clean air technology systems for the collection and filtering of airborne contaminants common in a wide variety of metalworking processes as well as other process systems, particularly those involving wood, paper, chemical, pharmaceutical and food production.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace regulations include, among others, ensuring and maintaining good air quality in the workplace since good air quality is a major contributory factor to worker health and safety. With this, OSHA sees to it that employers, especially manufacturers, are well aware of how important maintaining good air quality in the workplace is. Aside from OSHA regulations, air quality guidelines are also implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The EPA is a U.S. government agency which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment, while the ACGIH is a 501(c)(3) charitable scientific organization that advances occupational and environmental health.

Maintaining clean air isn’t just an ethical and functional necessity, it is the law. Failure to comply with air quality regulations opens a business to multiple liabilities. Regulatory agencies can levy serious fines if they find a that facility is out of compliance. Lawsuits stemming from health-related problems are worsened in the case of noncompliance, as well.

 

 

Top Causes of Workplace Injuries

Employers should be responsible enough to make sure that the work place and its conditions are safe enough to avoid accidents. If they fail to take on this responsibility, they can be subject to workplace injury lawsuits.

But for some reason, workplace injuries still occur, as if the law doesn’t have enough restrictions to completely prevent them from happening. The issue is big enough to make legal professionals, like those from the Bruner Law Firm, to take it seriously.

Of course, prevention is always better than having lawsuits and compensations. Below is a list of the common causes of workplace injuries, so you can prevent them from happening to yourself and your colleagues.

Dangerous materials
Chemicals, toxic wastes, and other hazardous substances can cause external injuries such as burns and skin infections and internal injuries such as respiratory diseases. These hazards are not just in liquid form, as there are other materials out there that can cause you harm, like how asbestos has been known to cause a form of cancer. Always make sure that you are using protective gear or limiting your contact with hazardous materials as much as you can.

Poor ergonomics
Sometimes, workplace injuries are not violent and apparent. They can happen slowly without you noticing them until they are already severe. Poor design in the workplace, like when your monitor is too low and you need to crouch and when your station is too small that you need to curve your legs, can lead to injuries. The most common design issues cause injuries to the wrists, neck, back, hips, legs, and feet.

Pushing, pulling, and lifting
Physically demanding activities, particularly those that are done for a huge amount of time, can have a toll in your body. The most common injuries involving physically demanding tasks include the neck, back, arms, hands, hips, legs, knees, and feet. Sometimes, injuries can still occur even if the objects involved are not heavy, especially if the manner of pushing, pulling, and lifting is improper.

Slips, trips, and falls
Slips, trips, and falls are not just exclusive for inherently dangerous work environments like construction sites, where there are a lot of materials lying around that can trip you and a lot of gaps in the area where you can fall. Even office workers can be victims of such accidents, particularly because of spilled drinks, unorganized documents, slippery floors, and defective elevators, escalators, and stairs.

How to File an FLSA Claim for Unpaid Wages or Overtime Violations

The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA protects employees in the United States from abusive and unfair labor practices with regards to the payment of wages. Part of it covers regulations on overtime pay and requires employees to properly compensate workers with an overtime wage that’s 1.5 times more than their regular rate. When these regulations are violated, employees have the option of filing an FLSA claim to be compensated for unpaid wages.

While it’s certainly possible to navigate an FLSA claim on one’s own, it can get easily complicated without the counsel of a legal professional. Getting an attorney on board at the very start of the process can help you assess the facts of your particular case and work on a plan of action based on your own situation. Employees covered by the FLSA have 2-3 years to file their claims. This timeline starts on the date in which the alleged wage violation was committed. It lasts for 3 years if said violations were willfully committed by an employer, and lasts for 2 years if the violation isn’t found to be a willful act. If the claim is successfully granted by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, you might be able to receive compensation that’s double the amount of unpaid wages owed by the employer. If, however, the clam isn’t successful, you still have the option to file a civil suit against your employer.

Of course, many individuals hesitate to go through this process and file an FLSA claim for their back pay due to fear of retaliation. As such, it should be properly emphasized that it would be illegal for your employer to participate in any discriminatory retaliation acts because of your decision to file an FLSA claim. It would be against the law for any employer to terminate a worker or prohibit them from receiving promotions and similar opportunities due to FLSA claims and other complaints.

Grounds for a Marriage to be Declared Null and/or Void

There are 17 states in the U.S. that are known as “no fault” divorce states. In these states, which include Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, Florida, Colorado and California, a spouse may file a petition for divorce with his/her partner without the need of having to cite a reasonable ground, such as adultery or cruelty. Thus, simply stating “irreconcilable differences,” which renders a marriage being beyond repair, as the basis for divorce would already be acceptable. All other remaining states are known as ‘fault” divorce states due to need for the one filing for divorce to cite a valid reason due to which the divorce is being sought.

Divorce, however, may be filed only if the marriage entered into by two individuals is legally binding. If a marriage, from the very start was null or invalid, then termination of the marital union should be through annulment.

An annulment is a legal declaration of the cancellation of a marriage. It has to be canceled and declared canceled to give the spouses, or a spouse who has been offended (based on the second reason below), the right to enter, this time, into a legally binding marital union. A marriage is considered non-legally binding and, therefore, invalid from very start, due to any of the following reasons:

• It was entered into by blood-related individuals (most states outlaw marriages between relatives closer than second cousins). Allowing the union to go on would result to incest;
• One of the individuals is in an existing marriage, thus, making succeeding marriages acts of bigamy;
• One or both of the spouses are under the age of 16 when they entered into marriage.

In certain instances, on the other hand, when a marital union is considered legal but will have to voided or canceled due to the following grounds:

• Fraud, such as when one keeps secret a prior marriage, a felony conviction or addiction, and/or having a child from a previous marriage;
• Coercion, which is the case when one spouse was forced by the other (such as through threats) to enter into marriage;
• Intoxication due to alcohol or drug since this renders either of the spouses lacking the full capacity to consent to marriage;
• Mental incapacitation, since this renders one or both spouses unable to fully grasp the responsibilities and duties with a married life; and,
• Impotence or the inability of one spouse to have sexual intercourse.

For a court to grant a petitioner for annulment, however, Austin divorce attorneys explain that the petitioner for annulment should stop cohabiting with his/her partner after he/she learns of the claimed ground/s for the annulment. If the petitioner does otherwise, then no annulment will be granted by a Texas court.

All The Things You Need To Know About Restraining Orders

When your spouse has become a violent and dangerous person to be with, you need to protect yourself at all cost. When you are constantly threatened, abused, harassed, or stalked, a restraining order may be your best defense against your abusive spouse. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, it may be in your best interest to file for a restraining order.

In general, a restraining order is a court order protecting you from further harm by someone who has hurt you. It is designed to keep the abuser away from you or keep them away from the scene of abuse which could either be your home, workplace, or apartment. It is a civil order and does not give the abusive person a criminal record.

Victims of domestic violence can get a restraining order. A spouse, a former household member, and another person who is present at home and who is more than 18 years old and an emancipated minor can file a restraining order. Victims of any age who has been subjected to domestic violence by the person who will be the father or mother of the child when the pregnancy comes full term can also obtain a restraining order.

The restraining order lays down the things that the abuser can and cannot do. For example, the court may order them not to have contact with the victim personally or though the phone, at home, work, or almost anywhere the victim requests to put in the order. It may also provide protection for other members of the victim’s family.

The initial serving of the court order is called temporary restraining order or TRO. In most states, the TRO is valid for more than 10 days. At the expiration of the order, the abuser and the victim will be asked to appear in court. If the abuser violates the court order, they may face arrest by the police. Just make sure you carry the TRO all the time.

Dogs Won’t Bite, Unless . . .

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association, the third type of pet that is most commonly kept in 71.1 million households in the US is dogs, which number to 74.8 million (the first is freshwater fish at 142 million, while the second is cats, of which there are 88.3 million). When it comes to which pet is loved most, however, then there is a completely different story than what the numbers say.

While cats and other animals may look cuter than (some) dogs, the energy, playfulness and loyalty of dogs are characteristics that no other pet may be able to show. This is why, despite having freshwater fishes and/or cats in the house, many still choose to have a dog around.

It is natural for dog owners to believe that their pet dog is the greatest and friendliest pet anyone can have. Though this may be true at some point, what pet owners, in general, fail to realize is that there are instances when even the most domesticated pets become uncontrollable, causing injuries to people in the process. Also, to believe that one dog is as friendly as another is a big mistake. In fact, based on records from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reports of dog bites total to 800,000 every year. The irony regarding dog bites, however, is that, instead of strangers being the ones bitten most, the most common victims of dog bites are young children and older adults who are members of the dog owner’s own family. And, contrary to what many think that these bites are just minor scratches, majority of these cause lacerations and disfigurement; some even result to death, especially bites to the head or neck of children below four years old.

While dogs are, undeniably, fun and loving animals, if these, however, feel threatened or if their energy is kept unspent, then these may suddenly attack or become overly playful which can be a cause of injury. To protect people from dog bites or attacks, each state has enacted its own law, like the leash law in the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, or a law that prohibits owners from letting their dogs loose or at large. According to a Charleston personal injury lawyer, in the state of South Carolina, a dog owner, as well as the person handling the dog at the time when such dog attacks or bites someone, will be held liable for injuries caused by their dog, even if they did not know or could not have known that the dog would inflict the injuries.

In the states of Denver and Colorado, however, a breed of dog, the pit bull, has been banned due to the disturbing cases of attacks reported of this breed. Pit bulls, even according to professional dog owners, are more hostile than other breeds of dogs. In fact, in many states, Pit bulls are identified as lethal weapons so that police officers have been authorized by courts to shoot these dogs if these, in any way, threaten to attack or bite anyone. From 2005 to 2012, Pit bulls have been linked to 250 fatal attacks on senior citizens and children.

Victims of dog bites and dog attacks have the right to pursue legal action against the owner of the dog (that caused the bite or the attack). This legal action is mainly for the purpose of seeking compensation for all damages, which may include: cost of medical care; scarring/disfigurement; income lost during recovery; pain and suffering; and, loss of enjoyment or quality of life (if the injury is severe enough to cause life-changing effects).

Effects of Cerebral Palsy

Anybody enduring the impacts of negligence could possibly maintain plenty of mental and physical pain as well as trauma. There are many medical consequences that may come as a result of this instance, according to a cerebral palsy lawsuit attorney, and such situations meet the criteria to get a private injury claim so as to receive due compensation.

There’s a fine-line between injuries and decisions and occasionally, the result of someone selection results in a great deal of pain for another person. One effect of this sort of pain is for a child to get cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy often results in physical impairments. Cerebral palsy can be a result of medical malpractice and may often be costly to treat.

In the event you or somebody you know is coping with cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice, you could be eligible to apply for a private injury claim. However, your timetable is very limited and, therefore, it would be urged that you get the skilled help that specializes in the legal claim you would like to follow. This could save you distress, money, and lots of time as they currently have the know-how and experience with this specific sort of scenario and you are able to devote additional time to recover from what’s definitely an unfortunate event.

There’s almost no other kind of personal injury that may cause so much pain as medical negligence can. More particularly, a case when the result is a birth-defect in a newborn infant who should abruptly reside the remainder of her or his life with some form of medical condition. This really is hard and upsetting for parents that are for many to understand their child has been condemned to the life-long fight as a result of someone else’s misconduct.

Pedestrian Accidents: Totally a Driver’s Fault?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that, in 2012, traffic crashes took the lives of 4,743 pedestrians and injured about 76,000 (some injuries led to death a few days after the accident); this means that every two hours a pedestrian is killed, while every seven minutes, one gets injured.

Data from past years also showed that most pedestrian accidents happened in cities and during the night, that most of the victims were male, that half of the total number of accidents occurred on weekends, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and that 37% of those killed, as well as 13% of the drivers of automobiles that hit the pedestrian, were drunk with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level.

Whenever a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, fault is typically blamed on the driver, who is usually judged as not having any courtesy towards non-motorists. While it is bad enough that some drivers deliberately choose not to yield to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, others make it worse by making the whole thing like a game, seeing just how close they can get to these people even to the point of almost hitting them.

But, is fault blamable only on a driver? What about pedestrians who are too engrossed in using their cell phone that they never even bother to check the road before crossing it, or those who are too into jogging that he or she would cross the street without even looking first for possible approaching vehicles?

So many accidents happen because of negligence, which is failure to act with reasonable care, causing injury or harm to others as a result. Often, however, proving liability as to whose fault the accident really is can be a legally challenging, but a necessary, task.

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement Accusations

With everything from images to entire books being available online, even the industry big-shots are facing accusations of copyright infringement accusations. It is becoming more and more easy to violate a copyright and not even know it. However, by following some simple steps, you can avoid copyright infringement.

The first thing a person should do before using a image, literary work, drawing, films, music track and many other creative works is to understand the copyright laws. While these laws can become complicated and confusing, the basis of these laws are fairly simple. Knowing what a copyright protects is the first step in understanding the laws. A copyright generally protects the owner of content to exclusive use of the creative work or controlling the distribution and who uses it. However, copyright laws generally do not protect against the use of ideas of rephrasing of texts, granted you cite your source in your work. If you do not cite, it can constitute plagiarism which can also carry penalties. It is also important to understand the difference between a trademark and copyright as well as works listed under the public domain, which is not under any sort of copyright.

Knowing copyright laws is only the first step in avoiding copyright infringement. Taking works from the Internet is risky because all creative content is either copyrighted or falls under copyright laws by default. This means a work does not have to contain a specific copyright for it to be considered copyrighted. This even includes writing works based on other works, such as fan fictions. You can avoid this by using works that have a public copyright which means the work is often free for the public to use. Another good rule of thumb is to ask the creator for explicit permission to use their content to avoid copyright infringement.

It is necessary to understand copyright laws because the penalties for violating a copyright can be extensive and severe. For more information on copyright laws, visit this website….