Examples of unsafe practices in New Jersey workplaces
From dangerous equipment to toxic chemicals, and even non-ergonomic workstations, your place of employment can be a potentially hazardous place. According to the New Jersey Work Environment Council, approximately 135,000 workers in the state experience a job-related injury or illness each year.
While is incumbent upon employers to take precautions to identify and prevent unsafe work conditions from existing on the job, unsafe working conditions can manifest in innumerable ways. Some of these include the following.
- Faulty equipment and machinery
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Chemical spills
- Inadequate lighting
- Wet floors
- Blocked hallways and entryways
- Poor/inadequate security
- Dangerous Stairways
- Inadequate security
- Electrical hazards
- Inadequate/improper safety gear
- Equipment misuse
- Occupational hazards (asbestos, chemical exposure)
Any of these conditions or a combination of them can lead to serious injury, disease or death. The following are a few examples of how hazardous workplaces and safety lapses have impacted New Jersey workers in recent years:
Crewman dies of electrical burns
A crewman was fatally burned while working on overhead wires for New Jersey Transit during an outage. The line workers who were assigned to protect the crew failed to warn of the areas with electrified wires.
Factory worker suffers severe burns from an industrial machine injury.
A NJ factory worker was severely injured after being shocked by over 220 volts from an industrial machine. He suffered 3rd degree burns to his hand and 2nd degree burns on his face and stomach. The factory caught fire months later, reportedly from ruptured molten glass tanks.
Department of Children and Families employee stabbed by unstable parent
A DCF worker was critically injured when a client stabbed her in the elevator of a Camden office building. The attack occurred two days after the security detail had been disbanded as a result of budget cuts. The DCF Commissioner responded with increased safety measures, such as self-defense and situational awareness and violence de-escalation courses, panic buttons, and increased use of the buddy system for agents in the field.
Chemical leak sickens 32 New Jersey workers
A refrigerant leak at a NJ business injured several employees. A malfunction in the facilty ventilation system was the suspected cause of the problem. Two employees had to be airlifted from the site to receive medical attention and eight others were hospitalized locally.
While these cases represent some very extreme circumstances, it’s important to understand that any unsafe work conditions can lead to injury or illness. No matter how minor you may think a safety issue appears at your place of employment, your safety and that of your co-workers is paramount, so let your employer know.
Contact the Reinartz Law Firm if you wish to discuss a potential workplace safety violation or you have suffered a work injury.