Articles Tagged with Workplace injury

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Paraquat is an extremely popular herbicide used by many licensed agricultural workers. The reason it’s so popular is that this product is highly effective when it comes to killing nasty weeds and overgrown grass. However, there are risks to using this product. Studies have shown that there’s an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease from being exposed to Paraquat. It is, In fact, so toxic that only certified professionals are allowed to buy this product and use it by law in the United States. 

Parkinson’s disease is vicious to those it affects. It progressively shuts down the nervous system as It slowly kills certain nerve cells called neurons found in the brain. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine. When there is a decrease in dopamine, the brain begins to have abnormal activity, and your movement capabilities can begin to fail. However, many other symptoms can occur when this happens. 

This disease can lead to the person developing issues with chewing and swallowing properly due to the disease affecting the muscles in their mouth. In addition, cognitive issues like being unable to remember things and control your emotions (dementia) are also symptoms of this horrendous disease. There are many symptoms such as; general pain in the body or specific areas, losing your ability to differentiate particular odors you previously could without any difficulties, having a lack of energy throughout the day, changes in blood pressure causing you to feel lightheaded or dizzy, and many others. 

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To save time and labor, farmers and agricultural workers often turn to herbicides to aid them in their agricultural work. For example, some herbicides like Paraquat aid them in exterminating overgrown weeds and other unwanted grasses. Unfortunately, while this may be beneficial to the farmer saving them time and money, Paraquat can have fatal consequences. Paraquat is an extremely poisonous herbicide that can lead to death if an individual or agricultural worker ingests it. 

Paraquat can not even be purchased in the United States unless the applicator has a license for it. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified it as “restricted use.”. This herbicide has very tight restrictions due to the fact it’s highly poisonous. Unlike most other herbicides, Paraquat can’t be applied if the applicator does not have a license, even if they are under the supervision of someone who does. Paraquat is so dangerous that only licensed professionals are allowed to apply it on their crops. 

Several safety precautions are taken to deter an individual from confusing Paraquat with a beverage or other liquid. In the United States, A blue dye and sharp odor are added to the liquid so that one doesn’t confuse it with other beverages as well as an added agent that causes vomiting if accidentally ingested. In addition, those who apply the product must wear extra protective equipment such as respiratory protection, safety glasses, and more. Those who mix and load Paraquat are required to wear full-face shields and chemical-resistant aprons. 

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Vegetables spraying with pesticides in a garden

Paraquat is a popular herbicide used among agricultural workers and farmers because of its highly destructive nature towards unwanted grasses and weeds. This herbicide is so good at its job that it is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. However, It is highly poisonous to humans and wildlife, making it dangerous to use, necessitating numerous safety regulations. Paraquat is classified by the EPA as “restricted use” and can only be applied and purchased by a certified individual with a license. In addition, there are special agents added that cause vomiting if ingested, a blue dye, and a sharp odor added to Paraquat in the United States to differentiate it from beverages one might drink. 

While using Paraquat is beneficial to the farmers because it reduces the need for labor and saves money, there are risks with using this product that can be fatal. For example, studies have shown an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease after using Paraquat. According to the mayo clinic, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.” This disease can have a range in symptoms. For example, you may have trouble with mobility, such as trouble with walking, your muscles may stiffen up, you may shake and have trouble with balance and coordination. Another example of possible symptoms is dementia,  loss of smell, problems with speech, and difficulty writing. 

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Paraquat, a toxic chemical herbicide used to exterminate unruly weeds and grass, has been highly popularized in its use and was first produced for commercial use in 1962. There are many brands of paraquat products, and some of these include, Gramoxone, Goldquat, Almoxone, and many more. Paraquat is extremely popular and is one of the most commonly used herbicides around the globe. However, due to its extremely high toxicity, many precautions have been taken to purchase and use this herbicide in the United States.  

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to put mitigation measures on the use of Paraquat to protect human health and the environment. Here’s a quote from the United States EPA website “In July 2021, after receiving and considering public comments on the Paraquat proposed interim decision, EPA released the interim decision for registration review. As part of this action, EPA requires mitigation measures to reduce risks associated with Paraquat in order to protect human health and the environment.” 

Paraquat is so toxic that it can lead to death if accidentally ingested, and there is no antidote for it. Because it’s so toxic, in the U.S., precautions are taken, such as adding a dye to the substance and a sharp odor to deter an individual from accidentally ingesting it. Not only that, but only those with a commercial license can even purchase the product, let alone use it. In addition, An individual can not use this product even if they are under the supervision of a certified applicator. 

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collection-of-construction-safety-helmet-38070-300x197The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued a decision following a petition from review from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District. The court was tasked with determining whether a general contractor on a construction project owed a duty of care to a subcontractor’s employee who suffered injuries on the job. The general contractor hired a subcontractor to erect a concrete tower. The victim, an employee of the subcontractor, suffered injuries when the tower detached and fell on his legs. The victim filed a lawsuit against the general contractor alleging negligence and gross negligence. He argued that the defendant had contractual and actual control over the subcontractor’s work and thus owed the victim a duty of care. The trial court found in the defendant’s favor, and the court of appeals reversed.

On petition to the Supreme Court of Texas, the defendant argued that it did not owe the victim a duty of care. Generally, under Texas law, an entity that employs an independent contractor does not maintain a duty to ensure that the subcontractor performs its work safely. However, an exception applies when the contractor maintains some level of control over the way the contractor performs the work that caused the damage. The element of control must relate to the activity or condition that caused the injury. Further, the control must extend to the “means, methods, or details” of the independent subcontractor’s work.

In this case, the defendant argued that it did not have actual control over the subcontractor. It cited testimony where the subcontractor’s superintendent stated that the contractor did not instruct any of the subcontractor’s employees and no one from the contracting company told him how to install the tower or its braces. In response, the plaintiff argued that the contracting company asserted actual control by having someone on-site every day to inspect for safety. Additionally, someone from the company was there to inspect on the day of the accident, and the company was aware that the towers were not appropriately braced for wind. However, the court found no evidence that the contracting company exercised control over the subcontractor’s work. Further, the court reasoned that the courts have not recognized the presence of a safety employee as enough to give rise to actual control.

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CS-San-Antonio-9-300x300Recently, a Texas district court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from injuries a man suffered during a workplace altercation. According to the record, the plaintiff worked in a storeroom of a clothing store that is operated by a larger company. The plaintiff and another employee became involved in a verbal altercation requiring intervention from a supervisor. The supervisor presented the parties with the options to either quit their jobs, change shifts, or continue working together-they chose to continue working together. About a week after the verbal altercation, the men became involved in another argument, and the employee punched the plaintiff. Both of the men were terminated from their positions. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the parent company, arguing that they were liable for his injuries because of negligent hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision, retention, and monitoring. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the company appealed.

Among other issues, the company argued that they were not liable because the men were not employees of the parent company, but rather of a subsidiary. The company argued that the plaintiff did not establish that the defendant had an employment relationship with any of the parties involved, or that they controlled the subsidiary’s safety policies. Therefore, the jury’s finding was not supported by the evidence.

Under Texas laws, the court will sustain a sufficiency of the evidence challenge if there is a complete absence of an essential fact, the trial court is barred by the law to give weight to the evidence offered to prove a vital fact, if the preferred evidence is no more than a “mere scintilla,” or the evidence established the opposite of a vital fact. Evidence rises to a sufficient level if it would allow fair-minded people to differ in their conclusions. Further, if the evidence does not create more than a slight suspicion, it is not sufficient.

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pexels-oliver-king-4067795-300x200Many Texans spend the majority of their time at work. As a result, San Antonio workplace accidents are very common, even for those with jobs that are not physically demanding. Indeed, an on-the-job accident can occur at any moment, and for almost any reason. Thus, all employees need to understand their options when it comes to recovering after a work-related accident.

There are two types of claims that a worker can bring after an on-the-job accident. The first, a workers’ compensation claim, is the more common of the two types of claims. The workers’ compensation system provides employees a simplified way to obtain compensation for a work-related accident without needing to prove that their employer was at fault. Because the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, these claims are typically quicker to process than traditional personal injury claims.

The main drawback of workers’ compensation claims is the availability of damages. Injured employees who successfully bring a Texas workers’ compensation claim can obtain benefits for their medical expenses, lost wages, and any decrease in earning capacity. However, unlike a personal injury case, a workers’ comp claim does not entitle an employee to non-economic damages.

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