Maintenance personnel accidents

Maintenance people are able to carry out a wide range of projects in the home. The services of a maintenance staff usually include minor tasks, such as home repairs, painting and maintenance. While licensed and well-qualified specialists are needed for plumbing and electrical work, a trained maintenance staff can easily handle small jobs, such as appliance replacements, carpentry, deck washing, tiles, etc. Most maintenance personnel jobs come with limits that can occur and risk of serious injury.

Hazards faced by maintenance personnel

Maintenance people are workers who have experience with a variety of jobs that are carried out routinely in residential and commercial buildings. They are often involved in minor electrical, plumbing, repairs, and other forms of general maintenance. The term «maintenance personnel» describes a paid worker who is compensated to perform specific jobs, which may vary from unskilled work of highly qualified. Examples of operator jobs include, but are not limited to, painting, repairing drywall, remodeling, minor plumbing and electrical work, assembly of furniture, etc. Taking into account the different types of tasks that a maintenance staff does, the following are the risks usually associated with this line of work.

Maintenance personnel accidents commonly involve:

Falls: Maintenance personnel work alone. So there is rarely someone else present to secure the ladder or to supervise the work that is being done. The falls cause some of the most devastating injuries for operators. Falls can cause serious or even catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, damage to internal organs and multiple bone fractures. It is crucial that operators have fall protection devices such as harnesses before they start working on any project that requires them to be at higher elevations.

Electric Shocks: Accidents that involve even minor electrical work have the potential to result in injuries from electric shocks that are painful and life-threatening. It is essential that all operators wear protective equipment and to learn about the dangers of working around live wires.

Power tool accidents: Many maintenance personnel tasks involve the use of saws, nail guns, drills, and other potentially dangerous tools. Security guards should be turned on when using power tools. Workers must wear gloves, helmets and eye protection to protect themselves against injury.

Eye injuries: Many maintenance personnel jobs involve flying debris, falling objects and other potential eye hazards. The use of safety glasses is an important part of preventing eye injuries.

Slips and falls: Maintenance personnel are required to work in the disordered areas that can result in shooting accidents and wet conditions that can result in accidents due to slips and falls.

Roof accidents: Maintenance personnel are asked to perform dangerous tasks that they are not authorized to carry out. For example, it is not advisable for operators to work on roofs without adequate training and safety precautions.

Tools and equipment for more dangerous maintenance personnel

There are many work tools that can hurt more then help the operators, especially if those tools are defective. Here is the list of the 10 instruments that are most dangerous for New York operators:

Nail guns: These tools can be extremely useful and do the quick work of a series of small jobs, but manufacturers of power nails or nail guns also sent 37,000 people a year to emergency rooms according to a 2001-2005 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nail guns can lead to serious internal injuries, loss of vision, impalement and even death.

Chain saws: These power tools represent 36,000 cases a year for emergency rooms. Kickback can occur when the moving chain in the nose or tip of the guide bar touches an object or when the wood closes and jams the chain in the cut. The nozzle or tip of the contact bar can cause a rapid reaction backwards, causing the sword up and towards the user, also known as a «recoil». This could result in the loss of a personal maintenance control of the saw and cause serious personal injury.

Table saws: These tools are commonly used in a series of home improvement projects. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Trauma, approximately 31,400 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries. About 93 percent of those injuries were in the finger, thumb or other part of the hand. About 66 percent of the wounded had lacerations while 10 percent had amputations. Users also suffered soft tissue injuries to the head, face and neck from pieces of wood and debris.

Snow cannons: Maintenance personnel are in high demand during the winter months in New York. Many times, they must use snowplows to clear sidewalks and driveways. About 5,700 people go to the emergency room each year in the United States as a result of snow plowing injuries. The most common types of injuries are fractures and amputations of the fingers.

Backhoes: Maintenance personnel normally use this piece of hydraulic equipment when necessary. Backhoes kill an average of 38 construction workers a year. Most injuries affect workers from being hit by or crushed by the equipment.

Stairs: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2012, 724,000 people received medical treatment for an injury suffered while using a ladder or stool of some kind. That adds up to about 2,000 people injured each day. It is important that workers take the appropriate safety measures while using ladders for any type of work. Defective ladders can also cause devastating injuries to operators.

Rules and Regulations of the City of New York

There are many rules and regulations that apply to the home improvement and renovation projects carried out in New York. For example, a maintenance person must have a home improvement contractor’s license before participating in the construction, remodeling or residency repair. Without a contractor’s license, maintenance personnel can not, for example, build, improve or replace basements, garages, fences, driveways, patios, sidewalks, terraces or pools. In addition, a license is required to negotiate a home improvement contract and a permit from the city is necessary to make improvements that involve plumbing, electricity or repairs of sidewalks

Liability issues in case of maintenance personnel injuries

If you are a maintenance staff on your own, it is important that you purchase insurance that covers the costs in case you are injured. Liability coverage-local operations can protect you if you are injured while doing work on your client’s property. Also, it may be in your best interest to guarantee worker’s compensation insurance. If you work for a company that employs a number of workers, that the company may be required to buy workers’ compensation for you.

Often, the question arises: Who is responsible when a maintenance staff is injured at work? The answer depends on whether the maintenance staff works for a company that has other employees or if he is an independent worker or contractor. If the maintenance staff works for a company, they are entitled to receive compensation benefits through their employer. In New York, workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. When a worker dies at work, his family may be eligible to receive death benefits through worker’s compensation insurance.

However, when a maintenance staff is an independent contractor, the situation can get complicated. In such cases, the person or entity that hired the maintenance staff for the job may be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages if you are negligent. In some cases injuries to maintenance personnel may be the result of defective products, such as power tools that malfunction or faulty ladders. If that is the case, then the manufacturer of the defective product may be held liable for injuries, damages and losses of maintenance personnel. Sometimes, negligence on the part of a service company may have caused or contributed to worker injuries. In such cases,

Injured workers may seek compensation for damages, including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disability, pain and suffering of the past and future, etc. The relatives of the deceased workers can submit a death by negligence claim for compensation for damages as well.

The common injuries that suffer

Maintenance personnel face the risk of suffering a series of different types of injuries. Some of these injuries can be treated with just a short rest period. However, some injuries may require surgery and prolonged rehabilitation, which tends to be financially devastating for the victim, as well as their family. Some may suffer catastrophic injuries, meaning they would never be able to return to work or earn a living. Maintenance personnel suffer a variety of workplace injuries, including:

  1. Traumatic brain injuries
  2. Damage to the spinal cord
  3. Broken bones injuries
  4. The loss of vision and hearing
  5. Paralysis
  6. Soft tissue injuries
  7. Sprains and muscle tensions
  8. Neck and back injuries
  9. Concussions
  10. Bruises
  11. Lacerations
  12. Extremities and amputations of fingers

If you have been injured

If you are a maintenance staff that has been injured at work, there are a number of questions that must be asked to establish responsibility. What caused the accident? What is the severity or extent of the injuries? Does the negligence or misconduct of another person contribute to the accident? Was there a dangerous condition on the property? The answers to these and other questions will help you determine precisely the causes of the accident and how it could have been prevented.

As an injured worker, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights and options. Immediately after an accident, contact a New York personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling workers’ compensation cases and claims from third parties. Choose a lawyer who has a track record of success with accident cases involving operators. It may also be in your best interest to:

  • Notify the homeowner immediately about the accident and his injuries. If you have been injured in a business location, notify the business owner and / or property manager of the incident and file a report. Be sure to obtain a copy of that report.
  • Collect contact information Write down the name and number of anyone who witnessed the accident. You must also have the contact information of the owner of the premises.
  • Call emergency services. If you have suffered a serious injury you should call an ambulance and request a visit to the hospital that same day. Some injuries, including broken bones and injuries to the head, neck or back, can not present symptoms immediately. If you are injured, do not move and wait for emergency personnel to come and help you.
  • Obtain immediate medical attention. Follow the doctor’s instructions and get the treatment you need in order to maximize your chances of a quick and complete recovery.
  • Take pictures of the accident site, as well as your injuries.
  • Keep a record of your losses. Enter the number of work days lost due to your injuries. Keep copies of medical bills for expenses related to your injuries. Keep a detailed account of what you have or have not been able to do as a result of your injuries. For example, if you had to hire a maid or a gardener because of your injuries, be sure to include that. Track what you spend on physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments. Several of these costs tend to be out of pocket, since health insurance policies often do not cover them.
  • Investigate your options. You may be able to receive financial support through compensation benefits or by filing a lawsuit against the property owner or a third party that was responsible for the accident and your injuries. The law in this area is complex and difficult to understand. Injured victims and their families would benefit greatly from the advice of an experienced lawyer.

Contacting a New York lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal maintenance accident, experienced personal injury lawyers in Kenneth A. Wilhelm’s legal office can help you better understand your rights and legal options. Please contact us toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). We can even come to you. There is no lawyer fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 states of the United States, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, or 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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