Fatal construction injuries rise 9 percent

May 02 2014

The men and women who erect Denver housing, office buildings, bridges and shopping centers know that the construction business is a dangerous one. Many construction workers regularly risk serious injury and worse as part of their days on job sites. Confirmation of those hazards comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which recently released its report on fatal work-related injuries for 2012. A total of 806 fatal injuries occurred in the construction industry that year, up 9 percent from 2011.  Across all lines of work in all industries, there were 4,628 workplace fatalities, which means there were 3.4 work-related deaths…

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Colorado lawmaker proposes adding PTSD to workplace injury list

Apr 25 2014

The National Institute of Mental Health says post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in some people who live through “a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm.” As you know, Denver police can often find themselves in situations in which they are threatened with violence and injury, as they try to keep the rest of us safe. Now a Colorado lawmaker is proposing to add PTSD to the list of workplace injuries for police officers in the state. Rep. Jonathan Singer says he and supporters of the bill are “just trying to put fairness in the…

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Man sues for being fired shortly after filing workers’ comp claim

Apr 15 2014

Let’s say that you have been working for the same company in Denver for a long time, and one day you are injured on the job. The injury is severe enough that it hampers your ability to work for an extended period, during which time you need some financial help because, well, you can’t work. So you file a workers’ compensation claim and you expect that everything will be worked out appropriately, and soon. But just a few days later, you are informed by your employer that you have been fired. You’re left stunned and angry, and you can’t help…

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Lower back pain a prominent cause of work disability

Apr 09 2014

Many workers have felt it: that twinge in the lower back, one that lets you know that you’re in for a world of hurt over the next few days. That lower back pain can be absolutely brutal, let alone debilitating. But one thing that you may not know about lower back pain is that it isn’t just a common problem that afflicts people every once in a while. Actually, back pain is the top cause for work disability in the world. According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly $50 billion is spent every year by Americans to…

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Fatal cell tower collapse continues ‘disturbing trend’

Apr 02 2014

Although the specific work accident in this story didn’t happen in Denver or even the state of Colorado, it points to a wider issue that affects many workers all across the country. Everyone enjoys their speedy wireless service on their smartphones, right? Well, have you ever stopped to think about what it takes to get you that service? Thousands of workers are constantly working to ensure that cell towers are up and operational, and then they have to perform routine maintenance and upgrades on the towers so that you service can go from 3G to 4G, and so on down…

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Gas line punctured after Colorado Springs project goes awry

Mar 29 2014

A construction project that was meant to help install a future cable line under a street in Colorado Springs led to a serious, though injury free, accident recently. The construction crew that was working the project dug up the street and punctured a gas line, and Colorado Springs Utilities says the “area was clearly marked for underground lines.” The source article doesn’t clarify whether that was in defense of the construction project or if it was an indicator that they made a mistake. In any case, this story highlights two things: the incredible danger that is present at any construction…

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Shale oil project to reach into western Colorado

Mar 19 2014

As many Colorado residents are aware, shale oil is a prominent resource in the state. Colorado residents may also be aware of the controversy surrounding the process of obtaining shale oil. The process, called “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking,” has been criticized in recent years. There may be renewed efforts on that front given a recent announcement by Exxon Mobil, which will push into western Colorado to try and obtain more shale oil. The project will create a lot of opportunities for employees. The project will be done in phases as Exxon Mobil attempts to acquire a projected 600 million barrels…

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Daylight Saving Time affects work safety and injuries

Mar 13 2014

Many Denver residents celebrated on Sunday as we moved the clocks forward. With the introduction of Daylight Saving Time, there will be more hours of sunlight for us to enjoy. Of course, the flip side to Daylight Saving Time is a little less sleep for everyone — a small price to pay for an extra hour of light. Or is it that small of price? The first few days, or even a full week, after Daylight Saving Time is active makes for a difficult time as people try to adjust their sleep schedules. As a result, work productivity may suffer…

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Hundreds of millions in unpaid wages for Coloradans

Mar 06 2014

$750 million is a staggering amount of money. It’s more than most people could spend in a lifetime, if not multiple lifetimes. However, it may surprise you to learn that $750 million is less than 1 percent of all the wages earned by people in Colorado in a given year — and it’s a figure that employers are filing to pay their employees. Yes, roughly $750 million in unpaid wages have affected at least 500,000 workers — whether they know it or not — in Colorado. Usually these wages affect low-income workers and construction workers, as employers don’t pay, fail…

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Radiation exposure for 13 employees at nuclear waste site

Feb 27 2014

A terrifying workplace accident caused numerous employees to suffer harm in ways that few people want to think about. The incident happened to the south of Colorado, in an underground nuclear waste facility. The complex, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, suffered a radiation leak on Feb. 14, which caused 13 people to be exposed and contaminated with radiation. While the exact cause of the leak is still a mystery, there are a couple of theories that seem very plausible. A roof collapse could have caused the spill; while another cause could have been a poorly-operated forklift that punctured a…

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