Category Archives: Workplace Accidents

Kansas trooper critical after patrol car gets rear-ended

Not all workplace accidents happen inside an office or factory building. Depending on a person’s occupation, the workplace location can vary significantly. Many people work in an outdoor location, such as a construction site or on a road. A worker may move from job site to job site to perform a specific skill. The public’s imagination might be stretched to include many different work locations were workplace accidents might occur.

A car was the unlikely scene of critical injury for a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper after a pickup truck rammed into his patrol car while he was sitting in it. According to reports, the trooper’s car was stopped on the side of the highway for a truck inspection when a pickup truck hit his car from behind. The Haysville, Kansas, driver said the crash happened due to a sneeze, although police are investigating whether driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and talking or texting on a cellphone. Also under scrutiny is whether the vehicle was speeding and if the driver tried to avoid hitting the police car. Police stated the driver has several speeding violations on record.

Driver negligence and carelessness always come to mind as reasons for accidents with similar details and especially when they affect those who call a highway their workplace. Laws relating to workplace injuries allow victims to file workers compensation insurance claims for financial relief while recuperating.

Kansas City employers generally purchase workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that financial and other liabilities in such cases can be met. Reimbursement of medical bills, wages lost while recovering from the injury and other expenses may be addressed by workers compensation.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, “Highway Patrol trooper hurt on turnpike remains in critical condition“, Stan Finger, March 29, 2014

Measures needed to reduce workplace accidents

Companies in Kansas and every other state are supposed to value their employees so highly that they ensure their safety on the job. Employees are assets for any organization, and if they are injured in the workplace, the company loses.

Unfortunately, workplace accidents have now reached such high levels in some industries, such as oil and gas drilling, that regional news organizations are beginning to investigate not only how and why these industries are failing but also why government at all levels is failing to enforce the very standards they established.

Who is responsible for these accidents? According to one recent investigation, the federal government has failed to implement new safety standards and procedures for modern onshore drilling processes. As a result, the accident rate has increased substantially and the number of workers who are dying continues to increase.

According to the investigation, there were 60 percent more accidents in onshore oil and gas workplaces in 2012 than in 2011. The newspaper reported that 2012 saw 79 people losing limbs, 92 workers suffering burns, 82 people crushed and 675 people suffering broken bones in onshore occupations. By comparison, offshore operations have become far safer the last few years, partly because federal regulations were enacted in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers.

Employers are responsible for protecting their employees. Although many workplace accidents are minor, major accidents can lead to serious injuries and deaths. Any employee who thinks an employer is at fault for an accident injury should be sure to get the best information on the options to seek compensation that can cover medical bills and lost wages.

Source: Minneapolis StarTribune, “Houston Chronicle examination of Texas oil field safety finds failures, deaths, injury,” Feb. 23, 2014

Man sustains multiple injuries in agriculture workplace accident

As many Kansas residents can likely attest to, work is often built around routine. Most people go to their jobs and have a routine that allows them to get into a workflow. Workplace accidents are abrupt, unexpected interruptions to a person’s routine that can change a worker’s life in an instant. Especially in jobs that require the use of tools and machinery, there is always the chance that a mishap could happen at any moment and devastate employees and their families.

A recent workplace accident had devastating results for a man and his wife and kids. It is likely that neither he nor his wife could have foreseen the tragedy that befell him while he was on the job. He was severely injured after an accident occurred at his place of employment. He was grinding corn, as was his duty at work, when his clothing suddenly got tangled in a power takeoff shaft of the grinder. As a result, the worker’s body was violently thrashed about and his midsection and lower body were crushed in the grinder.

Among his injuries were several broken bones including both of his femurs, his right foot, left ankle, right forearm and a number of ribs. He suffered severe bruising to his spleen, diaphragm and lungs. Because of his injuries, it is expected that he will be hospitalized for up to two months. The resulting medical expenses have been difficult for the family to deal with. He may have to wait up to a year to fully recover.

Medical expenses and time away from work can devastate a family financially. This is why when someone is hurt on the job; there is often the option of pursuing workers’ compensation to help the family recover some of these costs. Workers’ compensation offers exclusive remedy in some cases and can help victims in their recoveries. It is helpful for employees to know their rights and the options available to them.

Source: Rapid City Journal, “Newell man recovering from horrific work accident,” Colleen Brunner, Feb. 15, 2014

Plant collapse results in two dead, more injured

Kansas residents likely understand the hazardous conditions of certain work environments. Falling debris and building collapses are everyday risks for some employees. Still, most workplace accidents are completely unexpected, even if the danger is known and every safety precaution is duly taken. Most employers are required to secure their workplaces to meet certain OSHA regulations; similarly, most employees are expected to take certain safety precautions to protect against any potential accidents. Accidents can still happen, though, and when a worker is injured or families members are lost in a work-related accident, they may be wonder what options for recovery are available.

An accident recently occurred at a nutrition plant located just north of Kansas in Nebraska. Tragically, two workers were killed and 10 injured as the result of the nutrition plant’s collapse. Evidence points to an explosion being the likely cause of the collapse. Panels appear to have been blown off of the building. This is based on mere photographic evidence, however, and experts anticipate that the investigation will take up to six months.

The plant had previously undergone investigation by OSHA and was cited for six violations. These violations were unrelated to the building’s structure, however. An assessor that inspected the building considered it to be of average quality and in good condition. Based on these findings and the photographic evidence, experts have come to the conclusion that a dust explosion is a possible explanation for the collapse. Contrary to the experts’ opinions, some of the surviving victims in the collapse did not believe an explosion caused the collapse, as they did not hear or see any evidence of a blast.

Even if a company is not found guilty of violating any safety requirements — and are thus not liable for the damages — workers and the families of victims can still pursue workers’ compensation for the financial difficulties they have suffered. Oftentimes, medical expenses and lost wages serve to further inflict suffering on victims and their families, making it prudent to seek out legal help in planning the best course of action to compensation and fair recovery.

Source:, “Evidence suggests blast caused International Nutrition accident,” Barbara Soderlin and Henry J. Cordes, Jan. 27, 2014

Tyson Foods plant in Kansas fined by government agency

Maintaining a safe working environment should be a goal of all employers in the state of Kansas. Unfortunately, some companies fail to meet this goal, prompting action by government agencies.

A Tyson Foods plant in Kansas is facing a serious fine of up to $147,000 due to a series of safe workplace violations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. The fine came after an inspection by the agency revealed the plant has violated regulations seven times over the past 10 years, including some recent willful violations.

In addition, the inspection revealed that workers were not properly trained on lockout procedures to prevent the inadvertent operation of machinery, and the plant had removed guardrails, subjecting employees to the possibility of amputation. One man had his arm cut off at the elbow when his garments became caught in a machine while at work, pulling his arm into moving gears. Approximately 150 people work at the plant and may have been put at risk of harm.

OSHA is a government agency tasked with ensuring that workplaces meet a set of safety standards. Not only are workers who are exposed to potential workplace hazards entitled to precautions such as guardrails and protective clothing, but they are also entitled to be trained on how to avoid becoming hurt in a workplace accident. They can also request OSHA to inspect their workplace, which can be made confidentially. Workers cannot face retaliation or discrimination for making such a request.

Employers must provide workers with a safe workplace. By holding employers accountable through an OSHA investigation, employees can make sure their rights are upheld and that they are not subject to an unsafe working environment.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “OSHA cites Kansas Tyson Foods plant for violations, including one that led to severed hand,” Dec. 18

Mill worker killed in tragic accident

Kansas residents are hard workers. They know the challenges of a hard day’s work as well as the hazards of day-to-day life in a difficult working environment. Some workers risk their lives every day to get their jobs done, knowing full well that accidents and tragedies could occur at any time. Some Kansas residents may not be aware, however, of the options available for someone who is hurt while performing their duties in their work environment, as well as for the families of loved ones left to suffer with the tragedy of losing a loved one at work.

A man suffered fatal injuries at a mill that had employed him for more than three years. In a tragic turn of events, the man was called in to work on his day off. In the afternoon, while finishing his shift, the man was loading an extractor — a machine that dries fabric. The machine spins rapidly to dry the fabric and the man was pulled into the rapidly spinning machine. Family members are reportedly demanding answers for what caused the accident. The cause is currently under investigation.

Employees are protected by certain rights — rights that come into play when they anyone is involved in workplace accidents. Wage benefits and medical benefits may be owed to victims and families of victims who have been injured or killed on the job. This usually comes in the form of workers’ compensation, which offers a remedy for injured workers. Sometimes victims may also choose to pursue a product liability claim if the injury or death was caused by a faulty product or manufacturing error. There are options for workers and their families, and it is prudent for anyone in these situations to learn of these options and plan accordingly.

Source: Fox 8, “Randleman man dies in workplace accident,” Stephanie Ando, Dec. 16, 2013

Man suffers fatal injuries after quarry accident in Kansas

Tragedies that occur on the job involve unique laws. Any injury that is considered work related offers the potential for employees to claim benefits. In addition, any fatality that occurs on the job allows loved ones to apply for similar benefits. Though nothing can undo the physical and mental damages inflicted on victims and their families, compensation can help alleviate some of the financial strain.

A man passed away recently due to the fatal injuries he suffered while on the job. As a quarry worker in Kansas, the 63-year-old man was working for a local company helping to handle explosives being used to detonate rocks. Tragically, the man stood too near to the detonation area when a large limestone rock, along with other smaller rocks, struck him following the blast. After being discovered by fellow employees, emergency responders rushed to the scene where they found the man to be unresponsive. They pronounced him as dead. The investigation is ongoing, but a preliminary investigation is claiming that the fatality was the result of a work-related accident.

Fatalities resulting from workplace accidents are tragic affairs and can cause a victim’s loved ones great pain and suffering. As if this mental anguish was not painful enough, the families of victims often find themselves having to suffer costs from medical expenses, transportation, lost wages and other expenses.

Thankfully, the loved ones of victims have a chance to be compensated for their loss. When it comes to workers’ compensation, there are many laws involved, some of them complex. However, there are legal professionals available to help guide loved ones and victims through this process.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, “Manhattan man killed in quarry blast,” Phil Anderson, Dec. 5, 2013

Workplace accident in oilfield

Accidents are abrupt, unexpected interruptions to someone’s workday. Not only do they happen suddenly, they also sometimes pull in coworkers, police officers and medical helpers who come to the aid of the injured worker. These people often act in heroic ways and do much to help the worker in need, sometimes even saving a life.

An oilfield worker was injured recently in Kansas. After a pulley failed to stabilize the man who was suspended more the 50 feet in the air, a dispatcher at an energy company was called and a bucket truck was sent over to the scene of the accident. Men from the co-op risked their lives to recover the injured worker and in around ten minutes they were able to bring him to safety. A helicopter then flew the man to a hospital in Wichita.

With the help of brave and daring rescuers, workers involved in accidents are oftentimes able to walk away from potentially fatal situations. The workers are lucky to have survived, but they have still experienced damaging trauma and sometimes lasting injuries. Fall injuries, scaffolding accidents, chemical spills and other construction and workplace accidents can result in a variety of lasting and costly injuries and illnesses.

Thankfully, there exists a system known as workers’ compensation that allows anyone who has been injured in these kinds of accidents to apply for benefits. These benefits include compensation for lost wages, permanent injuries and medical care. Survivors of loved ones killed on the job are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Having an employee advocate, like the help of a legal professional, is useful when navigating through the filing of a workers’ compensation claim.

Source: ECT, “Kansas Co-op Helps in Oil Rig Rescue,” Victoria A. Rocha, Nov. 12, 2013

Accident fatally injures Kansas worker

Kansas residents whose jobs require them to work near highways or busy streets know how hazardous their work environments can be. Constant exposure to speeding cars and other construction site perils put them in danger daily. Because of this danger, it is important for workers to know their legal rights and the options available should anything unfortunate occur on the job.

Sadly, one worker was fatally injured on the job in south-central Kansas recently. The worker, a tow-truck operator, was struck by a vehicle while securing a disabled bus to his truck. He was completing a routine job of towing a tour bus away when a westbound vehicle crushed the worker when he was standing by the trailer of the bus.

When a worker is killed or injured on the job, the company the worker represented may be liable for the damages. If a company fails to provide a safe work environment, or violates any of OSHA’s many regulations, then that company is exhibiting negligence and recklessness. Any examples of recklessness can be used by victims and their families to build a case of employer negligence, allowing them to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits help cover lost wages and medical expenses that have resulted from an accident on the job.

Victims and their families who have suffered as a result of a workplace accident will likely need to review their options. Oftentimes a strong argument can be formed that can ease the burden placed on victims and their families by allowing them to receive the compensation that they are owed by negligent employers.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, “Worker killed in highway hit-and-run,” Phil Anderson, Nov. 6, 2013

Construction worker suffers injury on the job

Kansas residents may work in a variety of different work environments. Whether an individual works behind a desk or on top of a building, accidents can happen on the job at any time. All Kansas workers should know what their rights are should an accident on the job occur.

Construction workers are often times exposed to dangerous work environments as part of their everyday job duties and responsibilities. Recently, a construction worker was seriously injured as he was working on a project for the National Museum of Africa-American History and Culture on the Mall. The worker suffered a scaffolding fall while he was working at the construction site. He fell about 20 feet and was immediately taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Whenever a worker is injured on the job, they will be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Most individuals may think workers are only eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they were injured while performing work specifically for the job; however, there are also additional certain circumstances where an employer is also eligible to receive benefits. These situations can include company parties and other social events that are sponsored by the company, but not necessarily held on company property.

There are some situations in which employers may deny workers’ compensation benefits. These are situations where the worker was not behaving in accordance with workplace safety guidelines, or if alcohol or horseplay was involved in the accident. Having the experience and expertise of a legal professional who specializes in workers’ compensation claims can be helpful to individuals who have suffered an injury while on the job. They will serve as the employee’s advocate and ensure they receive all the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: The Washington Post, “Construction worker injured in fall by the Mall,” Clarence Williams, Oct. 16, 2013