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The Dangers of Oil Rigs

Working on an oil rig is often listed among the most dangerous jobs in America, and there are good reasons for it. For anyone who didn’t watch the movie Deepwater Horizon, the potential for disaster is great, and when it does come, there’s little help to be found.

There are obvious reasons why working on an oil rig is so full of potential danger. First of all, people are working with volatile chemicals and using massive, complex machinery. That alone would make it as dangerous as the construction industry, which is always one of the most deadly in the country. There is a myriad of ways someone could potentially injure themselves on an oil rig, from simply slipping and falling to misuse of chemicals, to mechanical breakdown, to objects falling on someone.

Add to this already dangerous recipe the fact that, by definition, oil rigs are miles away from anyone. They sit in the middle of the ocean, far from towns and cities, far even from the coast guard. Should anyone need advanced medical attention in a short period, help is unlikely to arrive in time.

Then, there is the fact that these isolated people often work grueling shifts of around 12 hours and spend anywhere from a week to two weeks out on the rig at a time. Such strenuous work over such long hours encourages accidents.
Keep in mind, these are only the human risks for work on an oil rig, there are other equally (or perhaps greater) risks to the environment. As seen in recent years, even the most efficient clean up after an oil spill is still devastating to ocean life. That ecological cost can also be passed on to humans through devastating to the fishing industry, toxic elements washing up on shore, and contaminated water.

It is no wonder, though, that oil rigs have very strict safety procedures. The risks on all sides are great and the potential for catastrophe is great. With all that in mind, it is perhaps more amazing not that horrible events happen on oil rigs, but that they don’t happen more often. In fact, catastrophic events are extremely rare, even if more minor issues do occur with some regularity.

In 2009, for instance, there were 39 fires or explosions reported on oil rigs.

Even though most of those did not result in death, the glaring number and the potential (even if rare) for catastrophic events call into question the ongoing expansion of off-shore drilling. As the natural gas and renewable energy markets boom throughout the country, and older dirtier sources (especially coal, but including oil) continue to decline, a more forward-looking strategy should be called for, with the government putting resources towards those fields that are safer, cleaner, and cheaper for the country.

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Common Construction Site Accidents

You can get involved in an accident and sustain an injury in any workplace. But it is fair to say that some workplaces are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries compared to others. For example, a construction site can easily be said to be a more dangerous workplace compared to an office.
According to the website of the Rhode Island construction accidents lawyers of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD., construction workers who have been injured in construction accidents may have legal options. This is a good thing, considering that they really are vulnerable to workplace accidents compared to those who sit in cubicles.

Electrocution

Electrocution is one of the most common and most fatal construction site accidents. This is understandable, because construction sites often have unfinished electrical systems and exposed wires. Even if workers survive electrocution, they may still suffer from significant injuries, particularly burning.

Explosion

Combustible and explosive materials are often present in construction sites. They may come in many forms, such as chemicals, gases, and even TNTs. Whatever form they may take, it doesn’t change the fact that workers are at risk of explosions, fires, and the possible injuries associated with them, such as burns and eye and lung problems.

Fall

Construction workers may be required to reach or work in elevated spaces, so they rely on equipment to do this effectively. Equipment may be cranes, ladders, and scaffoldings – all put workers at risk of falling, breaking their bones, and sustaining traumatic injuries.

Falling Object

Hard hats and other gears may help against falling objects, such as debris and unattended tools, but they may not help much if the falling object is an entire machine. This may involve enough force to kill, and those who survive often suffer from head and brain injuries.

Machine Accident

Machine accidents can happen in many ways. Maybe the machines are defective. Maybe they have no instructions and safety warnings. Maybe the construction worker cannot operate them properly. Whatever the case is, the construction worker is at risk of the most dangerous accidents, including amputations and entrapments.

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Asbestos Is Not Completely Banned in the US

No one can ever deny the fiber strength of asbestos, a mineral that is also resistant to heat, electricity, fire and most chemicals. This extremely useful, abundant, and cheap substance earned for itself the title “miracle mineral” and became a perfect fire retardant component in the production of hundreds of different things, like boilers, furnace ducts, steam pipes, soundproofing or decorative materials, heat-resistant coatings and fabrics, building materials, like paper products, ceiling and floor tiles, roofing shingles, asbestos cement products, stove-top pads, fireproof gloves, ironing board covers, some hairdryers, brake pads, clutches, gaskets, and transmission parts for motor vehicles. The largest amount of asbestos may have probably been used during World War II, when more than four million US Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard personnel, and shipyard workers were exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos as they built battleships.

Asbestos contains sharp, tiny fibers which, when inhaled or ingested, can be embedded in the lungs. These fibers damage the lungs through scarring, resulting to severe effects, which include:

  • Asbestosis – though non-cancerous, this lungs illness, which causes the lungs to deteriorate and make breathing difficult, can lead to fatal results
  • Mesothelioma – a rare type of cancer that affects the mesothelium cells (the protective linings that cover many of the body’s internal organs). The pleura, or the outer lining of the internal chest wall and the lungs, is the most common site damaged by asbestos; other specific areas asbestos can damage are the pericardium (or the sac surrounding the heart), the peritoneum (which lines the abdominal cavity), and the tunica vaginalis (the sac around the testis).

The threat presented by mesothelioma is not only in the fact that it is an irreversible, deadly type of cancer, but also its very long latency period (usually 20 – 40 years), thus majority of those diagnosed with it are already in their senior years, while the illness would be at an advanced stage wherein cure is no longer possible.

To make matters worse, not only workers, who get exposed to asbestos due to their job, are in danger of developing mesothelioma; their family members, who come in contact with the mineral that gets attached to their clothes, hair and hands, can develop the deadly cancer too.

Many lives have been lost due to mesothelioma and many more are expected to develop it because, despite its cause, asbestos, already having been banned in many countries, this mineral continues to be used in the US. According to the website of Williams Kherkher Law, if an employer knowingly exposes you to asbestos, you may be able to hold the company accountable for the danger to your health.

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Pancreatitis with Atypical Antipsychotic Drug Risperdal

A 2002 study found that atypical antipsychotics appear to be associated more with pancreatitis than conventional antipsychotics. Many of the patients on atypical antipsychotics developed the symptoms of pancreatitis within 6 months of taking the medication. This conforms to the findings of a larger 2003 study where more than half (54%) of patients taking Risperdal (risperidone) developed pancreatitis.

The pancreas is a large gland that produces digestive enzymes and releases insulin and glucagon. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is pancreatitis. The symptoms include sudden and intense pain in the upper abdomen that may resolve within a few days, or it may become worse. Chronic pancreatitis, on the other hand, is milder but if left untreated can cause irreversible damage to the pancreas.

Other symptoms include vomiting, fever, nausea, and increased heart rate. With severe pancreatitis, the patient may suffer from low blood pressure and dehydration. Eventually, the kidneys, lungs, or heart may fail. Risperdal side effects attorneys state that when the pancreas starts bleeding, the patient may go into shock and die.

There are many reasons why the pancreas becomes inflamed. High alcohol consumption and gallstones are the usual culprits. In antipsychotic drug-induced pancreatitis, it is suggested that Risperdal may disrupt the production of digestive enzymes, causing some of them to remain in the pancreas. This can lead to the enzymes acting on the pancreas itself, leading to some damage and inflammation. It is also suggested that high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) associated with Risperdal intake may contribute in causing pancreatitis. In either case, many patients taking Risperdal report that they have had episodes of acute pancreatitis.

If you sustained serious injury from acute pancreatitis while taking Risperdal, it is not something that you can just shrug off. The drug company should have warned you about the risks of pancreatitis. Consult with experienced Risperdal side effects attorneys in your area for more information about your legal options.

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While Justice Favors the Unfortunate: Disfigurement and Workers Compensation

Fortune favors the beautiful – or so the line goes. But you know the fairytales as there have been so many where there are people who are made to suffer due to a disfigurement that they never asked for. There’s Quasimodo, the Beast, or even Anakin Skywalker – these tales as old as time tell the story of fictional people whose lives are altered and dictated due to a disfigurement. These instances, however, are not exclusive with bedtime stories – sometimes even the nightmares come true.

There are some jobs that could, unfortunately, render you disfigured. Most of the time, these circumstances are due to the fact that someone messed up – someone was negligent or careless, and it cost you (an innocent, by all intents and purposes) so dearly. If such a thing were to happen to you, however, you are entitled to claim a legal brand of justice.

Disfigurement is a very specific subset of workers compensation which falls under personal injury claims, according to the website of Hankey Law Office P.C. For you to be eligible for disfigurement, the scar or mutilation must be wholly evident and made unable to be concealed by clothes. As an example, a cut on your abdomen that can easily be concealed by wearing a shirt is not considered as disfigurement. Receiving burns on your face or an injury that creates a limp with your gait, however, can mean that you are eligible to receive disfigurement benefits from your employer.

Deformities that are a result of workplace accidents can be a traumatic experience to live with as it can be the origin of mental and emotional instability. After all, people are naturally attuned to judge from a visual perspective for a first impression therefore concluding that an extreme physical alteration that disfigures you can limit your social interactions and even markedly hurt your self-esteem.

It can be a lot to take in and deal with, which is why it is highly recommended for anyone who finds him or herself in a situation like this to seek the help of a workers compensation lawyer immediately. It is also important to seek help from a personal lawyer in your specific state.

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Question of Jurisdiction during a Shore Excursion Accident

The recent decade is witness to the great boom in the growth and development of the cruising industry, specifically in facilities improvement, ship designs that would accommodate larger number of passengers, and increase in the number of local ports, new exciting destinations and on-board and/or on-shore activities that cater to passenger demands. Since 2011 more than 10 million cruise bookings have been recorded every year in the US alone, while worldwide, the number goes beyond 20 million.

Most bookings are made by passengers six to eight months before the scheduled sail, to avail of the many perks and discounts offered by cruise lines. And, just as cruise lines advertise, there really is no other week-long vacation that is cheaper, more relaxing or more fun and exciting than one that is spent on a cruise ship.

Today’s cruise ships can be considered as floating cities, with modern liners able to house up to 3,000 passengers and the newer, bigger ones having a passenger capacity of up to 6,000. And, even on board, one cannot be denied the fun and excitement of playing basketball, golf, ping pong, pool or billiard, watching a movie, spending time in a bar or night club, spending money in tax and duty free shops, having his/her done in a hair and beauty salon, accessing online sites, having a great time in a gym, or in an indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool (that comes designed with water slides), and enjoying excursions and shore activities, like jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, visits to islands, shopping and dining on land, and archaeological explorations.

Shore excursions and other land activities have actually been very good sources of additional income for cruise ship owners, so that more and more of these get to be introduced (at least one) in each port of call. But as owners’ income increases, so too do the number of accidents involving passengers.

One vital question (in the event of a shore excursion accident) is with regard to jurisdiction. If an injury were sustained on board the ship, no matter in which territory the ship may be, a lawsuit will always have to be filed in court stated in the ticket-contract’s forum selection clause (many cruise ships name the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida). This whole process may be different if the accident was during a shore excursion, though.

Due to the complexity or the maritime law being represented by highly competent lawyers would be an absolute necessity. According to the website of The Vucci Law Group, P.A., the extensive knowledge and experiences of lawyers are factors that will be vital in a lawsuit wherein a cruise line is involved; but injured passengers need to understand that they do not the luxury of time due to the statutory limit (or the allotted time within which the lawsuit may be filed). Thus it is important that they contact the legal professionals of the Vucci Law Group immediately.

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