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Saint Paul Legal Blog

The aroma of roasted coffee could kill you

For a coffee drinker, few scents are more enticing than the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. However, for workers in coffee roasting and packaging plants, the aroma may create conditions that could lead to a degenerative lung disease that could cause their deaths.

Roasted coffee produces two chemicals, diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, that provides coffee with its buttery richness, but can also cause a disease known as obliterative bronchiolitis, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "irreversible lung disease."

Company fails to pay workers for time to put on safety gear

Employers must do everything in their power to protect employees from work-related injuries and illnesses. Unfortunately, protection often comes after incidents have already occurred. Companies must change their focus and become more proactive.

Protection may be as simple the taking time to put on the proper attire that helps to shield them from getting hurt or becoming ill.

Employees at Hormel Foods Corp. are required to wear hard-hats, hearing/eye protection, hairnets and sanitary shoes. However, workers did not receive adequate time to put on the gear and clothing.

Getting workers' compensation in a dangerous workplace

The dangers of being a patient in a hospital have been widely reported, making headlines on television, in print and online. Unfortunately, the dangers of working in a hospital are not as well known to the public. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of hospital employees' illnesses and injuries is twice that of private sector employees.

Hospitals are large institutions with a broad range of occupations and departments, all with their own hazards. Health care workers are not the only ones at risk for injuries and illnesses; all hospital employees are exposed to dangerous working conditions every day.

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