Skaug Law - November 2019

D on ’ t R isk I t if Y ou D on ’ t H ave T o

3 Ways to Avoid Common Workplace Injuries

Workplace accidents can happen to anyone, regardless of how capable a person is at their job. Knowing how to avoid risky situations before you get into them can go a long way in preventing injuries. While some circumstances may not be completely in your control, such as environments with poor lighting or situations where you have to work with hazardous materials, here are some things you can do to prevent injuries in the workplace. LIFT HEAVY OBJECTS WITH YOUR LEGS (OR WITH A PARTNER). Improperly lifting heavy objects or trying to lift an object that’s too heavy for one person can often lead to sprains, strains, and tears. Making sure you take the time to properly lift heavy objects with your legs, and not with your back, can go a long way toward avoiding filing a workers’ comp claim. And if the object is still too heavy for one person, don’t shy away from asking for help. REST UP. If you’re not taking the time to rest properly, you risk not doing your job properly, either. One of the most common causes of workplace accidents is fatigue, and the best way to avoid fatigue is to take adequate breaks during work hours. Even if you feel fine or are in the middle of a task, take your breaks as scheduled. The loss of work time could be a lot more than 10–15 minutes if you don’t. DRINK A LOT OF WATER. If you’re doing hard labor all day, having water with you at all times is essential, especially if you work outside during the summer months. If you get dehydrated on the job, it can lead to heat stroke or even cardiac problems. So, if you know you’ll be stepping away from a water source for a while, make sure you have a full water bottle to keep you hydrated. Of course, no matter how hard you try, accidents happen. If you get injured on the job, don’t hesitate to file a claim, and give Skaug Law a call anytime at (208) 466-0030.

N ot Y our O rdinary T urkey S hoot The Crazy Case of Jacobs v. Kent

It began like any other hunting excursion. Neil Jacobs was walking softly through the bushes, looking for a spot to hunker down and watch for a flock of turkeys. The only problem was that someone beat him to that neck of the woods. James Kent had established a hunting spot for himself, and, when he heard rustling and gobbling in some nearby bushes and saw a flash of red, he took aim and fired. Unfortunately, the movement in the bushes was not a turkey. Kent was horrified to find that he had shot Jacobs. Jacobs promptly moved for a partial summary judgment against Kent on the basis that he had failed to determine that Jacobs was not a turkey but, in fact, a human being. Kent cross-moved for summary judgment, saying Jacobs should have expected risks when he stepped into a popular hunting environment. When their case came before the Supreme Court of the 4th District of New York, the courts denied both the motion and the cross-motion. They agreed that Jacobs had assumed the inherent risks of hunting — just not the risks it would be unreasonable to assume, like getting shot by another hunter who thought you were a turkey. Beyond that, the courts did not pronounce judgment because they did not have enough verifiable facts. Jacobs asserted that turkey hunters should not shoot unless they can see the turkey and verify its gender. The court could not determine whether Kent had failed to follow this rule when he shot Jacobs. They also could not determine whether the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, which Kent pointed to in his defense, was even applicable. The court also called into question whether Jacobs had also been negligent. Ultimately, the case didn’t move forward.

Maybe next time, they should just try getting a turkey from the supermarket.

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