Top 5 workplace injuries

By on 10-02-2017 in Workplace Injuries

No matter where you work, there are risks. Though we assume the workplace is a safe place, a place where our greatest concerns are about deadlines and unhappy bosses and clients, there are in fact at any moment, hidden amongst the benign objects of the office, potential hazards and accidents waiting to happen.

In order to help you better protect yourself and your fellow employees, here are the four most common office injury risks to keep an eye on.

  1. Falling objects

You may think you don’t have to worry about this in an office, but there are still potential hazards all around. Are there potted plants hanging in your office? That’s a risk. What about cubicle walls where people sometimes put staplers or other heavy office supplies? That’s right, that’s a risk too.

  1. Walking into things

Don’t just be aware what is above you, be aware of what is in front of you. In a busy office environment, people can run into walls, doors, tables, or each other. It may sound amusing at first, but the potential for serious injury is still there and ought to be taken into account.

  1. Muscle strains

Another potential injury inducing problem that office workers assume is unlikely to happen to them. The office may not be a warehouse full of heavy boxes and equipment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hurt yourself lifting a heavy box of new printer paper or help lift a new printer for that matter. There are still plenty of heavy things that we might injure ourselves on in an office. In fact, because we assume this isn’t a potential problem, we often don’t bother to take the proper precautions when doing those occasional acts of lifting. If someone wants to move tables around or asks you to lift heavy boxes, do so only when following safe lifting and pushing techniques.

  1. Slipping, tripping, and falling down

Perhaps the most obvious and at the same time least thought of risk in any working environment, or indeed, in any environment at all. Over 30,000 people die every year in America from simply falling down. In order to avoid such problems, be sure to watch where you are stepping. Be careful when using a ladder. Never step up on chairs or other objects not designed to bear your weight. And, very importantly, watch out for spills on the ground or any objects that might be impeding you as you walk. Keep an eye out for wires or feet dangling out in the aisle.

If you’ve already experienced a workplace injury, be sure to look at this lawyer’s site, which has a handy FAQ that covers a lot of basic questions about how you should proceed after the fact. Do yourself a favor and look through it.

If, as could be hoped, you have not been hurt, please use this list to minimize the risk to yourself and your colleagues and employees in the future. Many workplace accidents can be avoided with simple common sense and a little bit of awareness. Knowing what might be putting you at risk is a major step towards staying safe.

Road Maintenance and Car Accidents

By on 6-15-2017 in Car / Truck Accidents

When you think about car accidents, the first cause that comes to your mind is driver error. Specifically, you think about errors that involve recklessness, such as drunk driving and speeding. But it is important to note that these are not the only causes of car accidents. In fact, the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® has enumerated and detailed other causes of car accidents.

One of the causes that it has mentioned that has gotten attention is highway defects. But how exactly can highway defects cause an accident? The most obvious way is faulty design, like when the road is too narrow and has too little shoulders, or when it has dangerously abrupt curves and turns.

Another way is through poor maintenance, which can arguably be considered a worse negligent act. There will be no defects to begin with if just the maintenance provider does its job properly. Below are some of the most common issues associated with poor road maintenance.

Defective Facilities

Typically, the local government handles the road maintenance in its area of responsibility. One of the most common issues it can encounter is facility defects, such as malfunctioning traffic lights, absent or unreadable road signs, and lack of proper lighting. Most accidents involving defective facilities involve right-of-way and visibility.

Poor Road Conditions

The road itself should also be maintained. Usually, the problem with roads involve cracks, potholes, and other uneven surfaces that may make drivers lose control. But it is not uncommon for faded white and yellow lines and inexistent crosswalks to cause collisions.

Visibility Issues

Vision is one of the most important aspects of driving. Compromising it may result into traffic accidents. Having the proper streetlights is not enough. The road should also have no possible vision obstructions, such as unnecessary barriers and unmaintained foliage.

What You Can Do

According to the website of Spiros Law, P.C., those who have been victims of accidents caused by preventable highway defects may have legal options. But of course, being safe on the road is always a better alternative than a lawsuit.

The key is to always drive in a speed where you are comfortable with and where you can react on time to unexpected events. Also make sure to maintain your vehicle, particularly the brakes and tires, to at least have the ability to offset any defects you may encounter on the road.

The Psychology behind Hit-and-Runs

By on 2-23-2017 in Hit and Runs

Car accidents, whether someone is injured by a drunk driver or involved in a hit-and-run, are gruesome, tragic, and highly emotional incidents that elicit strong emotional responses from a majority of individuals regardless of personal involvement. With the physical trauma and financial hardships inflicted upon victims of car accident, it is not surprising that it is difficult to sympathize with the individuals who flee from the scene. Still, it is imperative that one is conscious of the underlying psychological influences that contribute to the actions of hit-and-run assailants. Perhaps this knowledge may prevent someone from thinking in the same patterns that elicit the action of bolting.

It seems reasonable that an individual would want to avoid financial and legal penalties, thus fleeing from an accident appears sane albeit insensitive. Still, the majority of population classifies hit-and-runners as psychotic individuals who lack a moral code and a decent upbringing. Unfortunately, this image does not capture the complex emotional and cognitive processes that an assailant feels during a hit-and-run.

The fight-or-flight is a physiological response to a threatening situation. The individual is preparing to either run away or deal with the issue at hand. In a split-second following an accident, confusion, fear, guilt, and other emotions flood the perpetuator. In that instance, he or she can either run or deal with the consequences. If an individual lacks self-control, then they may yield to their emotions. Rather than address the situation in a rational and responsible way, they may engage in the impulsive act of fleeing. Several factors contribute to this diminished self-control, but the strongest influencer is alcohol and drugs. These substances increase emotional response and weaken rational decision-making. Indeed, drunk driving is often involved in most hit-and-run accidents. In order to prevent falling victim to emotions, the individuals must take a breath and think rationally about the consequences of running away. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to think logically in the heat of the moment.

Dangerous Work Conditions: Construction Site Accidents

By on 10-13-2016 in Uncategorized

Many work safety advocates cite construction as among the most dangerous private industry sector in America. According to a 2014 report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OHSA, construction site accidents were responsible for 899 of all 4,821 worker fatalities in the private sector. This number accounts for 20.5 percent of all workplace deaths. In other words, one in every five worker deaths reported in 2014 was in the construction industry.

The OHSA identifies falls, electrocutions, getting struck by objects, and being caught inside or in between equipment as the most common construction site accidents in 2014. The federal government agency nicknamed these incidents as construction’s “fatal four,” seeing as these accidents accounted for over half of all the reported deaths in that year. They also estimated that preventing these “fatal four” accidents could save the lives of over 500 construction workers across America each year.

Preventing these “fatal four” incidents and other construction site accidents will depend on the dedication of construction firms and companies. Most of these accidents are easily avoidable as long as these companies are serious about implementing safety regulations and precautions. Employees who fail to act on workplace hazards that could be easily mitigated by following through with basic protocols may be found responsible for the consequences that happen due to construction site accidents.

Fortunately, construction site workers victimized by their employer’s negligence have many legal options available to them. Aside from pursuing a civil lawsuit, injured workers can also enlist the help of a lawyer to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Consult with an experience legal professional to receive instructions and appropriate assistance on how you could be properly compensated for a construction site injury. Those in North Carolina may reach out to a Raleigh workmen’s compensation lawyer for more information.

Age and Motorcycle Accidents

By on 7-02-2016 in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen for many reasons, but statistics also show that they are happening with alarming regularity and more often than ever before, according to William Kherkher. Riding a motorcycle comes with a certain amount of risk that differs from taking a vehicle onto the road. They are smaller and thus provide for less visibility to surrounding cars. There are road hazards that are commonly harmless to cars, but which have the potential to pose a great threat to motorcyclists- debris, uneven road surfaces, small objects, and wet pavement are some. There is also the obvious lack of protection between road and driver that comes with riding a motorcycle; you no longer have a barrier of metal surrounding you as you travel. But another factor that is not often considered is age- older motorcyclists are involved in more than half of motorcycle incidents on the road. NHTSA data show that the average age of motorcyclists killed or injured in accidents is 42, and that 55% involved in crashes are over the age of 40. The steepest rise in accidents and subsequent hospital admittance among age brackets is in the 60+ age group. These findings can be attributed to the fact that older groups are more likely to sustain fractures, dislocations and other injuries, and the fact that as age increases, vision accuracy and reaction time decreases, making cyclists more susceptible to the carelessness of vehicles around them.

Exposure to Toxic Substances

By on 2-12-2016 in Toxic Substances

Washington, D.C.-based non-profit investigative journalism organization Center for Public Integrity recently released a series of reports titled Unequal Risk, which found out that 50,000 Americans are dying every year due to job-related exposure to harmful substances, which, the report states, are present in many types of occupations in the country – from medical work to automotive repair, a job in the retail industry to wood preservation.

The report says that the United States’ worker-protection laws regarding this violation have no teeth, and that companies who have been found in violation of such laws have only received a slap on the wrist. Because of this, some people who have been harmed due to exposure to toxic substances preferred to go to the courts over their plight. One of these people is 39-year-old Kris Penny, who lodged a legal complaint against Dallas, Texas-based multinational telecommunications corporation AT&T Inc. for having been exposed to asbestos while installing fibre-optic cable, resulting in him getting mesothelioma, a form of carcinoma of the mesothelium lining lungs, abdomen, or heart.

Attorneys at the Abel Law Firm say mesothelioma is not the only disease that a person can get from being exposed to a harmful substance, and it certainly isn’t the only one that can hurt one’s respiratory system. Other diseases that can affect the respiratory system include asbestosis, emphysema, decreased oxygen supply in blood, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and fibrosis. Possible contaminants include carbon monoxide (car exhaust, unvented or faulty furnaces), soot (furnaces, wood burning stoves), and radon (the ground), among others.

One’s renal system – the kidneys, urethra, bladder, and the ureter – also can be affected by harmful contaminants by inducing kidney tissue damage, kidney cancer, decreased formation of urine, decreased blood flow to the kidney, and decreased ability to filter water and waste from the blood. Possible contaminants include cadmium (old batteries, cigarette smoke), lead (oil paint, outdated plumbing), among others.

What To Do When Someone’s Choking

By on 9-30-2015 in Choking

Choking is the blockage of the airway caused by the lodging of a foreign object in the windpipe. Because choking prevents air from entering the lungs, it may cut off your body’s supply of oxygen and may then result in potentially fatal adverse effects.

A person is said to be choking if he clutches his throat with one or both of his hands. But apart from this signal, there are many other signs of choking, including inability to speak and cough, discolored fingernails and lips, and loss of consciousness. According to jeffsampsonlaw.com, choking can be a result of almost anything: a lodged piece of food, a small toy component that has been swallowed, or an ingested foreign object from a contaminated food product. Whatever the reason is, choking is considered a medical emergency that needs quick response.

When someone is choking it is important to identify first if the person is an adult, a child, or an infant below one year old. Depending on his/her age, you must do the following:

For adults and children over one year old

  1.  If the choking is mild and the person is able to cough, encourage him to clear the blockage by coughing
  2.  If you can see the blockage, remove it using both your index and middle finger
  3. If the choking becomes serious, call 911 or have someone call 911
  4. Give the person 5 quick blows between his shoulder blades using the heel of your hand (the portion between your wrist and your palm)
  5. If this doesn’t work out, perform Heimlich maneuver:
    •  Stand behind the person and wrap your hands around his waist
    • Make a fist on one hand, and grab the fist with the other
    • Position it into the abdomen just above the navel
    • Press hard against the abdomen up to 5 times
    • Alternate between the back blows and Heimlich maneuver until the blockage comes out or until knowledgeable responders are available

For children less than one year old

  1.  Hold the baby face down on your forearm, make sure his head is lower than his stomach
  2. Using the heel of your hand, give five firm but gentle blows between his shoulder blades
  3.  Check for the blockage. If you can’t see the blockage, do not insert your fingers as it might push the blockage further down
  4. If this doesn’t work, hold the baby face up and let him lie on your forearm
  5. Keep the baby’s head lower than the stomach, his head and neck supported
  6. Place your fingers between the baby’s breastbone and provide five firm blows
  7. Do this alternately until responders are available

How to Maximize Your Self Storage Unit

By on 7-26-2015 in Self Storage

For most people, keeping the home clear of clutter can be a real challenge. One of the best ways to ensure that your space doesn’t get too crowded with too much stuff is by renting a self storage unit. Having a space where you can keep prized possessions can be a great life saver, especially for people living in smaller spaces like apartment and condominium units.

Because renting your own self storage unit entails additional costs, it’s important to get the best deal and maximize the space that your budget can allow. For that, you will need to be careful about how you pack and arrange the items inside your unit. The following tips can help you organized your stuff inside your allocated space.

According to the website of Pond Springs Mini Storage, an easy way to save space inside your self storage unit is by making use of boxes to store smaller items inside. Since boxes can be stacked on top of each other, you can just keep certain items in one corner of your unit and leave space for bulkier stuff like furniture pieces. Make sure you use sturdy boxes to store your items. Instead of traditional cardboard boxes, it might be better to use plastic storage boxes. You should also keep in mind to keep heavier boxes at the bottom of your stack, and not to pile all these boxes up too high.

While it may be cumbersome, larger items like furniture should be disassembled before being placed inside your unit. This will drastically increase the space in the unit. The furniture that you can’t take apart—like couches, armchairs, and mattresses—should be kept at the very back of your unit to keep it out of the way when you’re coming back in to find something you need. You can also save space by using dressers and drawers as additional storage units for small items such as books, jewelry, and clothing.

Lifestyle magazines and similar publications are pushing for people to start decluttering their homes. If you want to take their advice and keep your home space clear of things you don’t necessarily need at the moment, renting your own self storage unit can be a quick solution. The first thing you’ll need to do is find a storage service that’s easily accessible from where you live. Those in and around the Austin area in Texas can opt for the first step is to look for an accessible storage service around your area.

No-Zone Truck Accidents: A Common Cause of Dangerous Traffic Outcomes

By on 7-25-2015 in Car / Truck Accidents

It comes as no surprise to know that a significant number of people become injured in a car accident every year in America. The number is even more significant for accidents involving large trucks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, roughly 104,000 traffic injuries reported in 2012 are due to truck accidents. Considering these vehicles are about 20 to 30 times heavier than regular passenger cars, navigating through roads and controlling trucks require specialized skills. Drivers have a different set of considerations to take into account when operating 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, big rigs, and other trucks. One of these considerations includes their vehicle’s blind spots or no-zones.

As any driver would know, all types of vehicles will have their own no-zone areas. These refer to specific points of the road and surroundings that are difficult to spot from where the driver is sitting. Smaller vehicles make use of mirrors to minimize the effect of these blind spots. However, blind spots prove to be a lot more challenging for large trucks. Due to the vehicle’s size, a truck driver’s view is typically obstructed on different points in the road. According to the website of the Texas truck accident attorneys at Williams Kherkher, no-zone spots include the areas directly in front of the vehicle, directly on both sides of the vehicle, and behind the truck, depending on vehicle’s length.

A truck driver who is not well-equipped and trained to watch out for these no-zone areas can cause accidents that may lead to devastating injuries. While the severity of these injuries will largely depend on the specific details of the crash, it’s easy to assume that those involved in the collision face potentially dangerous outcomes. The possibility of facing critical medical conditions such as internal bleeding, brain trauma, and spinal cord injuries are extremely high.

Temporary Disability Benefits in Iowa

By on 7-24-2015 in Disability Benefits

An accident is sure to cause a number of consequences that will affect a person’s quality of life. This is particularly true for accidents that lead to serious injury. In cases when a victim comes out of an accident with debilitating injuries, full recovery can be expected to take a significant amount of time. In that period, these victims won’t be able to go through the motions of their routine as they did before. For most, that means having to take time off of their jobs.

As one can imagine, taking time off of work in order to focus on recovery following an accident can be very difficult on an individual and his or her family. This will surely see the victim experiencing some financial hardship because they no longer have access to their primary source of income. Mitigating the consequences that result from accidents is possible through workers’ compensation benefits. In particular, employees in Iowa can look into temporary disability benefits to seek out the financial assistance they need during recuperation.

Iowa’s employment laws categorize temporary disability into two groups. The amount of benefits received by an injured employee will depend on which category they fall. The first, called temporary partial disability, refers to applies to those who are unable to return to their jobs or any similar positions but are able to perform other tasks of a different nature suitable to the victim’s current condition. Meanwhile, temporary total disability is applicable to those who completely incapacitated by their injuries but are expected to make a full recovery and return to their normal work after some time.

For those suffering from partial disability, Des Moines disability benefits payments can begin on the fourth day they’ve missed work. Benefits will continue until either the victim is fit enough to return to their previous work or another position of a similar nature. On the other hand, temporary partial disability benefits are received to supplement the lesser paying position taken by the victim because of their injury. This amounts to 66 and 2/3 of the difference between their regular weekly earnings and the current weekly wage they receive in their temporary position.