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Lawnside New Jersey Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Blog

Nursing home workers face many on-the-job hazards

When you think of dangerous industries in which to seek employment, which come to mind? Many people think of coal mining, construction work and manufacturing, and it's true that all can pose certain hazards to workers in those fields.

But you may be surprised to learn that nursing home workers get injured at work at higher rates than workers in those aforementioned sectors, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

"100 deadliest days" for teen drivers are in summer

Ford Motor Company states that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is an especially dangerous time for teen drivers, who are inexperienced to begin with. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, calling this period the "100 deadliest days for teen drivers," found that the fatal car crash risk for teens increases 15% during summer. Parents in New Jersey are thus advised to teach their teens about safe driving, over and over again if necessary.

Teens spend more time behind the wheel in summer than in any other season, so it's important that they know their roads, exercise caution in construction zones and avoid driving at night as much as possible. With the approach of Independence Day and other opportunities for partying, teens should know the danger of drowsy, drunk and drugged driving.

McDonald's workers file OSHA complaint over workplace violence

Workers at McDonald's restaurants in New Jersey and around the country are often confronted with violent situations while on the job. After studying working conditions at McDonald's restaurants over the past three years, the National Employment Law Project found 721 media reports of violent altercations. Unfortunately, many more incidents are not reported in the media. The New York-based nonprofit group says that most of these incidents involve individuals brandishing guns.

A group of McDonald's workers in Chicago says that their store is particularly violent. They have filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that claims the fast-food company and its franchisee are not doing enough to keep them safe. The complaint, which was filed on May 20, includes accounts of workers being threatened with guns, dodging food thrown by deranged customers and having scalding coffee thrown over them. They say the company is well aware of these incidents but has done nothing to improve security.

5 steps to take if a dog bites you

Even the cutest and friendliest dogs have the potential to attack. If a dog bites you, it's imperative to keep calm and immediately assess your injuries.

Taking the following steps will help stabilize your injury and improve the chance of making a full recovery without complications:

  • Press on the wound: Gentle pressure will flush out some (hopefully all) of the bacteria, while also allowing you to stop the bleeding.
  • Wash the area: All you need is warm water and a mild soap to do this.
  • Apply an antibiotic cream: If readily available, apply this to the wound after it stops bleeding and it has been thoroughly cleaned.
  • Wrap the wound: With the help of a sterile bandage or piece of clothing, you can wrap the wound until you're able to seek medical assistance.
  • Visit your doctor or a local hospital: Don't assume you can treat the wound at home, as you never really know what's going on until you see a doctor. It's always better to be safe than sorry with a dog bite.

Why drowsy driving is dangerous

Driving while drowsy on New Jersey roads can put people in danger. Individuals should not drive after taking prescription sleep aids as it could increase their risk of being too groggy to do so safely. It is also important to point out that driving after being awake for 24 straight hours is like driving with a blood alcohol level of .10%. That is higher than the legal limit of .08% in most states.

Those who are planning on driving should have at least seven or eight hours of sleep prior to doing so. However, if a person is still tired after sleeping for several hours, it may be a good idea to be evaluated for a sleep disorder. Getting adequate sleep can be especially helpful prior to a trip that may take several hours to complete. It is a good idea to take a break every two hours even when fully alert.

AFL-CIO reports on high worker fatality, illness rates

As part of Workers' Memorial Week (April 22 to 29), the AFL-CIO called attention to several deadly trends in a report entitled, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect." Employers in New Jersey may want to think about any areas where they may be neglecting the health and safety of their employees. They are also encouraged to go online and take the National Safety Council's Safe at Work Pledge.

As for the report, it presents some startling data. In 2017, there were 5,147 worker deaths: slightly less than the 5,190 in 2016 but still much higher than the 4,836 reported the year before that. Transportation incidents were the leading cause of death, being responsible for 2,077 deaths. This was followed by slips, trips and falls (887 deaths) and workplace violence (807). Violence also factored in 29,000 cases of injuries resulting in time off work.

Heat stroke is a concern for construction workers

As a construction worker in the state of New Jersey, you're aware that the spring and summer months can bring extremely hot temperatures to the area. When working outside, it's imperative to take a variety of steps to maintain your safety.

Heat stroke is a serious injury that requires immediate first aid and medical attention at a local hospital.

Study links opioid use with higher risk of fatal car crashes

A study, the results of which have been published in JAMA Network Open, has found that opioid use raises the risk for fatal motor vehicle crashes. New Jersey residents should know that prior to the opioid epidemic that began in the 1990s, opioids were responsible for about 1% of driver deaths in the US whereas recent years have seen the statistic rise to 7%.

Opioids are known to make drivers dizzy or sedate. With that comes a lack of alertness and slower reaction times. Opioids usually come with labels that warn users not to drive or use heavy machinery while taking the medication. CDC data shows that 214 million opioid prescriptions are issued every year in the US, though the rate at which opioids are being prescribed has gone down from 72.4% to 66.5% between 2006 and 2016.

Fall protection training critical for worker safety

Government safety regulators have issued a fall prevention fact sheet to support construction companies participating in the sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds injure New Jersey workers every year. Over 300 construction workers around the country on average lose their lives annually because of falls. The fact sheet from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health highlights fall prevention procedures and encourages employers to ensure that all workers receive proper safety training.

According to NIOSH guidance, workers on roofs need a fall prevention plan before climbing the ladder. Employers should issue appropriate safety gear and train workers in the use of restraint systems. Workers should use the buddy system to watch out for hazards and alert each other to danger. Keeping an eye on the weather promotes safety as well in high places.

Root Insurance studies distracted driving trends

Smartphones and other mobile devices are a major source of distraction for drivers in New Jersey as elsewhere in the U.S. Root Insurance, an insurer that provides incentives to drivers who avoid phone use, has recently made known the results of its second annual distracted driving study, and they show that distractions are becoming a nationwide road safety issue.

Though 47% of drivers said distractions are a top concern for them, and though 99% recognized phones as a danger to drivers, the study found that these respondents use their phones an average of 13 minutes a day, or 91 minutes a week, behind the wheel. About 38% even said they do not put down their mobile devices when they spot police. Phone use is not the only unsafe activity, though.

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