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Lawnside New Jersey Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Blog

Just a minor dog bite? You still need medical attention

Dog bites are serious, although some people may believe that they aren't always that bad. Even if it's just a single puncture wound from a dog snapping at you with its teeth, that injury can be life-changing.

Dogs are said to have mouths that are cleaner that human mouths, but that's a myth. The reality is that dogs often have germs in their mouths that can make humans very sick. While bacteria is everywhere, the kind of bacteria that enters a wound makes a difference.

Double hearing protection may be needed in loud workplaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers in New Jersey and around the country to put hearing conservation programs and administrative controls into place when noise levels in the workplace are likely to reach levels that could damage human hearing. In most industrial situations, putting in ear plugs or wearing earmuffs is all that is needed to provide workers with adequate protection and meet OSHA standards. However, the noise levels in some work environments reach levels high enough to require double hearing protection.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends double hearing protection when the average noise level during shifts lasting eight hours or longer is higher than 100 A-weighted decibels. The Mine Safety and Health Administration requires double hearing protection when mine workers are exposed to average noise levels of 105 A-weighted decibels during their shifts.

WHO makes employee burnout a diagnosable condition

The World Health Organization has called employee burnout a diagnosable condition. New Jersey residents should know that the WHO defines burnout as a feeling of exhaustion coupled with an increasing mental distance from, and negative thoughts about, one's job. It results from ill-managed stress in the workplace and can lead to the inability to discharge one's duties in a professional way.

Considering how burnout affects work performance and safety, it may be surprising that OSHA has no standard for governing it. Still, employers and managers who directly supervise employees can do their part by monitoring for burnout, talking with employees about it and providing support to those who suffer from it. Establishing employee assistance programs and giving paid time off to burnt-out employees may be advisable.

Tips for driving safely this winter

There are many ways that New Jersey drivers and others can stay safe during the winter season. For example, they should increase their following distance to ensure that they have time to recover if they lose control of their vehicles. It is also a good idea to drive at a slower speed to minimize the chances of losing control of a vehicle on snowy or icy roads.

Drivers are encouraged to get used to winter driving conditions in their neighborhood or a relatively empty parking lot. This can also help them get used to the safety features that their cars or trucks have. It may be a good idea to get a set of winter tires that have more traction on slippery roads. Quality winter tires may be able to last for several seasons if they are properly maintained.

3 categories of semitruck crash causes

Semitruck crashes are serious events that can claim or dramatically change lives. It is easy to see how one of these large and heavy vehicles slamming into a smaller passenger vehicle would lead to catastrophic injuries. For these victims, finding out what happened often becomes a priority. Not only can this help them to find closure after the crash, it is also necessary if they opt to seek compensation for the damages they have to deal with.

Determining the cause of a semitruck crash isn't always easy. There are several things that can contribute to one, so looking into the situation fully is usually necessary. The circumstances surrounding the crash will often tell the story of what happened.

Most sleep-deprived workers in U.S. are in protective services

It's no secret that workers in New Jersey and around the country are getting less and less sleep at night. There are several factors in this, such as the rising use of technologies that keep people up late into the night and the greater incidence of harassment at the workplace. Work-related stress, coupled with job insecurity in some cases, is another reason.

A new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Community Health has found out what professions in particular experience the most sleep deprivation. At the top were military workers and those in protective services, including firefighters, police officers and correctional officers. Some 50% of these reported short sleep duration (i.e. less than seven hours of sleep) in 2018.

Questions remain about new vehicle safety technologies

Based on a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the performance of automatic braking systems varies widely from vehicle to vehicle. The braking system may also be significantly less reliable at night. Drivers in New Jersey have likely already encountered vehicles equipped with this safety technology on the road as they are becoming increasingly prevalent, but there are still questions about their effectiveness.

The IIHS gave six of the models it tested ratings of superior, and three models received ratings of basic while three other models got no credit ratings. The six models that got superior ratings were the 2019-2020 BMW 3-series, the 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz C-class, the 2019 Audi A4, the 2019 Volvo S60, the 2019-2020 Nissan Maxima and the 2020 Subaru Outback. The three models that were rated no credit were the 2019 Hyundai Sonata, the 2019 Kia Optima and the 2019-2020 Ford Fusion.

Heavy patients put nurses at risk

Healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes face a fair amount of risks on the job. These include things like slip-and-fall accidents, combative patients and more. There are safety steps they can take to prevent injury. One thing they cannot avoid, though, is the sheer weight of their patients.

After all, nurses often have to lift patients to roll them in bed, to help them out of bed, to help them in the shower, to get them back into bed and for a variety of other reasons. This is necessary care. They can't ignore it. At the same time, it can lead to some serious injuries -- the most significant being to the back and the spine.

The benefits of a quality workplace safety program

Companies in New Jersey and throughout the country may be able to reduce workers' compensation claims by implementing safety programs. They may also be able to reduce the severity of any claims that are made after they go into effect. Furthermore, companies that have fewer accidents may be able to pay less for a workers' compensation insurance policy. Smaller businesses may benefit more from avoiding claims as even a single accident can significantly increase their rates.

According to OSHA, there are four things that companies should do when creating a safety program. These steps include training workers properly, identifying risks and taking action to minimize hazards. Finally, both managers and employees should be involved in creating and implementing a safety plan. However, employees are going to take their cues from management when it comes to how seriously they take such an initiative.

Some types of distracted driving more dangerous

Distracted driving poses a major threat to roadway safety in New Jersey, and some reports have been particularly concerned about the prevalence of distraction among inexperienced teen drivers. From October 20 through 26, communities mark Teen Driver Safety Week, highlighting activities and events that focus on improving skills and safety for young people behind the wheel. At Michigan State University, researchers released a study addressing issues of distraction among teens. The study examined 3,400 drivers between 2011 and 2013 using various instruments deployed in their cars to measure their driving skills and behavior while operating a vehicle.

Researchers said that this in-vehicle data was critical to presenting a greater understanding of distracted driving and other threats to roadway safety. In car accident cases, police often must rely on self-reported information that can sometimes paint a misleading picture, even when crashes are attributed to cellphone distractions. The researchers examined around 60 different types of distraction that can capture a driver's attention, from talking on the phone to texting to surfing the internet. They said that the types of distractions that take a driver's hands off the wheel and eyes away from the road tended to be the most dangerous.

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