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Lawnside New Jersey Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Blog

The New Jersey winter increases your risk of slipping and falling

When the full force of winter hits New Jersey, life can become infinitely more difficult. Your daily commute will take longer and likely feel much more stressful because of the risk of slipping or whiteouts. Running errands can also be more stressful, especially as the holidays approach and there are more frantic shoppers in the stores.

You might not even think of it, but just getting into and out of the store safely becomes more difficult once winter weather rolls into the Garden State. With the accumulation of ice and snow comes the risk of people slipping and falling. Many businesses are not proactive enough about keeping their floors dry and their parking lots safely clear of accumulated ice and snow.

Pesticide exposure raises risk for stroke, heart attack

A study has connected exposure to high pesticide levels with an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. New Jersey residents should know that the study involved 7,557 Japanese-American men who participated in another study called the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program. This program lasted from 1965 to 1999. Researchers combined this with data from OSHA to determine pesticide exposure levels.

They found that these men had a 45% higher risk for heart attack and stroke when exposed to pesticides. The first 10 years of pesticide exposure were deemed the riskiest with the effects of the pesticides wearing off after that. The link between pesticides, heart attack and stroke could not be discerned after 34 years, but aging and other factors may be masking the connection.

Safe driving techniques can reduce accident risk

Over the years, cars have become safer in the sense of affording more protection to drivers and passengers. In New Jersey and, generally, throughout the country, highways have statistically fewer accidents. Nonetheless, there are numerous vehicle collisions each day, and although, thankfully, most are minor in nature, some cause serious injury or worse. While the typical driver thinks the 'other guy" poses the primary danger of causing an accident, every person who gets behind the wheel should consider basic safety driving techniques.

For a little perspective, although the number of accidents are declining, safety experts report 40,000 Americans each year lose their lives on our nation's roadways. Anything any driver can do to reduce that number even further is well worth the effort. Although it may seem unnecessary to mention, some of the primary tips the experts recommend to reduce accidents are quite simple -- keep hands on the steering wheel, don't use a cell phone when driving and never drink and drive. Just heeding these three tips alone would significantly lower accident rates.

Drugged or cognitively impaired patients can hurt medical staff

In any industry, there are a number of ways for professionals to wind up severely hurt through the course of their work. For those who work in the medical profession, physical injuries can often result from exposure to dangerous machinery or overexertion, which can occur when staff members attempt to move or lift heavy patients.

However, there are other risk factors that medical workers face, including the potential for violence from patients in their care. Roughly one in 10 injuries (approximately 9%) suffered by hospital workers relate to violence in the workplace. There are a number of scenarios in which a patient may pose an increased risk of bodily injury to medical staff.

How to keep workers safe from workplace hazards

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 882,730 occupational injuries and illnesses in 2017 that resulted in lost days at work. Other negative consequences of New Jersey workplace injuries and illnesses include lost productivity as well as workers' compensation claims. All of these things could result in lost money for companies in any sector of the economy.

About a quarter of workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls. Therefore, companies may want to put an emphasis on mitigating conditions that could lead to them occurring. For instance, employers should have a dress code in place that requires workers to wear back braces or hard hats. Workers should also be educated about the different hazards that they could face and how to avoid them.

Road rage incidents skyrocketing across the U.S.

Motorists in New Jersey and other states are increasingly engaging in road rage and other aggressive driving behaviors, according to federal data. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that deadly car accidents involving aggressive driving have skyrocketed in recent years. In addition, a nonprofit news organization reported that incidents involving drivers brandishing or firing guns at other drivers climbed from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016.

Meanwhile, most U.S. drivers readily admit that they can be aggressive behind the wheel. A survey conducted by the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 80% of drivers admitted they expressed anger, aggression or road rage at least once in the previous 12 months. Specifically, 51% of of drivers said they have purposely tailgated other vehicles, 47% said they have yelled at other motorists, 45% said they have honked their horns at others in anger and 33% have made obscene gestures at others. However, a smaller percentage of drivers admit they have engaged in even more aggressive behaviors. Specifically, 24% of drivers said they have purposely blocked another car from changing lanes, 12% said they have purposely cut off another driver, 4% have left their vehicle to confront another motorist and 3% said they have purposely rammed another car out of anger.

A brain injury can have life-changing consequences

Car and truck crashes have the potential to cause victims to suffer from brain injuries. A person might hit their head on the windshield, be thrown from the vehicle or even hit their head on the steering wheel. Sometimes, brain injuries can happen without a direct impact. A sudden jolt or stop could result in injuries when the brain moves inside the skull, eventually hitting the skull and suffering from that impact.

There are safety tips that can help prevent this kind of injury in a crash, such as wearing a seat belt or making sure your airbags work properly. However, many people suffer injuries even when they're doing everything right.

How to comply with radiation exposure rules

Individuals in New Jersey and throughout the country are exposed to radiation when they use a microwave or talk on a cellphone. However, this is different than the short-wave radiation that doctors and others are exposed to each day while on the job. Over time, individuals could become vulnerable to cancer or other health issues either while on the job or many years after they have stopped working.

There is some debate as to how much exposure a person can experience before it becomes hazardous to his or her health. The practice of dosimetry aims to monitor how much ionized radiation is absorbed into a person's tissue over a given period of time. Data is collected through a badge worn by a technician or anyone else who could be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of harmful particles. At the end of the daily, weekly or monthly read period, the data is sent to be analyzed to ensure that companies are complying with existing safety regulations.

Driver-assist technology remains reliant on human engagement

The driver-assist technology in some new vehicles depends on radar, cameras and software to interpret the data. Although driver-assist features, like automatic emergency braking, have the potential to reduce traffic accidents in New Jersey, drivers cannot rely on them entirely. The chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety called the software a work in progress.

Testing of vehicles with automated driver-assist technology by a European organization determined that human drivers play the primary role in avoiding accidents. Overall, the technology appears to perform better with moving objects but can fail in other situations. Automated systems faced significant limitations when trying to interpret stationary objects or refocus after a vehicle changes lanes in front of the vehicle.

Drunk driving, and how to avoid it

Alcohol impairs the central nervous system and can cause everything from impaired muscle coordination to memory lapses. Even a small lapse in judgment can prevent one from doing two things at once or tracking a moving object. When alcohol consumption mixes with driving, the results can be fatal. Every year in New Jersey and across the U.S., around 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that about 30 people die each day in drunk driving crashes in the U.S. Motorcyclists see the highest rate of fatal drunk driving crashes. In 2017, 1,357 of the 4,885 motorcyclists who were killed in crashes were found to be intoxicated. That comes to 28%.

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