Pennsylvania and Ohio Injury Law Blog

Proposed legislation seeks to place cameras in work zones

Earlier this month, we wrote about steps law enforcement officers are taking to keep road workers safe. Specifically they are concerned about drivers travelling over the posted speed limit in work zones. To try to prevent worker deaths troopers participating in Operation Orange Squeeze are planning on watching drivers in work zones, from construction vehicles.

Police officers participating in the pilot are focused on drivers who are speeding and do not have their lights on. Following the lead of a neighboring state, Pennsylvania is considering implementing another approach. Supporters of the new approach indicate that it could save the state money since it would reduce reliance upon police officers paid overtime to monitor work zones in person.

Will new rule lead to fewer construction worker injuries?

The Labor Department’s Occupation Safety and Health Administration thinks so. The rule, which will take effect this summer on Aug. 3, will specifically pertain to construction workers who must complete tasks in confined spaces. These spaces include tanks and manholes.

The issue with these types of locations is that when an injury occurs it can be difficult for them to get out of the confined area. Individuals who work in these conditions face multiple risks including:

  • Explosions
  • Asphyxiation
  • Electrocution
  • Exposure to toxic substances

Could advances in robotics hold the keys to industrial safety?

Technology is changing the way we do almost everything. Machines are steadily taking over many categories of jobs that used to be performed by humans. In the industrial context, robotics are thriving. So, too, is the “Industrial Internet of Things” – a proliferation of smart technology that uses interconnected sensors and software to keep complex processes in sync.

Most of these advances are geared toward reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Businesses adopt new technology when it makes sense for their bottom lines. Yet new technology may also open the doors to vast safety improvements, particularly in the industrial context.

Study finds PET scan might help to diagnose CTE

There is much that is yet unknown regarding how a brain responds to repeated or a serious injury. One condition that has been receiving a lot of attention as of late is chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Also referred to as CTE, those who have it could suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Aggression
  • Progressive dementia

While the presence of these symptoms could indicate the presence of the disease, currently it is only possible to definitely diagnose it after death. Experts in the field are hoping to develop a way to make that diagnosis earlier. An early diagnosis could be beneficial because it is at that point when experimental treatments have the greatest chance of being successful.

Program aims to keep road workers in Pennsylvania safe

Last week we wrote a post on ways to keep those who do road work safe from back over accidents. As it turns out state officials are interested in doing that very thing as well. This is illustrated by the launch of a new safety initiative, called Operation Orange Squeeze, by the Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

The initiative is geared toward protecting road workers from other drivers in the area at the same time. The safety plan follows the death of two workers in the last few years. A man was killed in 2012 while picking up debris along the shoulder of a road and in June of last year a turnpike maintenance employee died while in a work zone. The program will be rolled out throughout the state over the course of the next few months.

Top 4 hazards in the construction industry

The construction industry is very dangerous. Roughly 20 percent of all work-related fatalities happened in the construction industry in 2013, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Construction workers in Pennsylvania should be aware of the dangers they face while working. Employers also need to be aware of the hazards so they can take steps to keep workers safe by reducing hazards and accidents in the industry.

Drunk driver injures Butler County police officer

An on duty Butler city police officer was injured by a drunk driver last Wednesday. On Whitestown Road in Butler Township, Pennsylvania, a Butler city police officer pulled over a Butler woman for speeding. He pulled her over on the left side of the road. While sitting in his car writing a citation, a Renfrew, Pennsylvania resident collided into the back of the Butler police officer's police SUV. The Renfrew man was 18 years old and smelled of alcohol and showed other signs of being impaired. He also failed field sobriety tests and a toxicology exam is pending.

Taking precautions can prevent back over accidents

With the arrival of warmer temperatures in the state of Pennsylvania road work will likely soon be picking up throughout the state. To accomplish the work that needs to be done, workers as well as large vehicles and pieced of equipment will be out on the roads. If proper care is not taken it is possible that someone could be seriously injured and even killed by that machinery.

The number of those incidents that occur as a result of human error could be reduced if those operating the machines follow safety protocol.

Westmoreland County limestone mine accident leaves 3 injured

A mine collapse at the Whitney Plant in Unity Township, Pennsylvania has injured three workers. All three workers were hurt when a massive ground fall of dirt and stone fell on them while they were in the entrance to a Westmoreland County underground mine. The mine where this incident occurred produces brick, block, and stone. The Mine and Safety Healthy Administration investigated the scene.

Support the Mark Kirkwood Foundation to help him beat cancer

In March of 2015, the Kirkwood family received terrible news. Mark Kirkwood was diagnosed with a rare form of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Mark Kirkwood is a pillar in the Lawrence County community. Now, the community has a chance to help return all the good he has done by assisting him on his long journey to beat cancer. To help, click the link here to the Mark Kirkwood Foundation funding page or copy and paste the following website into your browser: