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Pennsylvania and Ohio Injury Law Blog

The word "accident" may be going out of style

Some advocates are pushing journalists and policymakers to stop using the word 'accident' when describing a car crash, believing that the word minimizes the responsibility of the person who caused the crash. With many car crashes being the result of drunken or distracted driving, these advocates may have a point, although the practical implications of switching from 'accident' to 'crash' remain to be seen.  

Those who don't like the word 'accident' believe that the word implies that motor vehicle crashes are beyond anyone's control, when in fact, drinking and driving is a choice, as is texting while driving. Some advocates believe that by substituting the word 'crash,' people will take the dangers of driving more seriously, instead of chalking up each injury as the logical conclusion of a series of actions that couldn't have been prevented. 

Does your motorcycle helmet meet safety standards?

While not all state laws require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, doing so can provide riders an essential layer of protection in the event of a crash. Not all helmets provide adequate protection, however. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

But some riders wear helmets that don't meet the standard set by the DOT. These helmets function more as costume than cushion against traumatic injury. People who wear these helmets, mistakenly thinking they are adequately protected from the force of a collision, could be courting a very unwelcome surprise. 

Technological advancements may protect construction workers (P.2)

In our last post, we started a discussion about new technologies that are paving the way for increased construction zone safety. These technologies take a new and exciting approach to keeping our construction workers safe.

If we were to think about the typical safety measures we see at a construction zone, we might think about safety cones, signs, and barricades. The way a construction company keeps their road workers safe is regulated by the Federal Highway Administration. They require that companies comply with the regulations outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Each state may also have additional rules. Having a federal standard means that construction zones across the country will have similar safety measures which will be familiar to all in-state and out-of-state drivers.

Technological advancements may protect construction workers (P.1)

Working in the construction industry can be very rewarding. It can be a lifelong career leading to many advancement opportunities. At the same time, construction work can be extremely dangerous. These workers often put their faith in the company they work for as they embark on dangerous projects. They have faith that the company is following all safety procedures and has their workers’ safety as a top priority.

Construction workers deserve the best when it comes to their safety. Fortunately, there are many technological advancements that happen every year in terms of construction zone safety. People who do not work in the field may be unaware of the amazing technologies available to companies to keep their employees safe.

Why is scaffolding so deadly?

Scaffolding accidents continue to be a major contributor to construction site injuries. According to OSHA, ensuring scaffold safety on construction sites would prevent approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths per year. What is it about scaffolding that makes it so dangerous for workers? 

In short, there are many things that can go wrong on scaffolding that can lead to falls and serious injuries. Scaffolding instability can lead to collapse, or workers can slip and fall from scaffolding that remains intact. Scaffolding instability can come from many sources, including:

  • An uneven or otherwise unstable footing
  • Loosely planked platforms
  • Unsecured objects being used to shore up scaffolding or planks
  • Weakened or damaged screws, brackets or other accessories

Pennsylvania to require rear-facing seats for children under 2

On June 13, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into a law a bill requiring children under the age of 2 to ride in backwards-facing child seats when traveling in a vehicle. Previous law required only children under the age of 1 who weighed less than 20 pounds to ride in a rear-facing car seat.The new law would go into effect late summer, with violators facing fines. There is, however a one-year grace period during which officers will be issuing verbal warnings instead of fines. 

Rear-facing child seats are considered to be safer than front-facing seats because in a crash, they distribute impact across the whole body instead of isolating the impact at the contact points of the restraint belt. Rear-facing child seats have been shown to be particularly helpful in protecting children in side-impact crashes.

Workers may suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome

There are many types of injuries that can occur while a person is working. We can likely list dozens of different ways that a person doing manual labor can get injured, but what about people who do clerical work or work behind a computer all day? Anyone who has spent years behind a keyboard has likely experienced or knows someone who has experienced the symptoms of carpal tunnel.

Carpal tunnel is a syndrome that happens when the median nerve in the wrist becomes pinched or squeezed. The symptoms can start out relatively minor, with occasional numbness and tingling, but can quickly become painful. The pinched nerve can lead to extreme numbness, nerve pain and an inability to use the hand or fingers.

Rockey Allen tests positive for HIV, authorities announce 1,000 people have yet to be tested

Rocky Allen, the Denver-area "serial infector" who made national headlines in February after his indictment, has now tested positive for HIV. In addition to hepatitis B and hepatitis C, some 3000 patients who were potentially exposed to Allen's tainted needles may now have something new to worry about. The 28-year-old former Army medic who was court-martialed for stealing Fentanyl while serving in Afghanistan, is now facing charges of tampering with a consumer product and deceitfully obtaining a controlled substance.

A closer look at construction worker injuries, accidents, P.2

In today’s post we continue taking a look at the different types of construction worker accidents and the injuries related to them. It’s important to understand what types of accidents may happen on the construction worksite and the legal options thereafter, especially if you are a worker who has recently been injured or the family of a worker who has been injured or killed while on the job.

Here are a few other types of accidents that may happen:

A closer look at construction worker injuries, accidents, P.1

The construction industry keeps our cities in workable condition. They help build our infrastructure, the homes around us and the businesses we frequent. While the industry has a lot of good opportunities in terms of jobs, these careers come with obvious risks. The hands-on jobs can lead to injuries that can be crippling or even fatal.

The statistics definitely support the common knowledge that the industry comes with significant risk of injury. For every 100 full-time construction workers, there are 4.3 nonfatal illnesses and injuries.

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