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Burlington Personal Injury Law Blog

Improved construction helmets

An engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which has been researching protective helmets since the 1970s, stated in 2014 that construction workers should have the best designed headgear. New Jersey construction workers may be able to use safety helmets created by construction companies to specifically to give workers better protection from injuries and fatalities related to falling. From 2003 to 2010, there were 2,210 traumatic brain injuries in the construction industry that resulted in death, which correlated to a rate of 2.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Workers 65 years of age or older had the highest rates of TBI rates of all workers, with falls being the primary cause.

Often referred to as hard hats, construction helmets are brimmed and have suspension bands inside that disperse the weight of the helmet and the force of impacts it may sustain. There is typically almost an inch between the worker's head and the helmet's shell so that if the helmet was to sustain a blow or impact, such as from a falling object or during a fall, there is a reduced chance that the force of the impact will be applied directly to the skull. Construction companies have begun to design safety hat designs that are similar to those used for sports such as mountain climbing. They state that these types of hats are not as likely to fall off .

Economy plays role in New Jersey traffic fatality rates

When unemployment goes down, deaths in motor vehicle accidents go up. Number crunching at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that an improving economy leads to more discretionary driving, such as going to restaurants or taking vacations. This type of travel appears to expose people to more risks than day-to-day commuting because people tend to drive faster when the economy is better for some reason.

The institute calculated that a drop in unemployment from 6 percent to 5 percent corresponds with a 2 percent rise in the amount of miles traveled in vehicles. With people spending more time on the road, they have a greater chance of getting in a wreck. Statistically, the increase in vehicle miles creates a 2 percent rise in traffic fatalities.

Vernon takes action to curb its vicious dog problem

New Jersey dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. If your child is playing in a park, and a vicious dog bites him or her, the owner of the dog will likely be financially responsible for the costs associated with your child's medical care.

In addition to holding vicious dog owners financially accountable, one township in New Jersey wants to up the ante.

Injury risks could be higher for younger workers

New Jersey workers who are younger than 24 may be more likely to suffer a workplace injury than their older counterparts. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that in 2015, there were more than 400 work-related deaths for people under that age. Between 1998 and 2007, an average of about 795,000 younger workers per year had to be treated in emergency rooms after a work-related injury. This injury rate is about two times higher than that of older workers.

The two industries that employ largest numbers of teen workers are hospitality and leisure, under which food service falls, and retail. Both industries carry a risk of slippery floors. In food service, young workers are also at risk around hot equipment and from the possibility of violent crime. In retail, machinery and heavy lifting can both be dangerous. Young employees may also be employed in jobs such as janitorial staff or in the agricultural industry where they could face exposure to chemical hazards.

Recent amusement park accident highlights dangers

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster ride and felt like the seat wasn't properly made, there was a problem with the seatbelt or a part may be malfunctioning? Many people have experienced this kind of situation. In most cases, riders escape unharmed, but this doesn't mean accidents don't happen.

Perhaps when you were riding a roller coaster, the seat restraint failed and during a tight turn you were ejected from the ride. Or, perhaps you hit and broke your arm as the ride was speeding past a dangerously placed support beam. Even worse, maybe a close family member of yours died as a result of a faulty amusement park ride.

Journalist group warns about Los Alamos safety issues

Many New Jersey residents know the role that the Los Alamos National Laboratory had in the development of nuclear weapons, and they may be surprised to learn that the Department of Energy facility has been accused of handling radioactive waste and plutonium carelessly. According to the Center for Public Integrity, little has been done since worries over safety prompted officials to suspend work at the laboratory in 2013.

The nonprofit journalism group cites a particularly disturbing incident that took place in 2011. According to the CPI, organic cheesecloth was used to mop up spilled liquid plutonium. The contaminated cheesecloth was then placed in bins containing other types of nuclear material. Federal regulations forbid this practice because chemical reactions can cause fires when cheesecloth comes into contact with plutonium. Questions were also raised about safety protocols at Los Alamos during a May public hearing when it was learned that the facility's fire suppression systems have not been updated in decades.

Ankle injuries caused by slip-and-fall accidents

One of the many possible results of a slip-and-fall accident is an ankle injury. These injuries, which may vary in degree of severity, can cause mobility issues and significant pain. A New Jersey resident dealing with ankle injuries caused by the negligence of another party may have a basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding the anatomy and physiology of the foot is important for those overcoming ankle injuries. The ankle joint is made up of tendons, three bones and the synovium. The connection point of the tree bones, which include the talus, fibula and tibia, forms the ankle joint. The joint is maintained by a network of many tendons and ligaments.

Amusement park accidents and liability

Manufacturers of equipment used in amusement parks in New Jersey and throughout the country carry insurance policies to protect them in case someone is injured on a ride. While these types of accidents are not common, they can be costly for the park and manufacturer and serious for the injured person.

In 2017 in California, a 10-year-old boy suffered minor injuries when he was thrown onto concrete from a water slide on a park's opening day. The park had to close some areas. In a much more serious case in Kansas, a 10-year-old was killed when on a water ride in 2016. The reported settlement was around $20 million although the exact amount is unknown. The liability was shared between the raft manufacturers and the park owners and operators.

Signs, labels and workplace safety

With the proper use of safety signs and labels, businesses in New Jersey can alert their workers about possible safety hazards in the workplace. However, it is important that the messages on the signs and labels are easy to understand.

There are technologies that companies can use to design and print their own signs and labels, instead of ordering them and waiting for them to arrive. Desktop printers can be used to print long-lasting, full-color labels whenever the need arises. This includes heavy-duty film labels that can have special topcoats applied by laser or inkjet printers and that can self-laminate. The technology used for making safety labels and signs is also good for the environment. Improvements made in the processes for production equipment and manufacturing within just the last few years have resulted in the use of less resources.

Proving a slip-and-fall accident case isn't always easy

The modern world is full of hard surfaces, cement sidewalks, hard-tiled grocery store floors, metal and concrete staircases and more. When these surfaces get slippery, or when they're littered with something that could trip us, accidents are bound to happen.

Unfortunately, human beings aren't meant to fall on hard surfaces -- especially aging individuals. It seems like children can take a fall and bounce right back up again as if nothing happened in most cases, but when it comes to adults -- and older adults in particular -- bones are more brittle and fragile and a simple slip-and-fall accident can result in catastrophic injuries, even death.

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