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Burlington Personal Injury Law Blog

Meat industry workers face many hazards on the job

New Jersey workers in the meat industry can face some of the most dangerous working conditions in America. Every week, those in meatpacking plants face head trauma, fractures, burns and even amputations as a result of workplace injuries and accidents. In fact, workers in the industry are three times more likely to have a severe workplace injury than the average worker. For workers in pork and beef plants, the risk of repetitive stress injuries increases by sevenfold.

The danger to workers in these already-fraught conditions may increase as plans are in place to eliminate speed restrictions on pork processing lines. Workplace injuries could escalate as workers are pushed to be even faster in a job that already sees serious risks to health and safety. Industry advocates promoting the removal of the limitations claim that injuries have gone down over the past several decades. They claim that food safety rules will impose their own speed limitations that will also protect workers.

Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians: Stay safe this summer

When the weather warms in New Jersey during the summer months, the bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists come out to play. Sunny days create the perfect backdrop to outdoor activities and hardly anyone can resist going outside to enjoy the the great outdoors. The problem is, many of these outdoor activities -- like motorcycling, bicycling and walking -- involve sharing the road with dangerous vehicles.

There are several things that motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians can do to stay as safe as possible. Follow these tips and you just might avoid getting hurt:

How distractions are leading to more pedestrian deaths

Whether their preferred mode of transportation is driving or walking, New Jersey residents should know that there are dangers to both. Since 2009, traffic fatalities have risen 11 percent, but pedestrian fatalities have risen a startling 46 percent. Experts know that vehicles themselves are not to blame for the increase because many automakers have made design changes to reduce the severity of crashes between vehicles and pedestrians.

The reason for this trend is believed to be distraction, especially cellphone use. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of active cellphones in use in the U.S. went up 236 percent between 2010 and 2016. Countless studies have been made showing that actions like calling, texting and even adjusting the audio put drivers at a higher risk for accidents.

July 4 accidents and their common causes

July 4 may be a holiday, but New Jersey residents will want to be on the lookout for safety hazards while they're celebrating. Of all the days in the year, Independence Day is the worst for fatal car crashes. In fact, 40 percent of all highway deaths from 2007 to 2011 were caused by drunk drivers between the days of June 30 and July 4. This is according to data from Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The same data states that nearly 200 highway deaths occur every year in the same five-day span. Alcohol intoxication is not solely to blame; more people are on the roads for the holiday, and if they are traveling unfamiliar routes, they may get distracted by their navigation system or engage in risky behavior. AAA estimates that 37.5 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from their homes during this year's holiday period.

Avoiding workplace falls and injuries

On-the-job accidents and injuries can be a real danger to many New Jersey workers, whether they construct buildings, drive for a delivery service or write in an office. No matter the surrounding environment in which someone works, there are a range of potential slip, trip and fall hazards. While many people may think of this type of injury as common and minor, it's important to note that 660 workers died in 2014 after falling from heights. Nearly 140 workers died on the job that same year from same-level falls.

It can be easy to miss slip-and-fall hazards, especially in a common workplace environment. In some cases, workers may assume that others will address the problem. While many people might be extra vigilant when working at an elevation, falls at the same level can be just as serious and even deadly. Workers can help to avoid these kinds of injuries by wearing appropriate shoes, keeping an eye out for small steps and other changes in elevation and avoiding cellphone use while walking.

Workplace safety for sanitation workers

Sanitation workers in New Jersey and the rest of the nation can incur various types of injuries while they are collecting trash and afterward. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016, workers who collect recyclable and refuse materials ranked fifth in the list of civilian occupations that have the highest deadly work injury rate. The fatality rate for these workers is almost 10 times more than that for individuals who work in other industries. According to the Solid Waste Association of North America, there were seven sanitation worker fatalities in the first 10 days of 2018.

Sanitation workers are also prone to strains, overexertion and sprain injuries due to frequently jumping on and off sanitation vehicles and handling heavy cargo. Another hazard they constantly face is being exposed to potentially unsafe materials.

These road trip driving safety tips may keep you safer

There is no better feeling than planning a summer road trip. It doesn't matter where you're going or who with whom you're traveling, heading out on the highway is sure to put a big smile on your face.

The more time you spend behind the wheel, the greater chance there is that you could be involved in an accident. This is why you need to exercise extreme caution on your next summer road trip.

Steps to take after a car accident

When a car accident occurs in New Jersey, the parties involved should take certain actions to help protect their rights. First, it's always important to stop after the accident takes place, even if it seems like there is no damage. Failure to stop after a crash could lead to criminal penalties in some cases.

Once the vehicles have all come to a safe stop, it should be determined if anyone needs medical care. Urgent medical treatment is the first priority after a crash, especially if someone is seriously injured. After medical issues are addressed, the people involved can assess the damage and call the police. If possible, it's better to leave the cars in the same place until the police come. Authorities will then be able to document the details of the crash.

Dog bite cases: Who is liable for damages?

As much as we love them, we have to remember that dogs are more than just pets and members of our families: They're also animals.

Because they're animals, they can act in unpredictable and even violent ways. The nicest and smallest dog could attack and cause devastating injuries if it is provoked or threatened.

Water safety has to be a top priority this summer

The summer months are all about spending time outdoors. For many people, pools and water activities are on the schedule.

Anyone who is going to spend time near the water needs to ensure that they remember that drownings and near drownings can occur, even during a fun day when everything seems relaxed.

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