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Burlington Personal Injury Law Blog

Why Thanksgiving can be hazardous to a person's health

The winter months have been linked to an increase in heart attacks while the Thanksgiving holiday, in particular, has been linked to an increase in car accidents. An increase in heart problems has been noted in both cooler climates such as New Jersey as well as in warmer climates. Therefore, it is thought that it may have something to do with increased fat, salt or alcohol consumption during the holidays.

It may also have to do with increased stress levels that people may experience because of the holidays themselves. When people travel, they may forget their medication, which could be dangerous in itself. The number of car accidents increases mostly because drivers may be consuming alcohol prior to getting on the road. Deadly crashes generally occur because of drunk driving and people not wearing their seatbelts.

Dog aggression must be carefully managed by the dog's owner

Dog attacks are caused by a variety of factors. One thing that can make a dog dangerous is if the dog has any aggression. Anyone who owns a dog must pay close attention to the dog's behavior, especially if the dog has shown any signs of hostility.

Not all dog aggression presents in the same manner. There are many different types of aggression that these pets might have, and many of them require different strategies to manage. Here are some points that anyone who is near dogs should remember:

Many floors fail to meet slip-resistance standards

Building owners and landlords in New Jersey and around the country could do more to protect their visitors from slips and falls according to a study from CNA. The Virginia-based risk assessment and management firm studied slip and fall liability claims filed between 2010 and 2016, and it found that floors with low slip-resistance ratings were often involved. The American National Standards Institute has set a minimum dynamic coefficient of friction rating of .42 for flooring materials, but the floors in half of the sites studied by CNA failed to meet this standard.

About 40 percent of the slips and falls studied by CNA took place on walkways and working surfaces, and most injuries were suffered when visitors were either arriving or leaving. The flooring materials used in these areas is often chosen for its appearance and durability, but flooring surfaces that are able to withstand heavy wear are frequently not very good at absorbing spills.

A few tips on office ergonomics to prevent injuries

You wouldn't think that you could get hurt from sitting at a desk all day with minimal activity, but sedentary jobs can lead to numerous injuries.

The fact is, you can't sit at a desk for hours on end and keep the body flexible and strong unless you balance your sedentariness with good office ergonomics, stretching and regular exercise.

Creation of driverless car safety standards meets hurdles

New Jersey motorists may have to wait a while before they see self-driving vehicles on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a report, which it will make public by the end of November, stating that it needs input on what research to conduct before it can develop safety standards for such vehicles. Advocates are pushing for Congress to act.

In a landmark move, a Senate committee approved a bill in early October that would give exemptions to automakers to make up to 80,000 self-driving cars annually in the next three years. The U.S. House had approved a similar measure in September, also meant to speed up the manufacturing and testing of self-driving cars.

Drowsy driving a perennial risk with night shift workers

Working the night shift leads to an irregular sleep-wake cycle, which increases the risk for drowsiness, especially when driving. Drowsy driving is a public health hazard in New Jersey and across the U.S. To discover just how much of a danger it is, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a study.

In the study, 16 participants were asked to drive for two sessions on closed driving tracks: the first after a full night's sleep, the second after an ordinary night shift. The result was that half of all sessions ended early with drivers losing control of their vehicles. In the second session, drivers betrayed the most signs of drowsiness and poor driving performance. Six out of the 16 drivers were involved in near-crashes, and a third had to end the session early with an emergency braking maneuver.

Traffic deaths and smartphone use

New Jersey motorists should be aware that the increased use of mobile phones is a factor in the growing number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. This is after the number of deaths on the road had been dropping for decades. The number of traffic fatalities in the United States has spiked by 14.4 percent during the past two years. Over 100 people perished on average each day in 2016 in America either in or near a vehicle.

Regulators are uncertain about what is contributing to the rise in deaths. There has been no substantial increase in drunk drivers, drivers who speed or in the distances being driven. However, there has been a significant increase in smartphone use by drivers. The percentage of Americans who possessed an Android, iPhone or other type of smartphone jumped to 81 percent from 75 percent between 2014 and 2016. Drivers are also conducting activities on their smartphones that require much more attention than just responding to a call. Nearly 70 percent of Americans in 2015 accessed social media platforms for current events and shared photographs by using their phones. That percentage has risen to 80 percent.

Adapting the workplace to a multigenerational team

More and more people in their 60s and 70s are putting off retirement, leading to a multigenerational work environment in many areas. Companies in New Jersey, especially those in construction and other fields involving physical labor, now face the challenge of providing safety training that speaks to people of all age ranges.

Before an employer can set up adequate safety training, it's important to get older employees comfortable with their younger counterparts. Bringing both together for team activities can foster more effective communication. Additionally, introducing new technology to the older workers who may not be at ease with it could lead to them embracing it once it becomes familiar. Safety training must take into account different learning methods. Older employees may be more comfortable with lectures and long videos, while younger employees may desire shorter, more hands-on, interactive training that has immediate practical value. Employers are encouraged to mix up their methods and never to assume that older workers are not interested in training for new tasks.

OSHA works to prevent fall accidents through enforcement

New Jersey construction workers face some of the highest injury accident risks. The construction industry involves hazardous work, and many workers are injured or killed each year. Because of the risks of injury, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations in place that govern construction sites.

OSHA reports that 350 out of the 937 workers who were killed in construction accidents in 2015 died in falls. Fall accidents are the leading cause of construction fatalities, and OSHA is focused on punishing companies that violate its safety provisions. Companies are required to use fall protection systems to protect their workers whenever they need to work at heights. The workers are also supposed to have safety gear to help to prevent them from falling.

Prevent pool-related drownings, injuries and deaths

Drowning deaths happen quickly and silently. You might look away for five minutes from your pool and return to find that a tragic and irreversible accident has occurred.

If you are the owner of a pool, you probably want to do everything you can to prevent such an accident from happening. Taking certain precautions may be required by your insurance company. Being diligent to prevent drowning accidents is also required by law, especially if you want to avoid liability concerns in the event that an unspeakable tragedy happens.

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