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Burlington Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Tesla CEO finds fault not with accidents but news coverage

Due to the recent wave of accidents involving semi-autonomous vehicles, some New Jersey residents may believe that the technology that Tesla specializes in is far from safe. One recent accident in Utah involved a Tesla Model S that was engaged in Autopilot. However, the driver collided with a fire truck because she was looking down at her phone.

The media coverage in the wake of the accident prompted comments from the Tesla CEO and supporters. They expressed amazement that a relatively minor accident (the driver survived with a broken ankle) would become front-page news when hundreds of people are dying each day in other more serious crashes.

New wearable tech and its safety benefits for workers

From slip, trip and fall hazards to exposure to harmful chemicals, there are a variety of safety risks that workplaces in New Jersey are vulnerable to. Safety-minded employers and managers can consider what one insurtech startup in Iowa has developed as a way to reduce these risks and prevent accidents.

MākuSmart has created a wearable band and cloud platform to transmit environmental and motion data in the workplace. While employees wear the band, it can detect changes in temperature and lighting, report any near-misses and even identify high-risk areas and trends once the data is accumulated. Since managers are not all data scientists, they will also appreciate how consumable the data is.

Construction falls key source of workplace injuries

New Jersey construction workers deal with some of the most dangerous jobs available, especially when working at heights. In statistics released by Nationwide Insurance, the company noted that it has processed over 10,000 workers compensation claims related to construction accidents in the last five years. Of these claims, falls from elevated surfaces were one of the most frequent and expensive sources of workplace injuries.

Nationwide Insurance noted that over 30 percent of its workers compensation claims in the construction industry are related to falls from heights. The insurance company is supporting a nationwide program to help reduce the number of falls on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sponsors a week-long "Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction" each year that includes sharing safety best practices to help employers create a safer environment and avoid workplace injuries.

Methods for creating a safer workplace

Safety is something that employers in New Jersey can be tempted to put aside in the midst of a fast-paced work environment. Even many workers do so in their effort to meet deadlines, while those who are concerned may be prevented from speaking out for fear of punishment. The results are uniformly negative: higher injury rates, a decline in productivity, mounting medical costs and a decrease in employee retention and employee morale. Employers end up tarnishing the name of their company.

There are five safety tips that employers, as well as site managers and safety coaches, can consider if they want to turn this kind of situation around. They must first of all be the leaders in creating a safety culture; without leadership, no organized effort is possible. They can then measure what their employees know about federal and corporate safety policies by way of an anonymous survey. The survey could also ask employees what they expect from others and how they see their own responsibilities.

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