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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Keeping workers safe in a chemical plant

New York workers who are exposed to toxic chemicals may suffer serious injuries or even die. However, there are steps that chemical plant managers can take to reduce the risk that a worker is injured. To prevent chemical burns, chemical inhalation or general chemical exposure, it is important to have a safety plan. One of the most common causes of accidents is human complacency.

Having a safety plan and sticking to it may prevent workers from taking shortcuts or otherwise making mistakes that put themselves and others in danger. Workers should be properly trained in all aspects of their work such as loading or unloading to ensure that they are doing so in a proper manner. They should also be trained on how to correct an error as well as what to do if a problem arises.

Suing a hospital for negligence in New York

Someone who goes to a hospital should be able to expect that they will be provided with a certain level of care. If a hospital fails to provide this level of care in any way, the hospital may be considered liable for harm to a person. Two common types of liability are hospital negligence and vicarious liability.

Hospitals may be considered negligent for a variety of reasons. When hiring medical staff, it is up to the hospital to ensure that everyone from nurses to doctors are capable and will provide proper levels of care. Additionally, it is up to hospitals to ensure that these individuals are properly supervised and that there are sufficient numbers of people on staff to care for patients.

Medication error reporting and anesthesiologists

New York residents might be surprised to learn that medication errors are often underreported by anesthesia providers. Recent findings may indicate a hesitancy to report the errors due to punitive actions, even though less than 10 percent of errors result in temporary harm to a patient. According to an anesthesiology educator at the University of Michigan Medical School, there are 44,000 to 98,000 annual patient fatalities caused by preventable medication errors.

Researchers obtained data that was gathered from July 2006 to November 2015 by the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group and from quality assurance data that was self-reported by institutions. Each anesthetic record, electronic health record and error report was manually evaluated to determine resource utilization, adverse outcome and epidemiological information. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Preventions descriptions were the basis for characterizing the nature and severity of the errors that occurred.

Studies find large increase in prophylactic double mastectomies

Multiple studies of breast cancer patients have identified a sharp increase in the number of younger patients electing to have both breasts removed even if cancer has only been found in one breast. The Midwest and East Coast have emerged as hot spots for the elective surgery that the the American Society of Breast Surgeons has published a statement against except for patients with additional risk factors. A breast surgeon from the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York said that she had seen a rise of 17 percent in contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

Another East Coast state has experienced a similar increase among cancer patients under 44. Between 2004 and 2006, 9.8 percent of younger women in one state chose to remove both breasts. Data collected between 2010 and 2012 showed that the portion of younger patients choosing this approach jumped to 32.2 percent. Women who decided to remove both breasts expressed a desire to avoid the possibility of a cancer recurrence. One younger patient under 40 said that her age meant that she had more years ahead of her when the cancer could come back. Surgeons, however, have expressed caution about the removal of healthy tissue. Women should get second opinions and examine their risks for cancer striking the second breast.

Workplace safety and increased construction work demand

According to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America, employment in construction is higher than it has been since 2008, and almost three out of every four construction firms state that they plan to increase their workforce in 2017. Construction workers in New York and the rest of the country should be aware that as demand for construction work increases, so do the risks that the job presents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 937 construction workers were killed in 2015. The statistic represents the highest fatality figure of any industry sector. In fact, fatalities related to construction made up 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities in 2015.

OHSA's safety campaign aims to protect workers

Workers in New York and throughout the country may see safer workplaces since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched the "Safe and Sound Campaign." It is aimed at getting employers to look at their safety and health programs and how they can reduce workplace injuries and deaths. Workplace accidents can be costly as each week workers' compensation costs companies about $1 billion.

All safety programs need to have three elements in order to be effective. Management must show commitment to the program by committing time and resources to it. Management can also engage employees by involving them in finding solutions. Finally, both management and employees should work together in a preventive sense. They should try to identify problems and hazards before an accident happens.

How communities handle skateboarding

New York residents may see skateboarding as a recreational activity or as a way to get around town. However, there is an extreme element to it that can result in liability issues for property owners. Each year, there are more than 25,000 trips to the emergency room related to skateboard injuries, and nearly 60 percent of those who are injured are under the age of 15. This is according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Typically, the same laws that apply to bicyclists or other pedestrians apply to those who use a skateboard. In Los Angeles, those who use a skateboard are required to obey stop signs, follow speed limits and avoid other vehicles. Local ordinances may ban skateboarding in bike lanes or on sidewalks. It is actually illegal for anyone over the age of 14 to skateboard on a sidewalk in some areas of the country.

Improvements made to respiratory protection devices

New York employees may be interested to learn that approximately 5 million U.S. workers are required to wear respirators to protect themselves against respiratory problems in the workplace. Respirators can be crucial in low-oxygen environments or areas where there are dangerous mists, gases and vapors in the air.

Respiratory protection manufacturers have made many improvements so that workers can move and complete their work more effortlessly. For example, manufacturers have made improvements to the back plate design for larger devices, which increases the stability of the apparatus and reduces snag hazards. Devices are also becoming more sophisticated as technology continues to improve.

How and why misdiagnoses occur

New York residents who are concerned about the quality of their medical care may be interested in learning about the common circumstances that can cause a misdiagnosis to occur. Doctors, other health care specialists, patients and laboratory or pathology tests can all contribute to a misdiagnosis in some way.

Patients may attempt to diagnose their own medical conditions without consulting medical professionals. If they do see doctors, they may refrain from mentioning all their symptoms due to embarrassment or the belief that they aren't worth mentioning unless specifically asked about.

Younger drivers more dangerous on the road

Millennials in New York might be less safe on the road than drivers in other age groups. Almost 90 percent of millennial drivers admitted to driving dangerously, according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, almost twice as many millennials confessed to texting or sending emails while behind the wheel compared to other age groups.

More than twice as many millennials said they thought it was acceptable to drive more than 10 miles per hour above the speed limit in a school zone compared to 5 percent of people in other age groups. While just over one-third of drivers said they thought it was acceptable to run through a red light when they could have stopped, almost half of millennials said the same.

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