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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety practices can lower construction industry injury rate

New York construction workers probably already know that their employers can help make job sites safer. However, they may not be aware of just how effective preventative safety measures can be.

Analysts at Associated Builders and Construction, a trade association, say that building contractors can make their workplaces up to 670 percent safer by following the guidelines in their Safety Performance Evaluation Process. Doing so can result in an 85 percent reduction in reportable workplace accidents. Safety measures can include new-hire orientation programs, substance abuse programs and creating a site-safety committee that involves the workers.

Why self-driving cars are still the future

New York residents may have heard about the recent fatal crashes involving Tesla and Uber vehicles. In the Tesla accident, which occurred when the vehicle was on Autopilot, the driver allegedly received several warnings to place his hands on the wheel prior to the collision. The Uber crash, which involved a self-driving test vehicle, resulted in the company opting not to renew its license to test autonomous cars in the state of California. While these incidents may sour people on self-driving vehicles, there is still a lot of upside to the technology.

About 90 percent of all accidents each year are caused by human error. There are more than 35,000 deaths that result from car accidents, and autonomous technology tests have revealed that self-driving vehicles aren't any more dangerous. Furthermore, Uber has already experienced significant consequences for its actions, and imposing sanctions on other companies could be too much. Developers have also worked to be transparent about the performance of their vehicles.

Avoiding pinch point injuries

Pinch points refer to any place in a machine where workers, or parts of their body, are liable to get stuck. It could be between two moving parts of machinery, between moving and stationary parts, or between some material and a piece of machinery. Employers in New York should know that pinch point injuries are more common than some people think.

These injuries can occur wherever there are, for example, power doors, covers, hatches, or presses; powered rollers; or conveyors. Workers in the construction and manufacturing industry are especially vulnerable since pinch points are found in robotic machinery, metal forming machinery, and injection molding machines. Assembling machines and printing presses also pose a high risk.

Workplace noise can pose a risk of heart disease

Workers in New York may face a surprising source of health risks on the job, especially for those working in the manufacturing, construction and mining industries. Loud noise in the workplace is associated with heart disease, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, people who are regularly exposed to noisy environments on the job can be at risk for developing high cholesterol or high blood pressure, both of which pose a significant risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. These findings are especially concerning since heart disease is the leading killer of people across the United States.

While many people know that hearing loss is a potential risk of repeated exposure to loud noises, the danger extends beyond the ears. Around 41 million people, a quarter of the country's workforce, report regular exposure to loud, noisy environments on the job. Hearing loss, migraine headaches, reduced cognitive sensitivity and sleep issues are well-known side effects of noise exposure. However, taking care to protect workers' ears from excessive noise can also play a bigger role in preventing occupational disease.

Dangerous driving can lead to death on the road

For drivers in New York, getting behind the wheel can sometimes have unexpected consequences, especially as a result of a car accident. Auto collisions can lead to serious personal injuries and even fatalities on the roadways, and working to reduce the dangers on highways is a major priority for public officials. There are several leading causes of car crashes that play a role in severe accidents that lead to death or major injuries.

Unsafe driving is one major factor in car accident injuries For example, drunk and impaired driving leads to a large number of fatalities each year. When drivers are intoxicated, their reaction times are slowed, and they may be unable to handle the split-second changes needed when driving on the highway. While drunk driving is particularly dangerous, even drowsy driving can pose a threat to others on the roads. Sleepy drivers can doze off and lose control by crashing into other cars or slipping into another lane of traffic.

How hotels can preserve guest safety

Hotels owners in New York must balance providing a friendly atmosphere with ensuring the safety of guests. This may be done in part by making sure that room keys are only given to registered visitors. Security should also do its part to ensure that only guests have access to the building. Taking these steps may reduce the odds of theft occurring on the premises.

Staff members should be given adequate training in key distribution and other safety measures the hotel wants to implement. Ideally, they will be allowed to intervene to protect guest safety and security when necessary. Furthermore, guests should be encouraged to take steps toward protecting their items.

Companies who built collapsed bridge have problematic histories

New Yorkers might have heard about the deadly pedestrian bridge collapse that happened in Florida on March 15. The bridge, which had just been installed on March 10, suddenly collapsed, crushing at least eight cars and killing at least six people. Authorities believe that more people might be buried in the rubble.

According to news sources, the two construction companies that were involved in building the bridge have both been fined repeatedly by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations. The companies are Munilla Construction Management, which is based in Miami, Florida, and FIGG Bridge Group, which is based in Tallahassee, Florida.

Soft tissue injuries and their symptoms

New York residents who have been in a car accident should know that soft tissue injuries often result from them. Even more importantly, they can be hard for physicians to detect as they do not appear on X-rays, and their symptoms can appear days after an accident, misleading some into thinking that they are unrelated.

These injuries affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other non-bony parts of the body. Soft tissue damage is different from hard tissue injuries, which affect the bones and cartilage. The impact of a collision causes the soft tissues to stretch and become strained, sprained or torn. Victims experience pain, swelling and sometimes bleeding and a loss of motor and sensory function in the neck.

State governors work to improve highway safety

For drivers in New York and throughout the country, highway safety is always a major concern as well as a significant public policy issue requiring action and leadership by state government. Car accidents can have a severe effect on people's lives, leading to serious personal injuries, major property damage and even death. Therefore, reducing the number of crashes on the roadways is a priority for state officials with the goal of improving safety in the state. One report authored by the National Governors Association provides suggestions to state governors to help them develop meaningful plans to address roadway dangers, especially fatal and injury crashes.

In every state, there is a range of agencies whose mandates include highway safety as a part of their programs, including law enforcement agencies, regulatory departments and others. A governor who has a strong focus on roadway safety and reducing car accidents can lead in helping these agencies coordinate with one another to develop a plan that can help save lives and stop crash injuries. The report's authors emphasized that their goal is to work toward zero fatalities caused by car crashes.

The misdiagnosing of immunotherapy side effects

Immunotherapy is a treatment New York residents may choose to pursue over chemotherapy if they are suffering from mesothelioma, a form of cancer. The side effects of immunotherapy are typically mild. However, when they are severe, they can be very unpredictable.

Even though the science for immunotherapy has been in practice since the 1890s, medical professionals have not been able to determine how individual patients may respond to the treatment. A significant number of patients gain very little from immunotherapy treatment, while a few will experience potentially fatal side effects. The medical community has not had much practice detecting and addressing the side effects of the treatment. In order to avoid having their side effects misdiagnosed, patients who opt to undergo immunotherapy for their mesothelioma have to have a preemptive approach.

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