The Roberts Law Firm is Located at: 302 South York Street Gastonia, NC 28053

Roberts Law Firm, P.A. Justice is no Accident
Injured? Need Legal Advice? Call Today.
call locally 704-823-6247
toll free 888-868-1576

Practice Areas Contact Us
We Can Help

Gastonia Injury Law Blog

4 common electrical accidents in the workplace

Electricity is present at virtually every worksite in the United States. While you likely need power to do your job, you also must realize that electricity can be dangerous. If you are not careful when working around electrical currents, you may sustain a serious injury. 

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, from 2016 to 2017, there was a 35% increase in workplace electrical injuries. Individuals who sustain an electrical injury on the job spend an average of 10 days away from work. Here are four common types of workplace electrical accidents: 

Hearing protectors for workers with hearing loss

Employers in North Carolina may be aware that OSHA has no specific guidelines for how to protect employees with some level of hearing loss. OSHA does recommend, however, that such employees be fitted with the appropriate hearing protectors: devices that enhance audibility by reducing sounds of certain frequencies.

The average hearing protector will reduce sounds at high frequencies, which is a problem because a great deal of speech information resides at these high frequencies. However, a uniform-attenuation hearing protector can reduce sounds of all frequencies and so benefit workers by making speech sound clearer and more natural.

Reducing distractions on the road

North Carolina motorists may benefit from a few safety tips because they concern the various activities that can take their attention from the road. Distracted driving leads to thousands of crashes every year, and in 2017, a total of 3,166 people died in these types of incidents.

First of all, drivers should take only a limited number of passengers at any given time because conversations can become distracting. When there are passengers, drivers could have one of them assist with certain tasks like adjusting the radio or using the navigation system.

Safe + Sound Week 2019 raises awareness of workplace hazards

Employers throughout North Carolina, regardless of the industry they are in, should know that OSHA has designated August 12 to 18 as Safe + Sound Week. This is a nationwide safety event held every year in the effort to raise awareness of workplace safety and help employers find systematic ways to identify and eliminate hazards.

OSHA has resources available that can assist employers with the creation of a safety and health program. The OSHA website has a Safe + Sound section that's loaded with these resources, including a brochure on common workplace hazards, instructions on how to conduct a safety walk-around and a list of OSHA training programs. There is also an archive of activities from previous Safe + Sound Weeks.

Common reasons for commercial truck accidents

There are many reasons why a truck accident can occur on North Carolina roads. One common cause is excessive speed. Drivers may try to go faster when they are paid by the load delivered as more deliveries equals a higher hourly rate. In some cases, brake failure can prevent a truck from stopping in a timely manner. When a commercial truck's brakes are working properly, they can stop within 100 feet when traveling at 35 miles per hour.

If a truck is not loaded properly, it could have trouble navigating curves or accidentally release its cargo into the road. The cargo that falls off of a truck could strike another vehicle or otherwise create conditions for an accident in the future. Drivers may not necessarily have a set work or sleep schedule. Therefore, they can be vulnerable to working while tired.

5 common ways to injure your shoulder at work

If you are like most of your Gastonia-area neighbors, you probably do not think much about your shoulders. After all, they have never let you down. Still, few injuries can stop you in your tracks faster than damage to one or both of your shoulders. 

According to the National Safety Council, shoulder injuries are some of the most expensive lost-time claims. In fact, a shoulder injury may cost more than $45,000 in lost work time. While many factory workers in North Carolina can pursue workers' compensation benefits, you likely want to avoid a shoulder injury altogether. Here are five ways shoulder injuries often occur on the jobsite: 

Dangers of extreme heat on the job

North Carolina's outdoor workers may face particularly dangerous conditions in the summer heat. That's why the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers to promote workplace safety by helping employees to avoid dangerous conditions linked to extreme heat. Under federal safety standards, employers operating job sites with high temperatures must establish a program designed to help employees prevent heat-related illness.

In particular, employers must provide outdoor workers with appropriate shade, rest and water to avoid injuries and illnesses linked to the heat. Dozens of employees lose their lives every year due to extreme heat while thousands more become ill because of exposure to high temperatures. Construction workers face a particularly severe risk, as over 40% of deaths linked to extreme heat take place at construction job sites. Safety advocates emphasize that workplace fatalities linked to extreme heat are almost entirely preventable with proper safety procedures and techniques.

Reports suggest DOT will relax hours-of-service rules

Every year, many road users in North Carolina are killed or seriously injured due to accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers. Federal hours-of-service regulations have been put into place to help prevent fatigue-related crashes, but industry groups like the American Trucking Association have lobbied Congress aggressively to relax the rules. These organizations say that the regulations do little to improve road safety but limit the amount that truck drivers can earn.

Recent media reports suggest that this argument has been persuasive as the department of Transportation is said to be preparing to loosen the hours-of-service rules. The move has not been made public, and initial reports contain few details. Current regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of behind-the-wheel time during a 14-hour shift and require them to rest for at least 30 minutes after eight hours of driving.

GAO report highlights safety issues at DOD construction sites

Construction workers have very dangerous jobs, but construction sites in North Carolina and around the country have become safer in recent years thanks to stricter regulations, advances in safety equipment and steps taken by developers to reduce workplace accidents and injuries. However, a study published recently by the Government Accountability Office suggests that construction workers hired by companies that win Department of Defense contracts may not be receiving the benefits of these developments.

The GAO report merits attention because the DOD awards more than $300 billion in construction contracts every year that provide jobs for thousands of workers across the country. The GAO researchers studied the safety records of 192 construction companies that won DOD contracts between 2013 and 2017, and they discovered that 52 of them were cited for serious safety violations a worrying 195 times. These safety lapses cost four construction workers their lives and left a further 24 seriously injured.

Fatigued workers are the focus of 2019 National Safety Month

The National Safety Council has designated every June as National Safety Month, and for June 2019, the special focus has been on workplace fatigue. This is a growing problem in North Carolina and across the U.S. with 13% of workplace injuries being attributable to it. In one study, 43% of Americans admitted to sometimes being too tired to do their job safely.

The U.S. Department of Labor has stated that fatigue contributed to several well-known industrial disasters, including the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion. Fatigue-related accidents are 18% more likely during evening shifts and 30% more likely during night shifts.