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Gastonia Injury Law Blog

Workplace injuries due to some common safety failures

Workplace safety is a concern in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. Although there can be an accident in any kind of job, there are types of occupations in which the danger is higher. Combining that with the propensity of some industries to commit violations, workers can be in jeopardy.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiles an annual list of the most common safety violations. For 2018, there were certain violations that occurred most frequently. Falls are common in construction work. However, in many industries, people need to work at great heights and employers must be vigilant about safety and providing proper training. Hazard communication relates to information as to dangerous chemicals, toxic exposure, and avoiding injuries. Scaffolds are needed for numerous projects and there are OSHA requirements for their use. Interacting with gases, sprays, vapors and more make it vital to have respirators to avoid exposure.

Do you need a police report after a car accident?

Car accidents are not always straightforward. Recently, a crash took place on I-40 in North Carolina because a family of ducks tried to cross the road. It resulted in a crash involving five vehicles, resulting in the shutdown of multiple lanes. 

After any kind of car accident, you want to contact the police immediately. In the event it was a minor fender bender, the cops may not bother showing up, but you at least want to try. In many cases, the police will come out, and they will create a thorough report. In the event you need to go to court to recover damages, that police report can serve as a vital piece of evidence. 

Road Safety groups want more protection for rear-seat passengers

All passenger vehicle occupants are required to fasten their seat belts in North Carolina, but research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that such laws are ignored by up to one in four rear-seat passengers. Many automotive safety features introduced in recent years greatly improve crash survivability for drivers and front-seat passengers , but they do little to protect those occupying the rear seats. This is becoming an increasingly serious road safety issue due to the growing popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

After studying 117 car accidents that killed or seriously injured rear-seat passengers who were properly restrained by seat belts, the Governors Highway Safety Association found that those traveling in the rear of cars, SUVs, and minivans were especially vulnerable to major chest injuries and serious head trauma. Safety groups say that these injuries would be much rarer if car makers fitted rear seat belts with the tensioners and force limiters they use to protect restrained front-seat passengers.

Improving dock safety reduces accidents, injuries

Loading and unloading semitrailers in manufacturing plants, distribution centers and warehouses is fast-paced work that can quickly lead to injuries. Loading docks, where the center of receiving and unloading takes place, can be one of the most dangerous places to work in a facility. This is due to both the arduous nature of the work and the machinery that is used to assist in the tasks. Taking safety measures can help prevent needless injuries from occurring.

Docks should always be kept dry, clean and in good repair. Research by the Bureau of Land Statistics has found that 25% of all workplace injuries occur due to slips and falls. Employees should wear non-slip work shoes, and the dock should be kept dry. Additionally, regular inspections should occur to look for uneven levelers, potholes and worn bumpers that could injure employees.

How North Carolina drivers can prevent car accidents

Drivers in North Carolina who are rightfully concerned about car accidents should remember several safety tips that help avoid preventable fatalities. Even though many car accidents can be prevented, road carnage is the leading cause of death for people between two and 34 years old in the United States.

First, every driver should make it his or her priority to adhere to traffic laws. Examples of negligent driving include speeding, failure to yield, running red lights and failure to make complete stops at stop signs. Another example of negligent driving is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is a major factor in many fatal car accidents.

Proper machine guards may reduce workplace injuries

Machine operators in North Carolina and across the United States face more risks of accidents and injuries. This is due to the mechanics of the machines, which often contain hot, fast-moving parts. Because of the increased risk, the Occupational Safety and Health Association has issued rules and regulations to prevent accidents from occurring. Employers are required to train their employees and ensure that precautions are taken to protect those who work such machinery.

One or more guards for each machine are required by OSHA in order to protect operators and other employees. These guards may include barrier guards, electronic safety devices and/or two-hand tripping devices. These guards are required to be in place on a variety of machinery, which includes all power saws, milling machines, forming rolls, shears, jointers, power saws and guillotine cutters.

Construction workers suffer serious repetitive stress injuries

When most people think of repetitive stress injuries, the first thing that comes to mind is carpal tunnel syndrome. This affliction can lead to a great deal of suffering amongst computer users, but it is not the only type of injury that can result from repetitive motion. In fact, the construction industry experiences one of the highest frequencies of these problems.

A long-term study from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses found that construction work resulted in more repeated strain disorders than all other industries combined. Though incidents continue to decrease over time, the number of cases is still alarming.

Speeding to be focus in week focusing on traffic safety

When North Carolina drivers speed, they might be more likely to cause accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015 statistics indicate that more than 90% of motor vehicle accidents had speed as a factor. The agency also reported that speed was involved in over 25% of traffic-related deaths in 2017. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety supports this figure, with the organization saying that speed has contributed to more than 25 percent of deaths in motor vehicle accidents for the last decade.

As a result, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has chosen to focus on speed for Operation Safe Driver Week in 2019. During the mid-July event, law enforcement will be looking for speeding among both passenger and commercial vehicles. In 2014, the organization found that citations for certain traffic violations reduced the number of overall accidents and nonfatal injuries. According to the president of the organization, driver behavior does change after contact with law enforcement.

Falls pose a threat to construction workers

North Carolina construction workers face a lot of potential fall risks. After all, employees in the construction industry often work in open areas and at heights, including on roofs, scaffolds and ladders. Since construction work can be dangerous even when federal safety regulations are followed, the risks are particularly high in workplaces that fail to live up to safety standards.

The National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a fact sheet that aims to prevent construction accidents, especially falls from high work locations. Every year, more construction workers are killed in falls than in any other type of workplace accident. There are over 310 deadly falls annually as well as 10,350 serious injuries related to falls on the job. Most of the falls from heights in the workplace happen in the construction industry, including 86% of falls from scaffolds, 81% of falls from roofs and 57% of falls from ladders.

Winning over truckers who manipulate vehicle safety tech

The speaker at a safety systems seminar during Atlanta's annual Technology & Maintenance Council has addressed a major issue of which some drivers in North Carolina may not be aware: namely, the issue of truckers manipulating or disabling the safety technology in their trucks. By doing this, they can engage in negligent actions like distracted or drowsy driving and, as long as an accident does not occur, get away with it.

For example, on YouTube, truckers have accessed videos how to disconnect in-cab cameras and steering-angle sensors. Others may slide a business card behind the camera. Truckers have also learned how to render the lane departure switch inoperable by pushing in the button and sticking in a piece of paper. Some individuals will disable the radar by removing the cover and placing aluminum foil on it. Other truckers unplug the speakers and plug them in again when reaching the shop.