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Toms River New Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

Drivers may need help to stay safe during the winter

While it may be tougher to drive on New Jersey roads when the weather gets cold and snowy, it is not impossible to do so safely. To avoid an accident, drivers should increase their following distance to at least eight seconds behind the vehicles in front of theirs. Furthermore, it is not a good idea to use cruise control or to accelerate too quickly. Those who are driving up a hill should not stop or slow down.

Drivers should know whether their cars have anti-lock brakes prior to driving in poor conditions. If a driver or a vehicle is not up to battling snow, ice or low visibility, it may be best to wait until after a storm passes. Those who choose to go out should let someone know where they are going ahead of time. A vehicle's tires and brakes should be inspected prior to going anywhere to ensure that they are in proper working condition.

Trucking deaths rise, some call for HOS rule modifications

Truckers in New Jersey, as elsewhere, may find themselves frustrated by current hours-of-service guidelines. For example, many complain about the rule requiring them to take a 30-minute rest break after driving for eight consecutive hours; according to them, it can create delays, force them to speed to make up for lost time and bring on drowsiness earlier in their shift.

Some believe that the inflexibility of current HOS rules is partly to blame for the rise in large-truck fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 4,761 deaths in 2017: a 9 percent increase from 2016 and a 29-year high. About 1,300 of the victims were truckers themselves.

OSHA highlights major workplace safety problems

Workers in New Jersey may face a surprising number of dangerous conditions on the job, especially when employers flout federal safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laid out a top 10 list of the major safety violations uncovered by the agency during the previous year. The statistics reflected the period from October 2017 through September 2018. In many cases, the violations reflected a consistent pattern recurring repeatedly over the years.

For example, the number one violation has topped the list for the past several years: failure to provide fall protection. Employers have a duty to supply workers on heights with proper protective equipment to prevent falls or mitigate their effects in case of an incident. However, 7,270 violations of this regulation were discovered throughout the year; in many cases, workers on unprotected edges or high roofs had no fall protection equipment at all. Employers also repeatedly failed to provide proper training on fall prevention, the eighth most common violation on the list. There were 1,982 violations during the year, issued when employers failed to train all workers or to ensure that a competent person was providing the instruction.

Dog bites and personal injury

Dog bites cause serious injuries in New Jersey every year and can even lead to death in some cases. Across the United States, about 1 in every 775 people per year seek emergency care because of dog bites.

Dog bites can be particularly dangerous for young children. Children under 10 years of age are often bitten on the head or neck area due to the proximity of these areas on a child's body to a dog's mouth. Boys who are between 5 and 9 years of age comprise the most dog bite victims.

Hazards to boilermakers

Obtaining an injury while at work or an illness due to what your work entails, is not fun. However, this does happen.

Boilermakers are one of the highest paid workers in the construction industry. These individuals are put in dangerous situations every day. If you or someone you know are in the boiler making profession, it is helpful to know the risks they may face on the job.

CDC assesses trends in job-related carpal tunnel syndrome

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the industries and occupations that leave workers with a high risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. New Jersey residents should know that although the report focuses on data from the California Department of Public Health, the results have a wide-ranging application.

The CDPH analyzed the workers' compensation claims for CTS that were filed between 2007 and 2014 and sorted them by industry. It also calculated the rate for CTS per full-time equivalent worker. Its conclusion was that there were 139,336 probable and possible CTS cases among California workers in that eight-year period. Just over 8 out of every 10,000 FTE workers were women while 2.5 were men.

Smartphones may explain why mobile workers crash more

New Jersey residents who are mobile workers or the employers of a grey fleet may be interested to know the results of the 2018 Distracted Driving Report offered by Motus, a workforce management company. Motus has linked the increase in car crashes among mobile workers to an increase in smartphone ownership.

Between 2013 and 2017, smartphone ownership went up from 55 to 77 percent among mobile workers while the number of auto accidents they got in rose from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. The mobile workforce is growing and becoming connected at all times, so this trend is worrying. Motus calculated that mobile workers also travel 49 percent more than any other type of employee in America.

Minimizing slip-and-fall risks in grocery stores

"Clean-up on aisle five!" This is a common announcement grocery shoppers in New Jersey are likely to hear at one time or another. Even if clean-ups are handled fairly quickly, there's always the risk of someone slipping, falling and sustaining a serious personal injury. In fact, the president of a leading underwriter of specialty insurance products considers fall injuries to be the number one cause of loss in the grocery world. There are many different types of things that people can slip and fall on, from split liquids to coupons that fell out of someone's pocket.

To be fair, many grocery stores do regularly take steps to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents for both shoppers and employees. Such efforts typically include using slip-resistant floor treatments, replacing slip-resistant mats and consistently mopping floors. Even when steps like this are taken, there's always the potential for unexpected variables, like an elderly shopper with poor eyesight or a rambunctious toddler knocking down canned goods.

Promoting foot safety in the workplace

There are many employers and employees in New Jersey who do not give foot safety much thought. This is a mistake. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 53,000 foot injuries a year in the U.S. that lead to missed work days. Those who stand for long hours or who lift and move heavy objects are at an especially high risk for foot injuries. The following are a few factors that negatively affect foot safety.

Many foot injuries arise in slip, trip and fall accidents. Wet or greasy floors, uneven floors, loose floorboards and clutter are all potential causes. Anti-fatigue mats, which are meant to comfort the feet of workers who stand for extended periods of time, can become trip hazards. Footwear that lacks traction can also cause slipping.

11 safety rules for chemical handlers

All employees in New Jersey who handle hazardous chemicals will want to keep these 11 safety rules in mind as they are basic and can apply to most workplaces. They are in no particular order, but the first rule is the most obvious: Workers should follow the established procedures and work as they were trained to do. Workers will want to be cautious and identify hazards before they start any task.

Employers should have procedures for emergency situations like fires and spills as well as procedures for evacuation and reporting. To prevent contamination, employees can clean all work surfaces at least once during their shift. Fifth, employees must be provided with adequate personal protective equipment. Worn-out or damaged PPE must be replaced. When working, employees should avoid eating and drinking, and when their hands are contaminated, they should never touch contact lenses or use cosmetics.

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