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Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Law Blog

What do you do after a sharps injury?

As a health care worker, you may be at increased risk for a sharps injury. Such an injury occurs when you come in contact with an improperly disposed-of needle that penetrates the skin. Sharps injuries are dangerous because they can expose you to bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B or C, as well as human immunodeficiency virus. 

The facility where you work should have safety measures in place to reduce the risk of sharps injuries. However, accidents may sometimes occur despite these measures. If you ever do sustain a sharps injury, the Centers for Disease Control offers information about what your next steps should be. 

Distracted driving bill heads to Governor's desk

Residents in California often find that their state is among the first to enact major legislative changes, especially those designed to improve the environment or protect the safety of its citizens. One area in which California has led the nation is in combatting distracted driving. Handheld use of cell phones was banned in 2009, long before most other states followed suit. Today, there is an effort underway to expand the state's distracted driving laws.

As reported by Good Day Sacramento, a bill has made its way to the Governor's desk in the hopes of being signed into law. If signed, it would add one point on a driver's record for their second distracted driving violation. No point would be added for a first violation. For driver's eligible to attend traffic school, however, the point may be able to be avoided for a second offense but may then be added for a third.

Forklift safety tips: Do your part in preventing an accident

Operating a forklift is a potentially dangerous job, but someone has to do it. As a forklift operator, such as in a warehouse or manufacturing plant, it's critical to understand the steps you can take to prevent trouble.

Here are five forklift safety tips to follow at all times:

  • Inspect the forklift before use: Don't assume that a forklift is in good working condition. Inspect it for defects and damages, and notify your supervisor should you find anything wrong.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing: This typically includes safety shoes, hardhat and a high visibility vest. Also, avoid wearing loose clothing that could get caught on machinery.
  • Know your environment: Don't assume your work environment will remain the same from day to day. For example, there may be new signs in place for clearance heights and driving paths. Knowing your environment also means knowing where your co-workers are at all times.
  • Beware of hazards: This includes but is not limited to objects on the ground, wet spots, uneven surfaces and other vehicles. These hazards have a way of popping up when you least expect it.
  • Check your load: When carrying any type of load with a forklift, it must be stable and secure. Many forklift accidents are a result of improper loading and/or attempting to carry too much weight.

Safety on the manufacturing floor

People who work in jobs in the manufacturing industry in California know that they work in environments in which safety must be a top priority. The machinery and other equipment used in manufacturing can contribute to injuries when not maintained or used properly. This is just one type of hazard that manufacturing workers need to be aware of.

As explained by Travelers Insurance, coming into contact with an object is the most common factor in manufacturing injuries. Overexerting oneself is the second most common factor. Other things that are identified in many injuries in a manufacturing facility include falls, trips or slips; repetitive motions required to do a job; and exposure to substances that are harmful.

Truckers and delivery drivers face fatal dangers

The trucking industry has always been an important part of the U.S. business infrastructure. Whether its transporting goods to consumers or equipment to job sites, truckers are a vital component in noation's industrdial growth. Unfortunately, since a trucker's job is mostly on the road even when bad weather hits, they are significantly more likely to be involved in accidents, in some situations, even a fatal one. 

Truck drivers and delivery workers have the highest number of workplace fatalities over any other occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In 2016 alone, 918 truck drivers and driver sales workers died while fulfilling their workplace duties. The numbers for the last two years are still in the reporting stage. Even though fatalities on all high-risk jobs have been steadily increasing since 2008, the number of deaths involving those in the trucking industry far exceeds the next highest occupation fatalities, farming, which saw 260 deaths in 2016. 

How big is California's drunk driving problem?

Most people in California are well aware that driving a vehicle while intoxicated is illegal. In recent decades, the laws against drunk driving have become stronger with penalties seemingly quite severe. Changes in society, such as the prevalence of ridesharing options, make it easier than ever before to find alternatives to driving after consuming alcohol. These facts, however, seem to be unable to make the level of change in people's behavior that is really needed.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Alameda County has recorded three consecutive years in which the number of lives lost at the hands of drunk drivers has increased. In 2013, there were 22 alcohol-related vehicular fatalities in the county. That dropped to 17 the following year but then rose first to 20 in 2015 and to 21 in 2016. In 2017, the county lost 33 people in drunk driving crashes out of 99 total vehicular deaths that year.

San Jose authorities search for cause of fiery crash

Almost no one takes to Fremont's roads intending to cause a car accident; on the contrary, most take their individual charge to drive safely in order to protect those on the road around them very seriously. Yet intent does not necessarily have to be present in order to assign liability in a car accident. Indeed, most collisions are just that: accidents. However, the responsible party typically must shoulder the blame when it comes to covering the expenses of those affected by an accident (regardless of whether or not their fault was due to recklessness, negligence or mere circumstance). 

Authorities in San Jose are trying to determine exactly what caused a fiery collision that left one driver dead, several others injured and lanes closed for several hours on state Highway 101. It was reported that a car hit the center divider and came to a stop on the highway. Several other cars ended up striking either that vehicle or others that had hit it, touching off a fire that damaged several vehicles. The original vehicle was actually so badly burned that officials could not even determine its make and model. Its driver was killed in the collision, while two others were taken to local hospitals for treatment. 

Defining negligent entrustment

It may not be difficult for most drivers in California to remember when they first began to drive. The benefit of hindsight likely affords them a perspective that reveals that their inexperience (and immaturity) may have prompted them to engage in some driving behaviors that they might think twice about today. Indeed, information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that teenage drivers are more likely to display reckless behavior while behind the wheel. 

Yet while this understanding may afford motorists a certain degree of understanding when they are involved in car accidents caused by teen drivers, it does not change the fact that they may be required to seek added compensation when dealing with their accident expenses. As teens are unlikely to have the resources necessary to offer accident victims any financial assistance, most may think that it is their parents that would be liable in such situations. 

What happens if I am hurt at work?

If you work in California, it is important that you understand the rights you have under the law. These rights include what should happen if you are ever involved in an accident while you are working or if you are diagnosed with a work-related illness. Under the state's workers' compensation program, you may be entitled to certain benefits in these situations.

If you discover an illness or experience an injury connected to your employment, you should inform your employer as soon as possible. If you wait more than 30 days from the date you learned about a situation or from an accident date, you may lose your right to receive workers' compensation benefits. Within one day of being notified of the situation, your employer is required to provide you with a DWC 1 form. You must complete this form and return it to your employer. This begins the review of your workers' compensation claim.

The dangers posed by drowsy drivers

We here at Raymond E. Frost & Associates often hear from clients that they were unaware just how many risks they can encounter on the road. Much attention is paid to drunk drivers, so much so that many now think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking. Yet there are plenty of other dangerous drivers out there other than those driving while drunk. You may find that the driver who hit you was not totally in control of all of their faculties, yet not due to alcohol. 

Like many, you may be unaware just how dangerous drowsy driving can be. A person who has gone multiple hours without sleep could experience fatigue that impairs their reaction times in much the same way that alcohol inhibits one's driving abilities. The trouble is that few consider this to be a serious problem, as evidenced by the statistics that show how many people actually drive while drowsy. Study data shared by the National Safety Council shows that as many as 50 percent of American adults admit to driving while fatigued or drowsy (with 40 percent admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel at some time in their lives). This could potentially make the odds of you encountering a drowsy driver on the road greater than one who is drunk. 

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