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Pittsburgh Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Blog

The most frequent causes of truck accidents

Due to differences in size and weight, trucks involved in accidents with smaller vehicles present a unique threat. In order to reduce the amounts of serious injuries and deaths that result from these accidents, it's important to learn about their most common causes. In Pennsylvania and other states, truck accidents are either caused by the drivers of small vehicles or the drivers of trucks. A smaller percentage of crashes are caused by environmental factors.

Accidents caused by the drivers of smaller passenger vehicles usually involve the inability of the driver to accurately predict the capabilities of the large truck. They may drive where the truck driver has no visibility, abruptly move in front of the truck or not be aware of the distance a truck requires for making a right turn. Drivers often fail to estimate the speed and braking ability of large trucks, causing accidents at unprotected left turns or when pulling into traffic.

How employers can improve loading dock safety

Loading docks are the center of the action in Pennsylvania manufacturing plants and warehouses, and because of this, they are the site of frequent accidents and injuries. Employers will want to consider the following five steps toward a safer loading dock.

Every year, more than 100,000 injuries are caused by the use of powered industrial trucks, so employers should, above all else, provide the proper training for this type of equipment. This includes forklifts, lift trucks and electric pallet jacks. When operators use such equipment in an unsafe manner, employers will need to set up refresher courses for them. Everyone else should take their courses every three years.

Staying safe while working outdoors during summer

Unlike states in the South or places closer to the coast, Pennsylvania is not necessarily notorious for its scorching temperatures during the summer months. As a person who must work outdoors, you do understand that it can get quite hot, especially when doing physically demanding tasks. Workers should be aware of the risks of working outdoors and what they can do to stay safe.

No matter what kind of job you have, if you must be outdoors, you will want to know how to stay as safe as reasonably possible in the heat and sun. Employers should provide adequate training for outdoor workers, and you should have access to equipment and tools that will help you protect your health while still getting your job done. This is an important priority for specific types of workers, such as landscapers, construction workers and more.

Basic Motorcycle Safety

There are more than 12 million motorcycles in use in the United States, and the number is only growing. As more people begin using motorcycles, it is important to understand basic motorcycle safety procedures. Though the number of motorcycle fatalities decreased between 2017 and 2018, motorcycle drivers are 28 more likely to be killed in a car crash than those riding in a motor vehicle. Practicing safe motorcycle driving is essential to staying safe on the road.

Tips for welders to prevent burns and other injuries

Pennsylvania welders always have a serious risk of becoming injured while welding. In particular, they are often at risk for burn hazards as a result of the sparks and spatter that can fly off the welding arc. Additionally, working with hot equipment could pose risks while the arc rays themselves created during welding can cause radiation burns. To help prevent welding injuries on the job, the American Welding Society provides a number of tips.

According to the AWS, welders should always ensure that they are wearing the protective welding helmets that protect the head, neck, face and ears. Further, safety goggles should always be worn under the helmet as another added level of protection again burn hazards. Earplugs or earmuffs are also a must to prevent sparks from getting into the ears. The rest of the body should be covered in non-melting protective materials, and clothing should include gloves, pants and shirts. Finally, sheet screens can be used for additional protection when the worker is completing heavy welding or cutting.

Nurse-to-patient Staffing Ratios in Pennsylvania

For the first time in Pennsylvania history, the governor has been supportive of efforts for nurse-to-patient staffing laws that would set a maximum number of patients for a nurse to care for at once. Additionally, bills have been co-sponsored in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate that would codify nurse-to-patient ratios across all hospitals in the state. Across the United States, 14 states have laws that address nurse staffing. However, California is the only state that's law specifies a ratio for each type of hospital unit. The other laws either leave the choice to hospital committees or mandate that these ratios are disclosed publicly.

As truck crashes go up, speeding may be major factor

Speeding may be behind the rise in truck crash numbers that many states are experiencing. Pennsylvania residents should know that many of these crashes are fatal, usually for the occupants of passenger vehicles: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has said that occupants of smaller vehicles compose 72% of all fatalities in collisions between trucks and other vehicles.

Florida has seen an especially sharp rise from 23,515 truck crashes in 2014 to 32,513 four years later. The Florida Department of Transportation said that speeding was the top driver-related factor in these crashes. It seems that many truckers speed as a way to make up for lost miles as most are paid by the mile rather than by the hour.

Keeping new landscapers safe on the job

Working in the landscaping industry can be a challenging job. It involves working outdoors with equipment that can be dangerous if used improperly. It is critical to give workers the tools to stay as safe as reasonably possible on the job, including providing proper training for new workers.

If you work in the lawn care business, you understand that it is not easy. The people who work in this field often work in extreme heat, under time constraints and with moving equipment that can cause serious harm in an accident. Pennsylvania employers are responsible for training employees and making safety a priority on every job site, no matter what kind of role that person has on the landscaping crew.

What do insurance trends indicate about distracted driving?

Pennsylvania readers know that distracted driving is a problem in the state and throughout the country. Most drivers are aware of the dangers of driving while looking at their phones or engaging in distracted behaviors, and yet inattentiveness continues to be one of the most common causes of car accidents. It is one of the most pressing safety concerns threatening the well-being of all motorists.

You know that distracted driving comes with a price. Not only does it significantly increase the chance of an accident, it can also come with higher insurance rates as well. When a driver causes a collision due to distracted driving, he or she will likely see higher insurance rates. Over the last decade, distraction-related insurance penalties are up by over 10,000%.

Having a proper view of OSHA standards

OSHA has been helping employers in Pennsylvania take steps to improve the safety of their employees. At first, it was thought that a top-down approach to worker safety was needed. With this approach, the management staff and business owners bear the brunt of the responsibility of enforcing safety techniques. Quickly, it was realized that a top-down approach is not good enough. This is why OSHA, in conjunction with the private industry, developed standards that work in the opposite direction. The standards make it possible for employees to work safely while handling electricity in the workplace.

In addition to minimizing workers' compensation claims, this bottom-up way of looking at safety can improve efficiency. A lot of it has to do the mindset of the employee while going about their tasks. If an employee views these regulations as something they need to adhere to when someone is watching but avoid later, they not only set themselves up for injury, but they may minimize the efficiency of the work that they do.

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Law Offices of Hall & Copetas
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