Jasper Personal Injury Law Blog

The most common fatal occupational injuries

In Alabama, workers are injured on the job every day. Fortunately, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance that allows for the worker to receive compensation if certain requirements are met. One important way for workers to avoid these painful, often debilitating injuries is to be aware of what the most common work injuries are.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 83 fatal work injuries in the state of Alabama in 2017. While this was a decline from the previous year, that is still many families who are facing life without a loved one. The most common fatal occupational injuries in Alabama in 2017 were:

  •          Transportation incidents
  •          Equipment and object contact
  •          Trips, slips and falls
  •          Exposure to harmful environments or substances

3 common causes of motorcycle accidents in Alabama

Although motorcycles offer their operators maneuverability, agility and other freedoms, they lack the crashworthiness of other motor vehicles. Consequently, collisions involving motorcycles and cars and trucks may be devastating for motorcyclists in Alabama and elsewhere. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riders are injured or killed in over 80% of all reported motorcycle-involved wrecks.

Operating a motorcycle safely requires different knowledge and skills than are required to drive a car. However, it is estimated that one-third of riders who are killed as a result of motorcycle accidents are appropriately licensed. Completing a training course and obtaining the necessary licensure may help ensure motorcyclists understand the inherent limitations of their vehicles and how to safely operate them.

Study: Hands-free devices not as safe as some think

People who insist on using their cellphone while driving are at serious risk of becoming involved in a deadly car accident. More studies are being conducted into the risk of engaging in these dangerous activities and showing the importance of avoiding cellphone use while driving. One study in particular compared the distraction levels of hand-held cellphones compared to hands-free cellphones. While hands-free devices are marketed as being a safe alternative to using a hand-held cellphone, a study released by AAA shows that this may not always be the case.

The study looked at the amount of cognitive distraction generated by using a hands-free cellphone in comparison to a hand-held cellphone. Researchers measured participants brain activity, heart rate, response time and eye movement as they engaged in the following tasks:

  •          Talking with a passenger in the vehicle
  •          Operating a hand-held and hands-free device
  •          Composing an email using a voice-activated device
  •          Listening to the radio
  •          Listening to a book-on-tape

Hauling loads of hazardous chemicals is a dangerous job

If you work as a truck operator in chemical logistics, or for one of the chemical manufacturing companies of Alabama, you might not realize just how many risks you face each day. Following safe shipping procedures for hazardous chemicals is crucial, and violations of prescribed standards can have devastating consequences. Safety authorities prescribe a vast regulation network to which shipping companies and truckers who haul the dangerous loads across the country must adhere.

Safety in hazardous chemical transport is not only crucial to protect you as the truck driver but also your co-workers and members of the general public. Unfortunately, some employers prioritize profits and tend to disregard some of the safety standards.

How is pain medication handled under workers' compensation?

With the opioid epidemic sweeping across the country, including Alabama, there are many moves by government agencies to make changes to prevent further addiction issues. One area where many states are making major changes is within workers' compensation with the handling of pain medications, which are often opioids.

Some states have banned the prescription of opioids or made getting them through workers' compensation much more difficult. Alabama has not yet made such drastic changes, but the worker's compensation laws do allow for employers to get a handle on the pain management of their employees who are in the system.

What gear should Alabama motorcyclists wear while riding?

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are all too common on the streets and highways throughout Alabama and across the U.S. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5,172 people died as a result of motorcycle collisions in 2017 alone. Among taking other precautions, wearing the right gear when riding may help decrease the number of serious injuries and fatalities associated with such crashes.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, motorcycle riders should wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets any time they ride. In order to be most effective, their helmets should fit snuggly all around their heads and they should not have any obvious defects. Further, it is important for people to keep their helmets securely fastened while they ride so that they do not come off in the event of a wreck.

Reckless driving can lead to criminal charges

From traffic jams to car crashes, there are many causes for frustration on Alabama roadways. Focusing on your surroundings is vital for anticipating potential issues and keeping yourself and your passengers safe.  At The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C., we often represent clients injured as a result of reckless driving.

According to FindLaw, road rage and aggressive driving are not illegal in and of themselves. However, they often lead to reckless driving which is an offense. Aggressive driving occurs when a driver knowingly commits multiple moving traffic violations, endangering you, themselves and others in the immediate vicinity. This behavior leads to reckless driving, which may result in accidents and criminal charges.

How can truckers prevent fatigued driving?

Trucker fatigue is a serious issue in Alabama and elsewhere around the U.S. In a rush to meet deadlines many truckers push themselves to the limit, despite rules and regulations mandating breaks and rest periods for working truckers. In this case, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration urges truckers to utilize the following advice to preserve their safety as well as those they share the road with.

Recognize the signs of fatigue

What are bed sores?

Severe mobility limitations can lead to bed sores. This is a major concern in nursing homes, where bedridden residents may develop painful sores if they’re not properly cared for. If you have a senior loved one in a nursing home in Alabama, the following information will help you stay involved in his or her care.

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that bed sores, also referred to as pressure sores, are caused by a lack of blood supply. A painful red sore develops as a result, and if untreated this sore can penetrate deep into the muscle tissue and bone. People with certain health conditions or compromised immune systems may find the recovery process to be lengthy, with some bed sores taking months to heal while others require surgery. Bed sores are a common problem for people who are bedridden, as well as those confined to a wheelchair.  

Can you smell the danger on the construction site?

If you work in the construction industry in Alabama, you will likely know that your occupation is significantly more hazardous than most other jobs. While workers in offices, retail stores and many other work environments also face injury risks, construction workers have to deal with an endless list of potentially deadly occupational hazards. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards, even compliance might not avoid unanticipated on-the-job accidents.

Some safety advocates say workers should not disregard the power of their senses. They say every one of your five senses can play a role in keeping you safe.

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