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Briefly taking eyes off of the road can be risky

Tennessee drivers might be interested to learn about a new study that shows glancing from the roadway for just two seconds can increase the risk of a car crash. The findings were issued by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in April to correspond with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that drivers limit glances from the roadway to two seconds or less to avoid accidents. However, the Research Institute discovered that a driver's eyes require a moment to readjust when they refocus on the road, which translated into an increase in risk.

Tennessee woman dies in semi-trailer collision

On April 14, a 21-year-old Smyrna woman was fatally injured when a big rig collided with her car on State Route 840 in Smyrna, according to reports. No one else was injured in the accident.

Highway officials say the collision happened around 7:45 a.m. when a 55-year-old Bartlett man driving a big rig in the fast lane of the highway suddenly lost control of his truck and swerved off the highway and into the median. The truck then drove into the opposite lane, where it smashed into an oncoming sports car. The car's driver instantly died when she was hurled from her vehicle in the impact, which tore her car in half.

OSHA's protective clothing regulations

Workers in Tennessee may be interested to learn about regulations that have been issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The regulations are in place to help prevent deaths and serious personal injuries by requiring the wearing of flame-resistant clothing in certain work environments.

The regulations apply to companies that have employees working near flames or who may be exposed to potential electrical arcs. Employers are to assess their workplaces for potential electrical hazards and flames. They must also measure the heat energy from potential electrical arcs, and they must make certain employees are wearing clothing that will not ignite or melt due to exposure.

Sternum fracture concerns in Tennessee

Research has determined that 60 to 90 percent of all sternum fractures are suffered in car accidents. This type of injury is often seen in females and in those over the age of 50, and it is thought to be rare for a child to suffer such an injury. As the sternum covers important parts of the body such as the heart and lungs, an injury to that body part could result in additional injuries or even death.

When the sternum is fractured, it is common for a rib fracture to have also taken place. This could result in damaged blood vessels, collapsed lungs or infection within the bone itself. Blood can get inside of the chest cavity, which causes a condition known as hemothorax. In addition, it may be possible to puncture the heart, rupture the aorta and experience bruising on both the heart and the lungs.

McDonald's feels the heat as employees file OSHA complaints

The most common workplace injuries sustained by fast-food workers in Tennessee and around the country are burns. According to a workplace safety survey, 79 percent of all fast-food employees sustained burn injuries while performing their duties in the twelve months that were covered, and many were burned repeatedly. Given the exposed nature of many of the cooking surfaces and the fast pace required of its employees during a rush, some commentators say McDonald's prizes speed and sales over employee safety and proper training.

A complaint recently filed with OSHA by a group of McDonald's employees in 19 cities alleges an environment fraught with workplace accident hazards and managerial indifference to employee safety. One worker who was burned on the arm stated that when the on-shift supervisor was asked for burn ointment, the manager told him to put mayonnaise on the injury instead of giving proper treatment. McDonald's denies the allegations, claiming the complaints are nothing more than an attempt to smear McDonald's' reputation and safety practices. Six McDonald's franchisees have been investigated by OSHA since the complaints were first aired.

Head-on crash kills 1, injures 2 in Tennessee

Criminal charges are expected to be filed in Tennessee following a deadly crash that killed one out-of-state woman and injured two men on March 11. According to the accident report, the crash occurred when a Dodge Ram driven by a 54-year-old Kentucky man failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle at the intersection of Little Elk Creek Road and State Highway 297. Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers say that alcohol may be a factor in the fatal head-on collision.

The incident happened at approximately 11:18 p.m. Troopers say that a 33-year-old Jellico man, who was behind the wheel of a Jeep, was traveling southbound on Little Elk Creek Road when he attempted to turn left onto the state highway and was struck by the Dodge. Preliminary reports do not indicate which vehicle was carrying the 33-year-old woman who was killed, but reports do say that none of the individuals who were hurt in the crash were wearing seatbelts when it occurred.

Chain-reaction crash in Tennessee kills pickup truck driver

Authorities in Tennessee have reported that the driver of a pickup truck was killed in a chain-reaction accident on March 2. The man died after his vehicle was rear-ended while it was stationary at an intersection in Murfreesboro. There were no immediate reports regarding what factors may have contributed to the collision, and police say that their investigation into the incident is ongoing. The crash took place at the intersection of Airport Road and Memorial Boulevard shortly after noon.

According to police, the pickup truck was waiting at the intersection behind two other vehicles when it was struck from behind by a large dump truck. The force of the impact crushed the pickup truck and propelled it into the car in front of it, which then struck a second car in an adjacent lane. A witness to the fatal accident likened the sound of the crash to a bomb going off.

Kinetic back brace could prevent workplace injuries

Goods from factories and farms pass through the hands of warehouse workers everyday, resulting in the repeated lifting and shifting around of boxes and other objects. Tennessee employees might be surprised that, according to 2013 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these activities caused more than 100,000 injuries in workplaces across the country. This figure is what a startup company aims to change. It has created a back brace that pairs with a wristband to detect when wearers are lifting objects and which muscles they are using to do so. The wearable device provides users with real-time feedback on whether or not they performed the lift safely. The company co-founder says that it could improve workers' awareness of how they are lifting boxes and objects so that they suffer fewer injuries on the job.

Additionally, the device provides managers with feedback on which employees need training in safe moving practices. It could also allow managers to determine whether changes are needed in the work environment or procedures. Many workers have to lift boxes from the floor and onto high shelves. This puts a lot of strain on the employees' shoulders, so it is recommended that employers provide lifting devices or steps to raise the boxes up to the workers' hips.

Hazards of vibration in the workplace

Although the human body can easily handle strong amounts of vibration in limited doses, data collected by publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association indicate that the sort of sustained exposure to vibration that is found in many Georgia workplaces can be very harmful and difficult to detect. Lower back pain was singled out as a symptom of vibrational exposure that may be challenging to trace back to its source.

Many experts divide the most common form of workplace vibrational exposure into two sets. The first, hand-arm vibration, was the first to be discovered and described. It is often encountered in workers who use power tools such as jackhammers or pneumatic stone working tools. Harm to the limbs may result, including such symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome, loss of sensation, interruptions of blood supply and even necrosis.

Auto accidents and spinal injuries

When Tennessee drivers are in a high-speed auto accident or head-on collision, an occupant could receive spinal injuries. Spinal fractures that are common in car accidents are thoracic mid-back and lumbar lower back fractures. A major symptom of a spinal injury is moderate to severe back pain that is exacerbated by movement. In some cases, a victim might also suffer from numbness or tingling if the spinal cord is affected.

There are three major types of spinal fracture patterns. Compression fractures, which break the front part of the vertebra, and axial burst fractures, which break both front and back of the vertebra, are flexion fractures. Flexion or distraction fractures follow the extension fracture pattern when vertebrae are pulled apart. Transverse process fracture is an uncommon rotation fracture pattern that results from rotation or extreme bending. Fracture-dislocation is when a vertebra moves off an adjacent vertebra, often causing spinal cord compression.

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