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Rogersville Personal Injury Blog

Reduce the risks of winter driving with cellphone blocking apps

While the winter months in Tennessee bring festivities that help to dispel the gloom of shorter days and longer nights, often accompanying the cheer of the holidays are dangerous driving conditions. We may not be overwhelmed with the intense snow storms that hit the northern states annually, however, black ice and sleet can make our commutes a white-knuckle experience. Pair poor driving conditions with other distractions and you'll find that the months of December, January and February are not kind to drivers in Tennessee.

For these reasons, it's doubly important to reduce whatever risks that can limit a driver's focus and response time. If you have been reading articles and blogs on our website, you know that a major distraction for drivers is the cellphone. In an unfavorable review of our state's drivers, the National Safety Council reported that the state led the nation in cellphone-related car accidents. In spite of the fact that most drivers know texting and driving is dangerous, adults and teens admit to engaging in this activity.

Logging tops list of most dangerous jobs in the country

All workers in Tennessee face some risk, but the chances of being killed on the job are much higher in certain occupations than in others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, logging is the most dangerous job in the United States. Some of the dangers that often lead to fatal logging accidents include rough terrain and falling branches.

The president of a California-based lumber company said that she was not surprised that the BLS data placed logging at number-one on the list of the most dangerous jobs in 2014. She said that outdoor jobs like logging, fishing and farming are usually based in rural areas far away from hospitals. When injured workers cannot receive medical help immediately, they are more at risk.

The insurance industry and autonomous cars

It is likely that self-driving cars will not be a common sight on Tennessee roads anytime soon, but when they finallyare, they will have an effect on the auto insurance industry as well. It is not clear how these cars will be insured, and in part, this is because the safety of the cars is not yet known.

The technology companies that are developing them tout their safety, yet algorithms are vulnerable to both software errors and hacking. Even if the cars are considerably safer than those driven by humans, accidents will likely still happen. Insurance companies may work alongside car companies to develop regulations around autonomous cars.

Preventing workplace injuries in Tennessee

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are an estimated 3 million workplace injuries per year. Of those, roughly 1 million are serious enough to cause workers to miss time from their jobs. Many Tennessee employees get hurt through overexertion while on the job. It can lead to back and other muscle strains, and it can be avoided by learning proper lifting techniques and asking for help when necessary.

Slips, trips and falls are another way that people get hurt while on the job. Common causes of slips and falls include slippery floors or obstacles in a walkway. Making sure that pathways are free from obstacles and using signs to indicate wet or slippery floors may prevent such injuries from occurring. Construction workers may also fall from heights if they aren't using the proper safety equipment or aren't using it correctly.

Numbers show that workplace safety still a large concern

Each year, some Tennessee workers are seriously injured or killed while at work. Workplace safety is a national concern. Despite advances that have been made with safety technology, injuries and deaths continue to happen at workplaces across the country.

According to the Department of Labor, 4,821 people were killed at work in 2014. Among workers who were age 55 and older, 1,691 died in workplace accidents in 2014. This was the highest number of fatalities ever recorded for this age group.

No OSHA exemption for employees using drugs, alcohol

Based on a letter posted on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in March, if an employee is injured at work while under the influence of alcohol, a Tennessee employer still must record the incident. OSHA allows an exemption for injuries that are self-inflicted, the result of self-medication or a result of grooming.

In the scenario described, an employee was injured on the job and then given a drug and alcohol test. According to the test, the employee was under the influence of alcohol, and the employer asked whether this counted as self-medicating. OSHA said that it did not because drinking alcohol is a symptom and not a treatment.

Recall for Fisher-Price swings

Tennessee parents whose young children have a Fisher-Price cradle swing should be aware that the product has been recalled. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received two reports of the moving seat falling out because of the peg that holds the seat in place becoming disengaged. So far, no injuries have been reported.

The swing can rock either back and forth or side to side. It includes a mobile and can run on different speeds. It appears that in the cases reported, the peg works it way out. Three different swing models are being recalled by Fisher-Price. They are CMR40 Sweet Surroundings Cradle 'n Swing, CHM84 Soothing Savanna Cradle 'n Swing, and CMR43 Sweet Surroundings Butterfly Friends Cradle 'n Swing.

NSC names April Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Innovations in communications technology have made life easier and more productive for many Tennessee residents, but road safety advocates are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of drivers who use electronic devices while behind the wheel. The problem is particularly pronounced among younger drivers who have grown up with cellular technology. Campaigns run by the National Safety Council have generally focused on making the public more aware of emerging dangers, and the organization has named April the Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Figures released by the NSC indicate that car manufacturers may actually be making the problem of distracted driving worse by filling the vehicles sold to Americans with so much electronic equipment. The organization says that more than half of all drivers feel that the information and entertainment features in their cars, trucks and SUVs are safe to use, but many experts disagree. They say that these features offer drivers convenience at the expense of safety, and the NSC is providing resources such as videos, posters and infographics to back up these claims.

Sleep apnea may lead to work injuries

Tennessee workers who have sleep apnea might want to learn about a small study showing a link between having the disorder and an increased risk of suffering workplace accidents and injuries. The study, conducted in Canada with slightly more than 1,200 sleep disorder clinic patients, showed that people who have sleep apnea have double the risk of workplace injuries than those who don't.

According to the researchers, the types of injuries suffered by those with sleep apnea involved accidents that resulted from not being as vigilant at work, including falls, burns and trips. People who have obstructive sleep apnea wake up many times throughout the night when their airways briefly collapse, but they don't especially remember doing so. They tend to then be tired and feel fatigued during their waking hours.

Chicken of the Sea recalls canned tuna products

Tennessee consumers should be aware that Chicken of the Sea has recalled more than 107,000 cans of tuna. The company stated that its products may have been undercooked, which could result in life-threatening contamination.

The company stated that its equipment may have malfunctioned, causing their products to be undercooked. The issue was found during a routine inspection of the plant. If the product is consumed, it could cause serious health conditions.

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Stapleton Law Office
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Rogersville, TN 37857

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