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Berlin New Jersey Legal Blog

Study looks at effectiveness of teen driver ed program

New Jersey teens might learn more about the dangers of various driving behaviors if they attend a supplemental drivers' education program that includes interactive and real-world components. A study by researchers at Baylor University in Texas reported that such a study showed some effectiveness at raising awareness in teens although a follow-up study two months later was inconclusive.

Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of accidental fatalities for teenagers. The participants in the program identified certain activities, such as speeding or not wearing a seat belt, as being dangerous. However, only a few of them identified others, including listening to the radio and having more than one passenger who was also a teen. Elements of the program included discussions, visits to the morgue and emergency rooms, lectures and creating safe driving contracts. At the end of the program, the biggest change was in the teens' understanding of how peers influence drinking and driving and a greater comprehension of the dangers of speeding.

Five leading causes of construction worker deaths

The construction industry saw almost 1,000 employee deaths in 2016 according to OSHA. In New Jersey and across the U.S., construction workers are exposed to many hazards, so it is a good idea for them to know what those hazards are and how to mitigate them. Five are summarized below.

The leading cause of death among construction workers is falling, usually caused by unstable work surfaces or the unsafe use of ladders and scaffolding. Employers should provide the right personal protective equipment, such as hard hats and non-slip boots, and make sure the workplace complies with federal standards for fall prevention equipment, such as guardrails and safety nets.

Importance of seeking medical attention after your accident

There are many reasons New Jersey residents may not see a doctor as soon as they should after a car accident or a slip-and-fall. Some may not think they suffered any injuries serious enough to warrant taking time out of their busy schedule. Others may worry about copays, bills, missing days from work and other valid concerns.

However, in the long run, it is essential to set these worries aside and seek medical attention as soon as you can. Keep in mind that even if you did receive care from first responders at the scene or at an emergency room, this is no substitute for the thorough check-up you need.

Retail workers may face unexpected dangers

Retail workers in New Jersey face a range of dangers when they head into work. While people may think of retail as a relatively safe profession, in 2016, retail workers had a combined rate of illness and injury that exceeded those in the construction industry. When customers head into a retail store, they experience an environment tailored to their comfort, with clear paths, a lack of obstruction and easy access to needed items.

However, retail workers may not enjoy the same benefits of their work location. One reason for these injuries is the frequent heavy lifting and carrying performed by retail workers. Employees move items from trucks to stockrooms and storage spaces and then out to the sales floor. Even scanning and bagging items can be unexpectedly hazardous. In some cases, especially in fashion retail, people may carry heavy items or large loads of clothes while also being expected to wear high heels and other fashionable clothing.

Safety strategies to prevent distracted driving and avoid wrecks

The personal choices of drivers in New Jersey could produce distractions that lead to serious car accidents. In 2015, there were 3,477 deaths and close to 400,000 injuries related to distracted driving. Distractions emerge from several sources, especially mobile phones. However, motorists can make choices that limit distractions and keep their eyes on the road.

To resist the urge to check a mobile phone when a text or call comes in, people should keep their devices out of reach when driving. If one must respond, they should pull over in a safe place before answering the text or returning the call. Calculations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that a single text message diverts a driver's attention from the road for five seconds.

Top mistakes to avoid after a car accident

A car accident can be a traumatic experience that can inflict long-lasting damage on your health and finances. Pursuing legal recourse can help you receive compensation so you can cover your bills and the increased cost of living that results from your injuries.

There are some common mistakes people make after their accidents that can put their case at risk. While it is up to your lawyer to craft the right legal strategy, you can help yourself by avoiding these widespread, yet dangerous pitfalls:

Tips to keep tree workers safe

While there are no OSHA standards as it relates to tree workers, there are guidelines and best practices that employers can take to keep workers safe. For instance, New Jersey tree care companies can develop safety plans and make sure that their employees are trained to avoid hazards. Employers can also monitor workers for symptoms of heat stroke or other health conditions related to working in hot weather.

An employee should routinely monitor job sites for hazards and develop fall protection plans for those working high in trees. Workers should make sure that they are a safe distance from any tree that is being trimmed. This can prevent them from being struck by a branch or from standing under a falling tree. They should also be aware of power lines or other possible dangers that they may face while working in or around a tree.

Drowsy driving: Its frequency, causes, symptoms

Drowsy driving is widespread in New Jersey and throughout the rest of the country. In a survey of almost 150,00 adults in 19 states and the District of Columbia, 4 percent reported that they fell asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past 30 days. At the highest risk among those surveyed were people who snored or who slept six or fewer hours a day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013 saw around 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths due to drowsy driving.

Lack of sleep may be the most common cause of drowsiness, but it is not the only one. Other factors include sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, alcohol consumption and the taking of medications that lead to sleepiness. Commercial drivers like truckers are especially prone to drowsiness as is anyone who works a long shift or odd hours.

Be careful what you share when crowdfunding for medical bills

A top concern after many personal injuries such as a dog bite is how to pay medical bills. Health insurance may cover either a portion or, if you are lucky, most of your bills. However, even having "most" of your bills covered can still mean a substantial amount left over, especially when your total bill is sky-high.

Many people in the United States turn to crowdfunding to raise money for medical bills. They post pictures of themselves or their loved ones and go into detail about the injuries suffered and the prognosis. Whether you are the injured person or a friend/relative of the injured, be careful of what you share.

Training and protective gear essential for workplace safety

Many New Jersey jobs involve the use of heavy machinery. Most of the time when workers suffer injuries from machines, the accidents arose from poor maintenance, inadequate machine guards or improper use. Proactive employers might reduce these problems by keeping equipment in good condition, training employees thoroughly and ensuring that protective gear and guards are present at all times.

Knowledgeable operators observe safety rules when operating their machines. Before workers use machines, they should be trained by people with experience running the equipment. When people lack thorough training with the equipment that they are using, accident risks rise. Employers should also conduct hazard assessments to identify potential threats and address these problems with their training programs.