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Manalapan New Jersey Legal Blog

AAA urges caution as red-light runners cause more fatal crashes

Red-light runners are causing more and more fatal crashes with 35% of the fatalities being the offending drivers themselves. In 2017, there were 939 deaths in red-light running crashes: the highest it has been in 10 years, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. New Jersey residents should know that most drivers who run red lights are not so much inattentive as they are reckless and impatient.

In a recent Traffic Safety Culture Index from AAA, 85% of drivers acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. However, nearly one in three drivers admitted to running a red light at least once in the past 30 days. More than two in five drivers also said it would be unlikely for police to catch them doing it.

OSHA on lead exposure in the workplace

Lead is a metal that can be found in industries like construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and transportation. It is used in solder, plumbing fixtures, building materials, ammunition, lead-acid batteries and more. Employers in New Jersey should be aware that OSHA has set a permissible exposure limit for lead in the workplace. However, OSHA has also established an action level, at which point employers must comply with lead standards.

OSHA lead standards cover general industries, construction sites and shipyards. Employers may be wondering what lead exposure levels are like in their industry, in which case they should access OSHA's Chemical Exposure Health Database. This holds data based on the lead samples taken over five years' worth of OSHA inspections, and it gives a snapshot of lead air concentrations across different workplaces.

When do drivers face aggravated DWI charges in New Jersey?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a relatively common criminal offense in New Jersey, with people getting arrested every day across the state for driving under the influence. A portion of the individuals who wind up arrested and charged with impaired driving offenses will face aggravated DWI charges.

Aggravated offenses mean that there are complicating factors that make the offense more serious than a standard DWI charge. An aggravated DWI involves special circumstances that make it particularly dangerous. Aggravated DWI charges carry increased penalties and can have a stronger impact than standard DWI charges during a background check.

Car crash reports in all states are lacking essential fields

The National Safety Council has recently looked at the way each state reports a car crash. It turns out that none of the states allow police to give a complete picture of a crash because several essential fields are left out. The NSC points out 23 factors that can help explain the reason for a car crash. New Jersey residents should know that the top two states, Kansas and Wisconsin, only record 14 of those factors.

According to the NSC, only 34 states have a field where police can write down whether a driver was texting. The police reports in only 28 states contain a field for hands-free phone use and the use of marijuana and other drugs that are identifiable through positive drug tests. No states have a field for the use of driver assistance systems, and no states give a field or code for police to calculate drivers' fatigue levels.

OSHA on the presence of pinch points in the workplace

New Jersey residents who work around machinery probably know what pinch points, or nip points, are. These are the points where workers, or parts of their body, are in danger of coming into contact with either the moving parts of a machine or one moving part and one stationary part. These points include gears, belt drives and pulleys.

The construction and textile industries are rife with machines that contain pinch points, including metal-forming machines, conveyors, printing presses and powered doors. The OSHA standards for the construction, agricultural and maritime industries contain guidelines for protecting workers who use machinery with pinch points.

The leading safety hazards for construction workers in summer

The summer is a dangerous season for construction workers in New Jersey and across the U.S. Ultimately, it's up to employers to help identify and mitigate the hazards. The following are five of the leading hazards along with tips for addressing them.

The first two are fatigue and heat-related illness. The latter can include conditions like heat rash and heatstroke. For starters, employers should provide hydrating fluids and mandate rest breaks in the shade. In addition, salty snacks benefit employees by making up for the sodium they lose through their sweat.

OSHA focuses on preventing injuries, death in electrical industry

New Jersey residents who work in the electrical industry, whether as electricians or engineers, should know that OSHA is striving to raise awareness of the safety hazards faced in this industry. Working on cable harnesses, overhead lines, circuit assemblies and more can lead to falls, electrocution, fires and explosions. OSHA focuses especially on the safety of electrical workers in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

The reason is that these three states together saw 15 cases of electrical workers being hospitalized and two cases of amputation within the past five years. Between October 2012 and September 2018, there were even six cases of fatalities among electrical and wiring installation contractors. OSHA conducted a series of safety inspections in the three states from January 2015 to September 2018.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Diagnosis and treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not associated with an accident, but is instead an injury that comes into play over the course of time.

For example, people who use their hands for their job, such as secretaries and hair dressers, are prone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If this happens, you'll find it difficult to use your hands in the way you've become accustomed. Subsequently, this can affect your ability to do your job.

Green construction poses safety hazards for workers

In New Jersey and across the U.S., more people in the construction industry are looking to green technologies to cut costs and protect people's health and the environment. While green construction can positively impact the health of future building occupants, it can have a negative impact on the ones building. This will necessitate new safety measures.

The area that requires a special focus is lone worker safety. Recently, there has been an increase in accidents among those working with recyclable materials. Green building may also have workers performing unfamiliar tasks, which will lead to harm if they are not properly trained. Some green building techniques that come with a high risk for injury include the installation of photovoltaic panels and vegetative roofs.

Potential defenses for a drunk driving charge

Although New Jersey motorists who are accused of drunk driving often believe that they will automatically face serious consequences, there are certain defenses that can result in an acquittal. In very rare circumstances, affirmative defenses may be utilized. However, highlighting holes in the police officer's observations tend to be more common.

Affirmative defenses to drunk driving charges may include duress, which means a motorist drove while drunk to avoid serious injury or death. An example would be if an intoxicated driver was forced to drive by the threat of harm. Another potential affirmative defense is entrapment. This is when an officer encourages a motorist to drive a vehicle while under the influence. A person could have also unknowingly ingested alcohol before driving. For example, a spiked drink could lead to unintentional intoxication.

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Law Office of Jack L. Stillman, P.A.
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