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Manalapan New Jersey Legal Blog

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.

Automation technology in cars could be too advanced for some

As many New Jersey car enthusiasts know, the auto industry has been working feverishly to introduce new safety technology and crash avoidance systems to make cars safer for drivers. In fact, most new vehicles making their way out on to the roadways already have automated assistance technology that can keep vehicles in lanes and brake in an emergency.

While these automated systems can make cars safer, it can be very difficult for drivers to keep up with the ever-changing safety technology. As these systems become more and more advanced, it can take some effort to use them appropriately. On top of that, automakers are all coming out with their own systems of varying levels of autonomy, potentially making it difficult to switch between vehicles. This could put drivers at risk for causing severe crashes simply because they do not know how to use the car.

Breathalyzer tests aren't infallible

When a person in New Jersey is in ketosis, his or her liver uses fat to create fuel. This process creates acetone that is expelled from the body as isopropyl alcohol each time a person breathes. The isopropyl alcohol may inflate a person's blood alcohol content, which could result in being charged with a DUI. While some parties claim otherwise, it has not been proven that most Breathalyzer devices can tell the difference between ethanol and isopropyl alcohol.

However, it is important to note that being in ketosis is generally not enough to push person's blood alcohol content past .08 percent. If a person has not been drinking, it may raise their blood alcohol level to around .02 or slightly higher. Furthermore, police use other evidence in addition to field sobriety tests to determine if a person is likely intoxicated.

Follow these tips to prevent a ladder accident at work

A ladder is one of many tools you can use at work to improve efficiency and enhance safety. However, the use of a ladder can also result in a serious accident, often by making the smallest of mistakes.

Here are five simple tips you can follow to help prevent a ladder accident at work in Manalapan:

  • Don't set the ladder in a high traffic area: For example, setting a ladder in close proximity to an entry door or vehicular traffic increases the likelihood of someone or something knocking it down.
  • Inspect the ladder before use: If you find any defects or damage, such as cracks or rust, set the ladder aside and use another one for the meantime. If the ladder can't be repaired, dispose of it safely.
  • Maintain three points of contact: This helps you keep your balance, as you'll always have one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on the ladder. If you only have two points of contact, there's a greater chance of losing your balance and falling to the ground.
  • Don't carry a heavy load up or down the ladder: It's tempting to do this, especially if you're in a hurry, but the heavier the load, the greater chance it'll pull you away from the ladder.
  • Watch for the final step: Many ladder accidents occur near the ground, such as if you think you're on the last step but you're actually a rung or two above it. Knowing where you're at on the ladder at all times will help keep you safe.

Safety guidelines could protect electrical workers

Electrical workers in New Jersey may be exposed to an array of dangers on the job, especially when dealing with live electricity. Electrical injuries can be particularly dangerous, and workers have even lost their lives on the job due to workplace accidents and injuries. As a result, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reached out to private industry to construct a standard for assessing whether a workplace is electrically safe. OSHA, the federal agency responsible for taking enforcement action against dangerous workplaces and imposing regulations, frequently seeks to work in partnership with the industries it regulates.

In this case, industry produced a workplace safety standard known as NFPA 70E, which aims to lay out a set of guidelines and rules to ensure an electrically safe workplace. While these regulations protect worker safety, they are also designed with an eye toward increased efficiency and productivity on the job. Rather than taking more time and costing more money to have a safe workplace, many employers have found that they achieve more and have fewer unnecessary costs.

Report shows self-driving cars are far from road-ready

Drivers in New Jersey who are wary about autonomous vehicles should know about a report from the Rand Corporation. It says that automakers and autonomous vehicle developers are rushing to introduce self-driving cars, neglecting safety in the process. Road testing is essential, but it may require millions or even billions of miles before such cars are deemed to be reliable in preventing crashes.

Of all the companies that are developing self-driving car technology, Waymo has driven the most miles, testing its vehicles for over 10 million miles in the real world and for 7 billion miles on virtual roads through its in-house simulation technology. However, the Rand report states that even this is not enough; it may take decades or centuries for cars to be sufficiently tested.

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Law Office of Jack L. Stillman, P.A.
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Manalapan, NJ 07726

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