Slip and Fall Accidents in Office Spaces

Employers have the legal responsibility of ensuring the safety of their employees. This can be achieved by doing several methods, such as giving the employees the adequate safety equipment, enforcing safety regulations to avoid accidents, and maintaining the work area to avoid defects, malfunctions, and fires.

Getting injured because of the negligence of employers and property owners is one of the worst things that could happen to you. Injury not just causes pain and suffering, but also financial damages like medical costs and lost time at work.

One of the most common accidents that cause injuries in the workplace is called slip and fall. This occurs when a third-party object makes an employee slip and fall, resulting into injury or even death. Typically, slip and fall claims can be viable only if they can prove the following:

  • The condition that has caused the slip and fall accident has existed because of the negligence of the sued party
  • The condition has resulted into bodily harm and damages associated with it, such as medical costs and loss of earning capability, either temporary or permanent
  • The condition has existed long enough for a reasonable party to see it and act accordingly

It is important to note that these accidents can happen not just in dangerous work environments like construction sites, factories, and mines, but also in relatively safer environments like offices. In fact, there is a possibility that those who are in offices are at greater risk of slip and fall accidents because of their complacency and over dependence to the inherent safety of a building or office. The most common factors that cause slip and fall accidents in these spaces include:

  • Slippery substances on floors, like spilled drinks, leaks from air conditioners and pipes, and floor wax
  • Objects that can trip, such as opened cabinets, loose cables, and worn carpets
  • Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
  • Defects in staircases

Those who are lucky will not sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents, but those who are not as lucky can suffer from a variety of conditions, such as the following:

  • Head trauma for hitting the head on a hard surface
  • Back and neck injuries for landing harshly
  • Arm fractures for extending the arms upon landing

No-zone Truck Accidents

A driver operating vehicle as long as an 18-wheeler, which is 70 feet long and weighs around 80,000 lbs., will most likely find maneuvering it a little challenging and seeing all other vehicles on the road, impossible. This is due to an an 18-wheeler truck’s “no-zone” or blind spot areas, wherein smaller vehicles which may be driving in these (areas) become invisible or unnoticeable to truck drivers.

“No-zone” areas or blind spots refer to spots where crashes are most likely to occur because smaller vehicles are almost always never noticed by truck drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these areas include a truck’s:

  • Front, where smaller vehicle can be rear-ended or crashed by a truck if ever its driver suddenly slows down or makes an emergency stop.
  • Cars slowing down right after overtaking a truck is actually one of the things truck drivers badly hate;
  • Rear, where smaller vehicles tailgate a truck. Tailgating is not just really dangerous and a major traffic safety issue; it is also legally prohibited in all states; and,
  • Right or passenger side, where a truck driver can totally fail to notice smaller vehicles. If a truck makes a right turn, the vehicle to its right can easily be crushed.

This is issue of “no-zone” area is a real concern in 13 states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah) where triple trailers, also called road trains, are still allowed to operate (a road train refers to a normal tractor unit pulling two or more trailers instead of just one).

According to a West Palm Beach accident attorney, though many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway, the sad reality is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. There are even instances when drivers are forced to exceed the set hours of service restrictions, abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or drivers/companies that fail to keep their trucks in good working order regularly, exposing everyone on the road to serious risks.

Getting harmed in a truck accident or, worse, losing a loved one, is nothing short of tragic. Though filing a civil lawsuit against the liable driver and/or a trucking company may involve lots of legal challenges, this is still the most sane thing to do in order to claim the compensation that the victim deserves.

Toxic Substances: Their Illness-causing Effects Go Beyond the Workplace

Work-related injuries and work-related illnesses caused by regular exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace always register a high rate of claims lawsuit in the U.S. While all types of workers may be exposed to risk of injury or illness, some of those in the greatest danger are people in the construction business where hazardous chemicals are always present and regularly used.

Toxic chemicals can surely inflict harm on anyone who is not properly suited when handling these substances or who is exposed to these substances every day. Worst, the workers themselves are not the only ones who may be harmed by these substances: family members, who come in contact with the fumes or harmful fibers which stick to workers’ clothes or skin, as well as residents who live near areas where these substances are used and stored, can be harmed too. And if an illness actually develops, its symptoms and harmful effects are usually not immediately obvious; there have been many occasions, in fact, when the harmful effects of substances became manifest only after months or years have already passed.

Toxic substances can cause skin rashes and, if its fumes get inhaled often, this can cause disease in the lungs, kidney, or liver. The most common substances that can cause these medical problems are disinfectants, acids, solvents, caustic substances, pesticides, petroleum products, glue and heavy metals (like aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury).

To help ensure the safety of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a by-product of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which is tasked to ensure the protection of every worker in the workplace, put into effect the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in 1986. The HSC, also called the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, mandates employers to inform workers about the hazardous and toxic substances found and used in the workplace.

Though OSHA has significantly reduced the number of workplace accidents since its creation in 1971, 4,500 fatalities and 4.1 million serious injuries every year continue to be recorded. This is because so many employers continue to ignore OSHA’s stipulations on safety standard, others, though, just have very poor management style: these directly result to acts of negligence.

As pointed out in the website of the Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, law firm, exposure to toxic substances can be due to failure to quarantine toxic chemicals; chemical explosions or fires; failure to provide workers with protective gear or equipment; chemical spills; and, failure to find toxic chemicals in demolished materials.

Employers face great responsibility towards those they may harm due to very poor ways of handling toxic substances. A person, who develops an illness and suspects that this is due to his or her exposure to toxic substances, may find it wise to contact immediately a personal injury lawyer who can explain to him or her the possible legal action he or she may be able to pursue.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

With the advent of this year’s Super Bowl Sunday on February 7 and the latest release of 47-year-old Willard Carroll “Will” Smith, Jr.’s new movie, concussion, parents are reminded once again that football is a very dangerous sport, what with its capacity to inflict players with the most critical of head injuries – the concussion.

Parents of high school and college football players certainly have reservations when it comes to being happy for their children, who are playing for their dreams and sports aspirations. However, Lurie Children’s director of trauma at the division of general pediatric surgery and at the same time Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine assistant professor of surgery Rashmi Kabre says that concussions may not only occur during football accidents but in fact happen more frequently during activities like skateboarding, biking, sledding, climbing, skiing, car or all-terrain vehicle riding, among others.

For her part, Lurie Children’s medical director at the Institute for Sports Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics Cynthia LaBella said that the Concussion movie is portraying a very specific kind of concussion injury. She claims that the type of brain injury featured in the movie – chronic traumatic brain encephalopathy – is caused by multiple trauma to the head that can only be gained by accidents spanning an entire football career. That type of disease is characterized by progressive brain damage and significant changes to the brain’s structure, whereas a concussion causes only temporary changes to the brain’s function and does not alter its structure.

According to attorneys at the Abel Law Firm, concussions – granted that they have the same impact and force – can cause different children to experience different levels of brain effects. Textbook symptoms of them include confusion, loss of consciousness, vomiting, dizziness, headache, among others, with some less obvious signs including new-onset emotional instability, mood swings, forgetfulness, nervousness, agitation, inability to concentrate, and unusual sleeping patterns.

Cruise Ship Excursions: Common Hazards and Accidents

Plenty of people consider going on a cruise as the ideal way to travel and experience many different locales. While on a cruise ship, one can make their journey towards the destination while enjoying the comfort provided by the many amenities and attractions available on board. Tourists can also enjoy the breathtaking view provided by the open sea as they may their way from one stop to the next. It comes as no surprise that cruise ships are enjoyed by vacationers of all ages.

The experience becomes even more enjoyable once cruise ship passengers reach their destination and take part on excursions and other in-land activities. Many cruise lines provide their passengers with the choice to take part in a variety of activities they can enjoy while the ship is docked in a given location. Travellers can try snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking, as well as hiking and horseback riding. Some ships also provide the opportunity to eco-cultural tours.

Unfortunately, certain incidents that could take place in these cruise ship excursions may put the safety of passengers at risk. As noted by the website of the cruise ship lawyers at The Vucci Law Group, P.A., there have been plenty of cases when excursions and in-land activities end in accidents caused by certain hazards and errors. In some occasions, these accidents are serious enough to cause injuries.

The following are just common examples of excursion hazards and accidents:

  • Dock Accidents – Cruise ships that fail to properly dock could cause sudden lurching and other unexpected movements that lead to slip and fall accidents.
  • Tender Accidents – Before going on excursions, passengers are transported from the ship to the shore through small boats called tenders. Accidents can happen while people are boarding and disembarking this vehicle, as well as if the tender is being operated by a reckless driver.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – While on the excursions itself, passengers are transported from different venues in cars that could be susceptible to collisions.
  • Defective Equipment Accidents – Malfunctioning equipment and defective gear can also make excursion activities particularly dangerous for passengers.

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