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Franklin County Personal Injury Law Blog

Protect your limbs and your life while felling trees

Pennsylvania is one of the primary producers of hardwood lumber in the country. The logging industry provides work to a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce of the state. Are you one of the thousands of workers who put their lives on the line each day to earn an income and care for their families?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, logging is near the top of the list of most hazardous occupations nationwide. Thousands of workers in this industry are injured or killed every year. The BLS says more than 60 percent of logging accident victims were using chainsaws for limbing, felling or bucking at the time of the accidents.

Take charge of your safety on Pennsylvania roadways

Every time you see a wreck as you travel along Pennsylvania highways, you likely fear the day that you might be a victim of a car accident. An auto accident can happen to anybody, at any time. Even the most careful driver is vulnerable to unsafe roads or negligent drivers of other vehicles. However, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself.

If you take time to learn about some of the common accident types and understand what causes them, you will also reduce the chances of being an accident victim. Having all the information possible will allow you to establish strategies to avoid auto accidents.

What are MSDs and how can ergonomics prevent them?

Regardless of your occupation, your employer must provide a workplace free of recognized hazards. Some known risks such as those that cause musculoskeletal disorders exist in almost all workplaces. High MSD-risk industries in Pennsylvania include construction, firefighting, health care, food processing, office jobs, warehousing, transportation and others.

Exposure to known risk factors will increase your chances of developing an MSD. Work-related events or exposures that can lead to illness or injury include overexertion, repetitive motions, jarring vibrations or anything that rubs or abrades against your skin.

Process and engineering controls to protect you during roof work

Roof work is one of the most hazardous jobs within the construction industry. If your duties as an employee of a construction company in Pennsylvania involve working on roofs, you might benefit from a reminder about your vulnerability. Regardless of whether you work on the roof in residential construction or a multistory project, a fall could cause catastrophic and life-changing injuries, and it could even be fatal.

A reminder about the dangers and the precautions you can take might prevent complacency. Too often, a worker who has worked on roofs for years with no incidents becomes complacent and disregards safety measures -- only to fall to his or her death. Managing safety on a roof work project requires written process control measures and engineering measures.

High number of Pennsylvania teen drivers text behind the wheel

Texting and driving is a serious problem, and one that threatens the safety and well-being of every person on the road. A person who is texting and driving is cognitively, physically and mentally distracted, and poses a significantly higher risk for a car accident. Teens are particularly prone to engaging in distracted behavior behind the wheel. 

If you are a driver in Pennsylvania, it is likely that you have witnessed distracted driving on the road. These drivers can exhibit some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers, such as swerving and driving at erratic speeds. A recent study looked at teen distracted driving in order to learn more about the habits of young drivers and how to combat this serious issue.

Requirements for a quality day care provider for your toddler

Most parents in Pennsylvania will do whatever they can to ensure a comfortable life for their families. In most cases, both parents have to work to make that possible. This brings us to one of the hardest things for mothers and fathers of toddlers — having to leave them in the care of people of whom they know nothing. Media reports about abused children at day care facilities cause even more anxiety.

Based on the advice of authorities, your child needs a balanced supply of emotional, mental and physical stimulation for healthy development. Knowing what to look out for in your research for the perfect day care provider might ease your concerns. However, making sure your child receives supportive care, proper nutrition and a healthy environment for development is an ongoing process.

How to avoid falling, flying, swinging or rolling objects on site

Although an endless list of hazards exists in the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a group of four to which they refer to as the Construction Focus Four. If you are a construction worker in Pennsylvania, you might already know that falls, caught-in-between, electrocution and struck-by hazards represent more than 50 percent of construction-related workplace fatalities each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of these four hazards, struck-by equipment or objects are most prevalent.

Safety advisers, including OSHA, say taking appropriate precautions can help prevent these accidents. General precautions include the proper personal protective equipment. No one should be on a construction site without safety boots with steel toes and a hard hat.

What is salmonella, and what are your legal rights?

Every year, authorities recall millions of food products that threaten the health of consumers in Pennsylvania and other states. If you are a victim of food poisoning caused by salmonella, you will likely have questions about your legal rights. In recent months, salmonella-related recalls included raw turkey, eggs, pre-packed salads, melon and Swiss roles, and right now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns consumers to dispose of any Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal they own.

Salmonella causes a bacterial infection in anyone who consumes a contaminated food product. The effects of the resulting food poisoning typically include abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea that might last for up to seven days. Salmonella is not generally life-threatening, but if any of your loved ones have weakened immune systems, or if they are elderly or infants, they could become severely ill if they ingest contaminated foods.

Was the Pennsylvania driver who hit you distracted at the wheel?

When you navigate Pennsylvania roadways as a motorist or pedestrian, it may prove wiser to ask "where" a distracted driver might be rather than "if" one is nearby. In fact, approximately one out of every four motor vehicle collisions is distracted driving related.  

You may be a safe and cautious driver. When walking in crossroads or near traffic-laden roads, you can adhere to traffic safety regulations; however, if someone else is negligent, you may be the victim of a distracted driving accident. If that happens, your life will change, perhaps permanently. Understanding the three main types of driving distraction can help lower your injury risk. Knowing where to seek support if an accident occurs can help you achieve as full a recovery as possible if you suffer injury because of a distracted driver. 

Occupational hearing loss can be life-threatening

If you have become aware of a problem with your hearing, you might be a victim of occupational hearing loss. If you think only older people experience hearing loss, you are mistaken. Excessive noise in workplaces causes hearing loss in millions of people of all ages nationwide, including in Pennsylvania. Frequent exposure to damaging noise levels of 85 decibels or higher can adversely affect your ability to hear.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide earplugs or earmuffs to protect workers in environments where noise levels reach or exceed 85 dB. Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act makes it mandatory for employers to accommodate employees with hearing loss.