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Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

5 dangers that cranes pose on construction sites

Cranes play a critical role in construction. Many jobs simply wouldn’t be possible without them.

However, as large, heavy pieces of equipment, cranes can be dangerous to both the workers who operate them and those in the vicinity. Anyone who works on cranes or in close proximity to them should be fully aware of the dangers – and fully trained on how to avoid accidents.

Lingering effects of concussions aren't well understood

Concussions are surprisingly common injuries. Nearly 1 in 4 adults have suffered from a concussion, according to an NPR poll, and more than a third of those victims have had repeated concussions.

Perhaps because they're so prevalent, concussions used to be regarded as no big deal. In recent years, however, the publicity surrounding NFL players has shed light on the lasting - and often significant - damage wrought by these traumatic brain injuries. Yet troubling gaps remain in our knowledge of such complications.

What to look for when you're buying a car

If you're in the market for a car, whether new or used, be prepared for decision-making overload. Today's vehicles come with slews of options - including high-tech bells and whistles. In fact, many seem more like computers than cars.

So how do you go about making a wise choice? With traffic accidents as a leading cause of death among all age groups, safety considerations should be a priority.

What every nurse should know about needlestick injuries

Nurses face all kinds of occupational risks: heavy lifting injuries, exposure to biohazards, increased stress and fatigue from overwork, and even violent patients, to name a few. One of the biggest dangers they face on a daily basis, however, is needles.

Nurses have the highest rate of needle pricks among health care workers. That's not surprising, considering they're the ones on the front lines of patient care. Needlesticks can expose nurses to a slew of serious illnesses from HIV and hepatitis to malaria, syphilis, herpes and more.

The long wait for Social Security Disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits are a lifeline for millions of Americans who aren't able to work due to medical issues. Getting benefits, however, is rarely easy. And it's only gotten harder in recent years.

The Social Security Administration has long labored beneath the weight of a mountainous caseload, insufficient staff and a dwindling budget. The backlog of pending claims has ballooned in recent years. Currently, more than a million claims are awaiting decision by a scarce 1,600 administrative judges - an imbalance that makes it unlikely things will turn around anytime soon.

Balancing the risks and benefits of VBAC

Childbirth is a momentous life event. But it can also be a life-threatening one. Complications at any point during labor or delivery can have a big impact on both mother and baby for a long time to come.

Recognizing these risks, many hospitals and OB-GYNs are reluctant to allow VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) - or, more accurately, trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC). Women who have previously had a cesarean delivery are often slated to have scheduled cesareans for all future births.

The dangers of night shifts for medical workers

Shift work is a way of life for many in the medical field. Emergencies happen around the clock. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals rarely have the luxury of working 9 to 5.

For many, shift work has benefits: more flexible hours, the ability to work part-time and longer periods off. Yet it also has downsides. Whether you regularly work the graveyard shift or have an alternating schedule that includes some night hours, you may be at risk for serious health problems over the long term.

Don't let drunk drivers ruin your holiday season

The holiday season is upon us. Along with the festivities, family traditions, shared meals and holiday cheer comes another, more ominous development: a stark rise in deadly traffic accidents. It's one of the busiest times of year for traffic. An estimated 50 million Americans are hitting the roads during Thanksgiving weekend alone, according to AAA. With that increased congestion comes a higher risk of collisions - especially when it comes to drunk driving.

For many, the holidays involve eating, drinking and making merry. Yet that also means more drunk drivers on the road. Fatality rates skyrocket during the holiday season. The week between Christmas and New Year's is particularly dangerous, with drunk driving-related traffic deaths rising 2-3 times higher than usual.

Is it too wet to drive?

Precipitation offers challenges to safe driving, particularly among less experienced drivers. While the rainiest months are behind us, falling temperatures can leave roads wet longer and eventually cause familiar problems with ice and snow. Knowing how to drive in these conditions can help prevent car accidents and make the roads safer for everyone.

Be prepared

No workers' comp for Uber drivers: A look at an alternative

Life as an Uber driver has pros and cons. On the one hand, drivers have the flexibility to choose when they're on the clock and how much they want to work. For some, it's a side gig providing extra cash for a rainy day fund. For others, it's a sole means of support, with many drivers clocking 60 or more hours per week.

However, because Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors, they're not entitled to the benefits that employees receive - including workers' comp. And that's a big deal.

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