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Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

New workers to the workforce suffer the highest rates of injuries

New employees are three times more likely to become injured on the job compared to those who have been on the job for more than a year, according to research from the Institute for Work & Health. While workers are settling into their new roles and becoming familiar with coworkers and supervisors, their safety may not be at the forefront of their thinking.

Why are new employees at higher risk? 

Dangers of silica dust (part 1): Who's at risk?

Industrial workers, construction workers and miners are exposed to all kinds of hazardous substances on the job. One of the most common is silica dust. With particles 100 times smaller than sand, silica can readily enter the lungs and cause permanent damage, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and kidney failure. Excess silica exposure can also cause silicosis, an occupational disease where particles accumulate in the lungs, leading to inflammation, lesions and buildup of scar tissue. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

$12.5 million verdict against Suzuki in motorcycle crash case

It's every motorcyclist's worst nightmare: having your brakes fail, unexpectedly and without warning, at the very moment you need them the most. It's all the more dire when you later learn that the failure was a result of defective brakes - and that the bike's manufacturer knew about the problem but failed to do anything about it.

That's essentially what happened in a recent Georgia case. Following a contentious trial, the jury found that defective brakes contributed to the crash of a postal worker in August of 2013. The victim was riding a 2006 Suzuki GSX R-1000 when his front brakes failed and he got thrown from the bike. At least two other GSX riders reported similar incidents with front brake failures.

Could your loved one’s fall have been due to hospital negligence?

When an elderly or vulnerable loved one is hospitalized, you expect them to be treated with the utmost of care. That means taking steps to prevent your loved one from falling. Unfortunately, hospital falls are far too common, and they can cause serious injuries – especially in patients whose health is already fragile.

Fall hazards: 3 things every construction worker should know

In construction work, dangers come from all corners: powerful equipment, heavy machinery, electrical hazards and, of course, heights. Gravity is the single biggest peril construction workers face. Whether you regularly work at high elevations - for example, as a roofer or sheet metal worker - or only do so for occasional jobs, it's important to be proactive about fall protection.

Here are three things that every construction worker should know about working at heights:

How high-tech vehicle features like autopilot can backfire

When it comes to driving, technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, features like autobraking, adaptive headlights, electronic stability control, blind spot detection and lane departure warnings have made cars demonstrably safer. Yet other technologies are a mixed bag. Many semi-autonomous vehicle features fall into the latter category.

With the race to make self-driving cars available to the average consumer, forward-thinking auto manufacturers such as Tesla are increasingly incorporating these features. The problem is that consumers tend to overestimate their capabilities.

How ER pharmacists can help reduce medication errors

Medication errors are among the most prevalent types of medical malpractice. Wrong dosages, mistaken prescriptions, overlooked drug interactions or missed contraindications - all can lead to serious harm. And these mistakes frequently happen in emergency rooms and hospitals, where staff members are stretched thin.

A recent study has shed light on a possible solution to this problem. Conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the study compared patient outcomes in the emergency department when pharmacists (or pharm techs) took medication histories instead of physicians or nurses.

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.

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