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January 2013 Archives

Social Security recipients should prepare for end of paper checks

Social Security disability insurance provides a financial lifeline for people who are unable to work due to illness or disability. For decades, those benefits have come to Pennsylvania residents in the form of a paper check in the mail. But beginning in March, that delivery system will officially end. Instead, all SSDI recipients will receive their payments via direct deposit, most commonly into their personal bank account. The Social Security Administration is currently trying to ensure that all recipients are prepared for the change.

Pennsylvania deck collapse likely due to bad material choice

So much goes into the erection of a building. Every piece of material is held to another with another piece of material. The safety of a structure depends on the right materials being used in the right way.

Study claims obese drivers more likely to die in car accidents

Although our culture is often accused of being obsessed with thinness, in reality we're a nation that suffers from a growing epidemic of obesity. This dichotomy often results in social disadvantages for people who are overweight. Of course, being obese also comes with physical setbacks that have little to do with perception. Health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are just a few risks of being at least 20 percent over the ideal body weight for a person's height and build. But a new study presents yet another disadvantage.

Mistakes in electronic health records endanger patients

With more and more hospitals and other medical providers switching over to the use of electronic health records, more mistakes and missing data are being reported. Some mistakes in these records can cause serious problems for patients and result in medical malpractice. In Pennsylvania alone, there were twice as many mistakes in electronic health records affecting patient safety in 2011 as in the year before.

Fatal fall at construction site brings work to a halt

Stopping the building of a hotel is the least of the serious consequences related to a construction accident that occurred this week. In an out-of-state incident, a construction worker was working on an apartment building when he fell and was injured by materials at the site.

Passengers injured, driver cited in Pennsylvania bus crash

Most people who rely on public transportation don't think twice about their safety before hopping on board a bus, train or ferry. They tend to assume that the driver is a licensed, trained and experienced transit employee, and in many cases, that's true. But just as when we go behind the wheel ourselves, there's no absolute guarantee of safety. Inclement weather, another driver or unforeseen circumstances can always cause an accident. And sometimes, unfortunately, the public transit driver does turn out to be at fault.

OSHA sets rules to inspire safer workplace for railroad workers

The tune of "I've been working on the railroad" makes working for a railway sound like a joyful, carefree time. Just like any job, however, the industry comes with its particular workplace safety threats. Just like any industry, its workers have the right to report job-related injuries and unsafe work conditions without fear of retaliation.

Criminal trials may not determine civil trial outcomes

In past blog posts we've discussed how the outcome of a criminal trial can affect a civil lawsuit in the event of a car accident that causes injury or death. If a driver who caused a car accident is convicted of drunk driving, for example, the attorney of a person injured in that accident may have an easier time proving that the driver negligently caused the injuries and should be forced to compensate the injury sufferer.

Scaffolding, plus elevator shaft made for work danger

Using an elevator is an everyday thing for many people, whether they live in an apartment complex or work in a multi-floor office. It can be easy to forget that such an everyday convenience can also be a danger, particularly for those responsible for fixing it.

Pennsylvania man faces charges in fatal motorcycle accident

For many people, one of the most difficult aspects of aging is a loss of independence. Elderly Pennsylvania residents who begin to lose their mental and physical dexterity may be told by their children or other family members that it's time to move into assisted living or give up the keys to their car. This can be a very tough discussion for a family, but one that's crucial for ensuring the safety of the elderly family member.

CDC: 1 in 24 drivers admit falling asleep while driving

It's happened to many of us: You're driving down the highway, lulled by the hum of the engine and the repetition of the scenery. You start to feel sleepy and your eyelids begin to droop, and perhaps you find your head dipping down. Suddenly you're jolted wide awake by the jarring sound of your tires on the rumble strip. You've just narrowly avoided a car accident caused by your own drowsy driving.

OSHA: Pennsylvania hospital workers need violence protection, too

When dealing with persons who are vulnerable, such those who are physically or mentally ill or developmentally disabled, it is natural for caregivers put their well-being ahead of their own. However, there can be times when the efforts made to keep these populations safe may put those caregivers in danger themselves. This was the determination of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when they investigated a Pennsylvania psychiatric clinic where a gunman shot six people last year. While OSHA recognizes the importance of patient safety, they assert that the safety of workers, and even visitors to the hospital, cannot be ignored. The hospital administration disagrees with the findings, which offered suggestions, but did not actually issue citations to the facility. The hospital is spending $10 million to upgrade security.

Why are more people getting Social Security disability insurance?

A recent examination of the number of people receiving Social Security disability insurance shows a substantial rise in the past several years, but the reason behind it is unclear. Those who have been denied access to these funds might find this statistic frustrating. Has the Social Security disability approval process changed or are there more and more people who are truly unable to work?

New Year's Eve carries accident risks for Pennsylvania drivers

As you celebrated the end of 2012 and rang in 2013, you may have been aware of the risks the last night of the year carries for those who venture out onto Pennsylvania's roads. Unfortunately, no matter how many police are out on patrol looking for intoxicated or otherwise careless drivers, there still exists the risk of being injured by a motorist who's had too much to drink.

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