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March 2011 Archives

Healthcare Workers at High Risk of Injury

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries worldwide. Particularly in the United States, the unprecedented percentage of population reaching age 65+ in the next ten to twenty years will cause demand to surge. With healthcare jobs projected to grow by 3.2 million by 2018, many jobseekers may be attracted to the booming industry. However, while a career in healthcare brings many benefits, there are also risks associated with the field. Unfortunately, healthcare workers are among the leading occupations at risk for on-the-job injuries.

Improving Commercial Vehicle Safety Through Licensing

Most of us are too familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of our car shuddering around us as a semi-truck barrels past on the freeway. Even the largest SUV can feel like a tin can when measured up against an 18-wheeler. Therefore, it’s hard to not feel concern when sharing the road with such large and powerful vehicles. Understandably so, as in 2009 alone the U.S. Department of Transportation reported about 124,000 large trucks and buses were involved in crashes. Nearly 50,000 of those crashes involved injuries, and about 3500 were fatal. Knowing the inherent potential for danger, city and state governments have taken steps to make the roads safer for passenger and commercial vehicles alike. The first step, of course, is ensuring that the persons driving these large commercial trucks are competent to be behind the wheel.

On a Road Trip, Fun Follows Safety

As winter fades and warm weather nears, people begin thinking those two little words of freedom: road trip! With school breaks on the horizon, college students to large families are making plans for vacation. A recent survey by AOL travel shows that over 80% of spring travelers this year will travel 250+ miles from home, and 58% will travel more than 500 miles. And the majority will reach their destination by car. With so many people hitting the road soon, it’s important that you and your family take some steps to ensure that you stay healthy and safe during your vacation.

Budget Shortfalls Could Affect Workers Compensation

As state governments begin tackling their budgets, many face the sobering realization that their financial wells have gone dry. Even areas less affected by the recession are feeling the pinch as too many years of shrinking tax revenue, investment losses and increased demand for services have taken their toll. As a result, many states are looking for ways to cut costs and increase state and business revenue. Some services on the chopping block include education, safety works, and health services. For workers, a particularly troubling trend includes proposals for changes to workers compensation that, while claiming to save governments and businesses money, could potentially cost workers.

OSHA Educates on Workers Rights

The adoption of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 allowed for the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The function of OSHA is to reduce hazards for workers in the United States in part through the creation of required safety standards in the workplace. Today, many employers are required to adopt either OSHA’s safety standards or state-created standards that are approved and monitored by OSHA. Ideally, employers diligently comply with these standards voluntarily. However, OSHA recognizes that at times it is necessary for employees to report noncompliance and potential hazards in their workplace. In order to better educate employees on protecting their rights, OSHA created the handbook “Employee Workplace Rights”. While OSHA provides many regulations which protect worker safety, this handbook highlights two of the most vital rights an employee has -- the right to information and the right to promote safety.

Protecting Yourself After a Car Accident

Imagine you’re driving down the road when you see a blur of motion out of the corner of your eye. Before you can even turn your head to look, you feel a shuddering impact and hear the sickening sound of screeching tires and rending metal. You’ve just been in a car accident. Though it was the last thing you expected to happen when you left the house that day, you’re one of a large statistic. On average, approximately 6.5 million car crashes occur in the United States a year – that’s over 17,000 a day. Unfortunately, the odds are high that at some point in your life you will be involved in a vehicular collision. It is therefore important to know what to do when a crash occurs.

DOT Safety Campaign: Faces of Distracted Driving

In an attempt to put a human face on the growing problem of distracted driving, the United States Department of Transportation recently introduced a safety campaign titled “Faces of Distracted Driving”. The campaign features the stories of distracted driving victims in a series of web-based, video-taped family interviews. By showcasing these stories, the DOT hopes to educate drivers on the real-life impact of distracted driving on everyday people who, like most of us, never thought it would happen to them.

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