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October 2016 Archives

Temp positions and worker safety

Although many Pennsylvania residents desire long-term employment options, others appreciate the variety and flexibility involved in temporary positions. However, working through a temp agency could leave certain issues up in the air. One of the most serious matters is that of worker safety. As a temporary worker, an individual suffering a serious injury during a short work assignment could face major financial and medical problems without the resources or benefits needed to obtain appropriate treatment.

Distracted driving a major problem among teens

Efforts to educate young drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. and to warn them about the consequences of acting recklessly while behind the wheel do not appear to be working. Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teens around the country. Government accident statistics show that the roads of America became far more deadly in 2015 with fatality rates shooting up by more than 7 percent, but the 10 percent rise in teen deaths was even more concerning for many road safety groups.

Agency considering added protection to prevent underrides

Truck accidents on Pennsylvania highways can be catastrophic to occupants of other vehicles that are involved in the collision due in part to the overwhelming weight and size of big rigs. One type of accident that often proves fatal is when a smaller car collides with the side or rear of a truck and travels underneath it. This can cause the roof and passenger compartment to be sheared off, and it is referred to as an underride accident.

After 26 years, OSHA final rule nearing publication

Pennsylvania employees in a variety of occupations may soon find themselves better protected in the workplace following action taken by the White House Office of Management and Budget officials in early October 2016. According to a report published on Oct. 11, the OMB has now cleared the way for final publication of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's proposed rule for "Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) in General Industry".

Government plans to eliminate traffic fatalities

Pennsylvania motorists may be seeing more safety information around seat belt use and the dangers of driving while drinking or distracted from an initiative announced by the Obama administration. On Oct. 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled these steps as part of a new overall plan to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic accidents to zero within thirty years. The proposal is based on a plan, Vision Zero, that was first introduced in Sweden in 1997 that has since spread.

Report indicates federal oversight of workers' comp needed

The U.S. Department of Labor has urged that workers' compensation systems in Pennsylvania and around the country should be studied in order to determine if they need federal oversight. The call comes as a report shows that 33 states have cut benefits, leaving many injured workers in poverty.

Workplace factors impact health care employees

Health care employees are on track to confront a mix of risk factors that impact their wellness on the job. One report has noted that although the overall number of safety claims was decreasing, the severity of those that filed was rising. Health care workers in Pennsylvania may also be interested in learning that the study demonstrated links between the safety of patients and the safety of caregivers.

Spinal cord injury data

One of the more serious injuries that can occur in various settings in Pennsylvania is a spinal cord injury. Because of the vital role that the spinal cord plays in communicating information between the brain and various parts of the body, even a slight injury could have life-changing consequences. Statistics indicate that there are about 17,000 instances of new spinal cord injury per year in the United States, and the data related to these cases is monitored through the National SCI Database.

Spinal cord injuries and mortality rates

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that approximately 282,000 individuals in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury. Depending on where the injury occurred and the severity of the injury, those who suffered a spinal cord injury could become paralyzed in their arms or even become paraplegics.