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December 2017 Archives

Being aware of car accident causes can help stop crashes

Car crashes are a major concern for drivers in Pennsylvania and across the United States. There are 6 million car accidents that take place every year across the country. These accidents have a wide variety of causes, and understanding why they happen can help traffic engineers as well as drivers to prevent crashes from occurring in the future. Through detailed investigations of thousands of crashes and by using technology to measure drivers' responses to roadside situations, researchers have worked to expand their understanding of why these accidents take place.

The most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

Pennsylvania workers may be interested to learn that 5,190 people died on the job in 2016, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. This was a 6 percent increase over the previous year's number of on-the-job fatalities. In 2016, logging was the most dangerous job, resulting in 91 deaths. Fishing came in second with 86 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. In third, flight engineers had a fatal injury rate of 55.5 per 100,000 workers.

Intersection dangers can be cut with roundabouts

Drivers in Pennsylvania know that taking to the roadways always carries a risk, especially at traffic intersections where two or more roadways come together. These junction points where cars approach each other in opposite directions and often at higher rates of speed can be some of the most deadly points on the road. Traffic engineers are often concerned about how to make intersections safer, because accidents suffered at junction points can be some of the most devastating, leading to fatalities or serious injuries.

Death rates drop with improved auto safety tech

People taking a drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and throughout the state are all too aware of the dangers that can accompany them on the road. Distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving and negligent operators can all pose a serious risk to drivers and their passengers. However, the chances of losing one's life due to an auto accident have declined with the advances of safety features and improved technologies in late-model passenger vehicles.

Study illuminates plant workers' fear of employer retaliation

The results of a government study released on Dec. 8 concludes that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may not be adequately addressing the safety concerns of workers in the meat and poultry processing industry. Many workers in Pennsylvania and other states may forego contacting the agency for fear of losing their jobs, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office study. The study follows an Oxfam America report that indicated that a "pervasive climate of fear" exists inside some plants.

Alcohol a factor in over one-quarter of traffic fatalities

All drivers in Pennsylvania have an obligation to be sober while operating motor vehicles. The White House has recognized December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight the dangers of impaired driving. According to information published by the White House, over 10,000 people died in car crashes attributed to alcohol use in 2016. This figure represented 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths that year.

Electronic logging devices now required for commercial trucks

Trucking companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S. are coming to terms with a new mandate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA now requires electronic logging devices to be installed in every commercial truck for tracking and safety reasons. Larger truck carriers like FedEx and UPS are already using ELDs in their fleet.

Drug use in the trucking industry

Pennsylvania residents might like to know about the challenges involved in properly vetting commercial truck drivers for drug use. A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patient privacy, which may also unfortunately shield drivers from scrutiny from trucking companies. Due to these privacy rules, companies are not notified when a driver is prescribed something that makes driving unsafe.

Fall protection violations still top OSHA list

Fall protection continues to be a serious concern in workplaces throughout Pennsylvania and across the country. Every year, OSHA releases a list of the most frequent workplace violations. For the sixth year in a row, fall protection violation has topped the list.