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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Preventing workplace eye injuries

Many people take their eyesight for granted, but the workplace is one area where many individuals face risks that could hurt their eyes. More than 700,000 eye injuries happen in American workplaces every year. In other words, more than 2,000 people suffer an eye injury at work every day. New Jersey residents might want to know about the potential hazards their eyes can be exposed to at work.

While office jobs aren't typically thought of as dangerous, even those in corporate settings could experience eye injuries. This is because people typically use electronic devices in offices with fluorescent and LED lighting, which makes blue light a concern. This light can damage retinas and cause digital eyestrain syndrome.

Risk Institute presents new research on distracted driving

According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving crashes kill 9 people and injure 100 every day in the U.S. These crashes usually involve the use of phones and dangerous in-vehicle technology like dashboard touchscreens and voice command features. New Jersey residents probably know what an epidemic distracted driving has turned into.

In response to this, the NSC designated every April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To coincide with its observance in 2019, the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University presented the results of some studies it has conducted. The institute is also leading a nationwide initiative with government entities, companies and researchers to reduce distracted driving crashes.

Slip-and-fall accidents can lead to serious injuries

Like most kinds of accidents, the vast majority of slip-and-fall accidents result in minor or no injuries to the people involved. Many people who slip on an icy surface or a wet floor wind up with nothing more than a bruised tailbone or an embarrassing moment they'd rather forget.

Other people aren't so lucky. Some people who slip and then fall can suffer lasting injuries as a consequence of that accident. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to suffering serious injuries from a fall. Depending on the location of such a slip, the injured party may have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and any other related financial losses.

Preventing workplace injuries

There are many types of work-related illnesses and injuries that New Jersey workers may sustain while on the job. These illnesses and injuries can have a significant negative impact in various ways.

For example, injuries incurred in the workplace can result in financial, physical and emotional hardships for families. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work injuries can also impact employers by causing indirect and direct costs, like administrative time, wage costs, lost productivity, training costs and more.

Deaths in large truck accidents up by 28 percent since 2009

Traffic safety groups have become increasingly vocal as truck accident fatalities climb in New Jersey and nationwide. According to federal government statistics, 4,102 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks in 2017. Fatality figures in this category have increased by 28 percent since 2009. A representative from the Truck Safety Coalition described the death toll as the equivalent of two 737 airplanes crashing every month and killing all passengers and crew.

The co-founder of Road Safe America has stated publicly that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should be held accountable for dragging its feet. The federal agency that regulates traffic issues has failed to require trucking companies to use forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems. Such technology detects obstacles in front of a truck and initiates emergency brakes if the driver does not respond. A system like this could prevent many deadly accidents, like the four deaths that resulted from a truck driver who was using a tablet computer behind the wheel instead of watching the road.

Clinical- and criteria-based fibromyalgia diagnoses often differ

New Jersey patients who suffer from fibromyalgia often have to deal with widespread musculoskeletal pain. The fact that the disease is difficult to diagnose doesn't make the pain any easier. Now, a new study illustrates how often two diagnostic techniques are at odds with each other.

The academic study, which was conducted by a leading rheumatology group, consisted of nearly 500 patients. Standard medical questionnaires were given and reviewed by staff members. Patients were then evaluated by the staff. This was done to compare criteria-based and clinical-based diagnoses. The differential in diagnoses was striking.

AAA warns against drowsy driving following daylight saving time

Experts say that New Jersey residents should sleep at least seven hours every night. Many do not achieve this, and the matter becomes worse with daylight saving time. That's why the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is recommending that everyone adjust their sleep schedules for the time change. Among other things, this will reduce the risk of car accidents.

AAA has stated that getting behind the wheel after missing one to two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours will nearly double the risk for a car crash. Moreover, drivers will experience roughly the same level of impairment as one who exceeds the legal threshold for alcohol.

Working the same job for years could lead to injury

Stability in your career is something to aspire to. When you reach a point where you can manage your job responsibilities and optimize your work performance, it can make you feel like a competent professional. Regardless of whether you file taxes, are a clerk for an attorney, manufacture components or drive for a living, doing your job well can be a source of personal pride.

Unfortunately, many years of doing the same work every single day could leave you at risk for debilitating injuries. These injuries, known as repetitive motion or repetitive strain injuries, develop over time as a result of performing the same task repeatedly. In some cases, repetitive motion injuries can be serious enough to end someone's position in a company.

Pros and cons of wearable tech for workers

Wearable technology can boost workplace safety throughout New Jersey and be an especial help to lone workers. This technology includes "smart" personal protective equipment, hard hats and vests with proximity sensors and glasses with heads-up displays. Proximity detection in particular can benefit workers in mines and on construction sites, while other wearables can prevent unsafe contact between humans and machines.

Another wearable is an electroencephalogram device that can measure workers' stress levels. Using this data, researchers can determine which workers are stressed at what times and how this can affect risk perception. Other devices can measure fatigue based on how often workers move their head up and down, how often and for how long they close their eyes and how straight they walk.

Study finds link between opioid use and fatal car crashes

Drivers abusing opioid prescription or street drugs may be causing many of the fatal two-vehicle accidents in New Jersey. A study of national fatal crash data found that drivers who tested positively for opioids caused 7.1 percent of deadly wrecks in 2016. This represented a 5.1 percent increase since 1993.

The JAMA Network Open published the results of the study, which counted how many drivers in two-car accidents had opioids in their systems. The researchers then determined that 918 out of 1,467 opioid-positive drivers had initiated fatal crashes. Among all of the drivers who tested positive for opioids, 32 percent had hydrocodone in their systems. Slightly fewer drivers, 27 percent, showed morphine use, and another 19 percent had consumed oxycodone. The remainder of people tested positively for methadone or other opioid prescriptions.

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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
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