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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Carpal tunnel syndrome and workers' compensation

Many workers in New Jersey face a high occupational risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Centers for Disease Control has released a report identifying jobs associated with the highest risk of developing CTS.

CTS develops when the median nerve in a person's wrist is compressed. Symptoms include pain, tingling and weakness in the affected hand or wrist. Workers who perform repetitive tasks or spend long hours using their hands or wrists in awkward posture face work-related risks for developing CTS symptoms.

Temporary disability benefits help injured New Jersey workers

Suffering a workplace injury is the last thing the average employee wants. After all, people work because they want to make money, not because they want to end up disabled and struggling to make ends meet financially.

Unfortunately, professionals across the state of New Jersey end up hurt at work every single day. Thankfully, there are protections in place under New Jersey workers' compensation that help ensure injured workers aren't left destitute as a result of their injuries. One of the most important benefits available to workers who get hurt on the job is the protection of temporary disability benefits.

Distinguishing LBD from other forms of dementia

Lewy body dementia is one form of dementia for which an early and accurate diagnosis is essential. LBD can progress more quickly than other forms, such as Parkinson's disease dementia, and those with LBD respond more poorly to certain medications for behavior and movement than those with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. New Jersey residents may want to know how to distinguish LBD from other forms.

LBD can develop in one of three ways: as a cognitive, movement or neurological disorder. Those with a memory or cognitive disorder may appear to have Alzheimer's, but certain symptoms make the distinction clear. They include unpredictable levels of cognitive ability, attention and alertness. Alzheimer's is characterized by problems with language, calculation, abstract thinking and judgment as well as anxiety and depression.

Severe and fatal workplace injuries underreported by OSHA

The Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General released an audit report in September stating that OSHA has not been doing enough to keep track of serious and fatal workplace injuries. This is despite the fact that the safety organization had made changes to its injury and illness recordkeeping rule, which went into effect in January 2015. Employees and employers in New Jersey will want to know more about the report and how OSHA has responded.

The OIG estimates that 50 percent or more of serious injuries have gone unreported ever since the rule changes. It also found a lack of training regarding how to detect and stop underreporting. OSHA has additionally been inconsistent in its issuing of citations to late reporters.

Additional consultations could reduce lung misdiagnoses

People in New Jersey who are trying to understand their ongoing problems with their lungs and the ability to breathe may face issues receiving a correct diagnosis. However, by adding assessments for routine rheumatology issues, such as blood tests, to the process of diagnosing interstitial lung disease (ILD), doctors could help improve accuracy and prevent misdiagnoses. In the process, they could also reduce the need for invasive, painful procedures like biopsies or bronchoscopies, which can also have significant side effects.

When people have a connective tissue disease (CTD), it can often be reflected in the lungs. Patients may suffer from ILD as well as pulmonary hypertension, pleuritis, bronchiolitis and bronchiectasis. In order to diagnose ILD properly, several physicians must work together, including pulmonologists, pathologists and radiologists. In one study, researchers tracked 60 people who had been diagnosed with ILD. Each patient had a routine assessment by this type of team of physicians. After the assessment, each case was reviewed anonymously by rheumatologists, who made suggestions and provided input in order to revise the diagnosis in some cases.

Why construction work can be dangerous

Those who are on a construction site in New Jersey or anywhere else may face a variety of hazards on the job. For instance, they could be put in danger in the event of a trench collapse. To mitigate this hazard, a qualified person can inspect it while employers mark any utilities that may be encountered in the trench. Furthermore, trenches should be supported to help keep employees safe while working in them.

There should also be a safety plan in place that addresses hazards that can be caused by moving vehicles. To keep workers safe, there should be clearly marked vehicle routes. Workers should also be trained to use machines such as forklifts and cranes to help them avoid accidents. Falls are the most common hazard that a worker will face while on a construction site. In some cases, this is because workers fail to use ladders or scaffolding in a safe manner.

Preventable medication errors in hospitals

Some New Jersey residents are the victims of medication errors when they are patients in hospitals. There are several errors that are fairly common but also preventable. It is important for doctors, nurses and hospitals to take steps to prevent these medication mistakes from happening so that the patients will be protected.

One scenario that may lead to mistakes is when doctors enter medications into the wrong patients' electronic health records. One study of this problem found that these types of mistakes happen with a frequency of 68 errors per 100,000 medication orders. This means that a patient has a 1 in 37 chance of being given the wrong medications.

The right of New Jersey residents to file a wrongful death claim

Motor vehicles are an integral part of modern American society. They provide people with independence and freedom, but they also create substantial risk for anyone on the road. Most people go about their daily lives attempting to ignore or overlook the potential risks that come from traveling in motor vehicles.

Sadly, people die every day on the roads in New Jersey and across the United States. When a collision has fatal consequences, it can leave behind people who depended on the deceased for financial matters or emotional support. If your family recently lost someone in a car crash caused by another driver, you may have the right under New Jersey Law to pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver.

Pinch points and how to protect against them

New Jersey residents who work around machinery may already know what pinch points are. These refer to any point in machinery where workers can get caught, and they can include the space between two moving parts, between a moving and a stationary part, or between a part and some material. Any machinery with gears, rollers, belt drives or pulleys will have pinch points.

A few examples of machines with pinch points are plastic molding machines, printing presses and powered doors, hatches and covers. Pinch point protection is addressed in OSHA standards for agriculture, general industries, marine terminals, longshoring and construction. These standards cover both engineering controls and work practice controls.

Tree care worker safety

Tree care workers in New Jersey may be interested to learn of recommendations made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding their safety. Tree care operations are considered one of the most dangerous operations in the United States. Based on information from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, while workers who perform landscape services form less than 1 percent of the nation's workforce, they make up 3.5 percent of the total number of workplace fatalities. They also constitute 75 percent of the fatalities associated with tree trimming or removal.

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, electrical contact, struck-by injuries and falling accounted for 22, 25 and 31 percent, respectively, of the total number of accidents in recent years. These causes of the tree-related accidents have been constant for some years, and the resulting high count of incidents has been noticed by the OSHA. As a result, programs geared toward landscape and tree care firms have been implemented in a minimum of 19 states.

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors At Law

Call our Toms River office at 732-505-1212, our Manchester office at 732-408-WILL (9455), our Brick office at 732-451-0800, or call us toll free at 800-556-SHEA (7432). You can also contact our firm online.

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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
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Toms River, NJ 08754

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