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Ocala Personal Injury Blog

Tools to keep workers safe from the heat

Warm weather can have an impact on workers who spend time both inside and outside. Therefore, employers in Florida and elsewhere need to create a plan to help keep those workers safe. There should also be a plan in case an employee develops heat stroke or is otherwise harmed by exposure to heat and humidity. The plan should be tailored to the type of work employees do and other needs that they may have.

Workers can take part in the Heat Illness Prevention Program to learn more about the dangers of prolonged exposure to hot temperatures. It only takes about 45 minutes to complete, and workers will know how to respond if they notice symptoms of heat stress or heat stroke. Employers can take a variety of administrative and engineering steps to keep workers cool. For instance, it may be possible to bring large fans to a job site or upgrade the air conditioning in an office or warehouse.

An overview of attractive nuisances

Homeowners in Florida are required to maintain a safe environment for guests. This means repairing or removing any safety hazards as well as foreseeing hazards. However, this duty of care sometimes extends to unlawful entrants, particularly child trespassers.

According to the concept of an attractive nuisance, there are some structures the very attractiveness of which can pose a danger to children. If this danger is not foreseen, homeowners may be liable for the trespassing child's injuries. This applies to children below the age of six or seven because such children cannot yet be considered responsible for their actions.

Correct medication lists could reduce error risk

For patients in Florida, medication errors are among the most common yet dangerous medical mistakes committed by health care professionals. Incorrect prescriptions can lead to severe side effects or interactions with other medications, causing severe injuries or permanent harm. In some cases, these errors are at least partially caused by a lack of adequate information about a particular patient's medication history or current list of medicines. One group of researchers is advocating for more extensive training for technicians and assistants who work with doctors to gather patients' medical information.

Physician assistant student researchers at the University of Kentucky presented a paper arguing that a standardized regimen should be implemented to train technicians on medication reconciliation to make prescription mistakes less likely. Medication reconciliation is the method of obtaining and maintaining a complete and accurate list of medicines taken by a particular patient. These researchers aimed to improve the level of record-keeping and information development about patient prescriptions during each clinical visit. They examined the type of interviews that patients received and determined that nearly 15% were not asked about their medications or potential changes when arriving for a doctor's appointment.

Guarding machines can prevent accidents

Plant workers in Florida and throughout the country can face many dangers from portable tools, shears and other equipment. For instance, they could get their hands or clothes caught in moving parts, which could result in losing fingers or experiencing other injuries. They could also be hurt by sparks, nip points or other hazards associated with using a machine. Therefore, employers are required by OSHA to use at least one machine guard.

Furthermore, some items that are less than 7 feet from a floor or working platform will also need to be guarded. Machine guards could include physical barriers or electronic safety devices. While guards are required by OSHA rules, this doesn't mean that they are always used or used properly. Many fans don't have guards or are otherwise not compliant with current OSHA rules and regulations. It is also worth noting that guarding a machine doesn't necessarily prevent an injury from happening.

Your safety at work: do you know your rights?

Do you know what hidden threats could be compromising your safety in the workplace? Are you aware of the various things that could cause you harm at any point in the workplace? No matter what type of job you have, it is possible you could suffer injury or become ill due to something related to your employment. This is why workplace safety is critical. 

Florida employers bear the responsibility of making sure their workers are as safe as reasonably possible. Creating a culture of safety starts with protecting the rights of workers, which includes the right to be safe, no matter the type of work. Regardless of your specific job description, it is in your interests to learn more about what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has to say about your rights at work.

If you fell in a store, do you know who is to blame?

When you head out for groceries or to shop, you are likely not thinking about the various ways you could end up hurt. Visiting a store is not a dangerous activity, but there are certain hazards that could place you at risk of an injury. Slip-and-fall injuries are some of the most common personal injury incidents people experience while shopping.

If you suffered injuries in a store, do you know why it happened? You may think it was because of your own clumsiness or a mistake, but in reality, it is possible that you are a victim of circumstances beyond your control. After an accident in a store, you may have grounds to pursue financial compensation through a civil claim. The retail establishment or other parties may be liable for what happened to you.

Operation Safe Driver Week focuses on speeding

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be holding its Operation Safe Driver Week from July 14 to 20. This will impact both motor vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers in Florida and across the U.S. This annual event is a period of increased enforcement of traffic laws. Police will be stopping any drivers engaging in unsafe behavior and will give out either warnings or citations.

Drivers may be stopped if they, for example, do not wear their seat belt, make an improper lane change, do not obey traffic control devices, follow too closely to other vehicles or use their phones behind the wheel. Police will also be on the lookout for aggressive drivers and drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. The main focus of 2019's event, though, is on speeding.

Half of anxiety patients misdiagnosed as schizophrenic

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that many schizophrenia patients are being misdiagnosed by non-specialty physicians; in reality, many of these patients suffer from anxiety. This should be of interest to some in Florida, especially those who suffer from anxiety because the two conditions share similar symptoms like auditory hallucinations.

The study involved 78 cases, spanning from February 2011 to July 2017, where schizophrenia patients were referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic for consultation. Researchers interviewed the patients and their families, conducted physical exams and had the patients fill out a questionnaire. This was the preliminary to their review of each patient's medical and psychosocial history.

Toxic chemicals threaten workers on the job

Workplace injuries in Florida can be caused by a wide range of issues, from slip-and-fall accidents and repetitive strain injuries to toxic chemical exposure on the job. One guide aims to protect workers by informing them about potentially dangerous chemicals that may be found in the workplace. Some advocacy groups say that regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are not doing enough to protect workers from toxic exposure. They say that industries help to hold back regulations that could protect workers' health and safety.

The guide, published by the Center for Progressive Reform, advises tactics for harm reduction as well as providing information on how workers can take legal action or file complaints with federal agencies when workplace safety rules are violated. It also provides information about federal laws that apply to toxic chemicals in the workplace. According to a 2018 AFL-CIO report, around 50,000 workers lose their lives each year due to occupational disease. In many cases, toxic exposure is a significant factor. Some may expect that workers in heavy industry, like chemical manufacturing, are at the greatest risk. However, the guide notes that agricultural and domestic workers, construction employees and hair and nail salon workers are also endangered by chemical exposure.

How AI technology is improving construction worker safety

Anyone working in the construction industry in Florida or any other state is involved with a profession that presents inherent risks. In fact, construction employees are five times more likely to be fatally injured on the job than other workers. It's because of the potentially dangerous nature of this profession that artificial intelligence (AI) technology is being increasingly used to minimize workplace hazards.

Falls and other unexpected injuries are responsible for nearly 40% of all construction fatalities. Artificial intelligence may be able to reduce this risk by increasing visibility with AI-supported cameras that provide real-time job site data. Interactive dashboards allow managers to identify and mitigate possible risks. AI software also cuts down on the job site assessment process by reviewing thousands of site images within minutes to ID potential safety hazards.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Justice Association
  • The Florida Bar 1950
  • Florida Workers' Advocates
  • Florida Trends Florida Legal Elite
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