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Ocala Personal Injury Blog

Ways to protect workers in the sanitation industry

Residents of Florida may be surprised to hear that the sanitation industry is one of the most dangerous among civilian occupations. In 2016, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the collection of refuse and recycling materials ranked five among such occupations with the highest fatal injury rates. Workers can suffer sprains, strain, overexertion injuries and even exposure to dangerous materials.

Most of these hazards can be avoided or at least mitigated if all sanitation companies used automated side-loaders. Unfortunately, many still use manual loaders. There are steps that sanitation employers can take to protect their workers, however. One step is to install rearview cameras and other technology on their trucks. To keep employees from getting complacent, ongoing training is also recommended.

Blood test could detect early lung cancer

For lung cancer patients in Florida and across the U.S., getting an early diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. Fortunately, a new blood test is under development that could make it easier for doctors to catch the disease in its earliest stages.

Researchers in the U.S. and Canada are studying the effectiveness of a blood test that analyzes free-floating DNA to diagnose early-stage lung cancer. There are currently 12,000 people enrolled in the ongoing study, called the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas, or CCGA; this analysis involved 127 participants diagnosed with stage I-IV lung cancer. The study found that three prototype sequencing assays had the ability to detect early-stage lung cancer between 38 and 51 percent of the time.

Construction workers face threat from silica dust

Unfortunately, construction sites can be some of the most common places for workplace injuries and accidents. In addition, Florida construction workers can face danger from some of the materials they are exposed to on the job, including breathable silica. While federal enforcement of a regulation on silica protection went into effect in late 2017, industry compliance continues to be incomplete in spring 2018.

Silica dust can lead to devastating and costly occupational diseases. When construction workers breathe in the particles, it can cause irreversible lung damage. Scars caused by the silica particles can lead to silicosis, a disease that affects breathing and can be fatal. Because of the threat of silicosis, acceptable levels of exposure to silica were lowered by 80 percent in March 2016 and enforcement began in September 2017.

Did your prescription medication harm your health?

Anyone who goes to a doctor for the treatment of an ailment naturally expects the illness to be diagnosed and treated correctly, giving him or her every opportunity to regain health. Unfortunately, many individuals in Florida have suffered the consequences of errors made during the prescription of medications or the mistakes made by pharmacists when they dispense the medicine prescribed by the physician. If you or a family member was the victim of an unintentional prescription or pharmaceutical error, you might have questions about your legal rights.

Medication and pharmaceutical errors are preventable. Nevertheless, they occur more frequently than you might think, and if you gain knowledge about why and how pharmacist mistakes happen, you might be able to avoid becoming a victim of such a situation.

How can you tell if you may have suffered a mild TBI?

You probably didn't see the impact coming. By the time you realize that you were in an accident, it may be over. During the impact, however, your head may have struck something inside the vehicle as it shook violently back and forth or side to side.

You may feel lucky that you walked away from the crash, but that doesn't mean you didn't suffer any injuries. Shock and adrenalin may prevent you from realizing that you suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. It may still be a good idea to have a doctor examine you as soon as possible after the accident.

Major surgical mistakes have serious consequences

In Florida, some types of surgical errors are so egregious that they are widely reported by the media. These types of surgical mistakes include operating on the wrong patient, performing surgery on the wrong site or attempting the wrong surgical procedure. These incidents are so serious that they are referred to as "never incidents" because they should never happen.

Wrong patient, wrong site and wrong procedure mistakes are fortunately quite rare and happen in only 1 out of every 112,000 surgeries that are performed in hospital operating rooms. However, a study by the Department of Veteran Affairs found that almost 50 percent of these types of surgical mistakes happen in settings in other places, such as ambulatory surgery.

Surgical sponges found in woman's body years after surgery

Leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient following a surgery is considered to be a "never event," meaning it should never happen at a Florida health care center. However, there are rare cases when this does occur and results in complications months or even years later. One such recently discovered incident occurred to a Japanese woman.

According to reports, the 42-year-old woman had been experiencing the bloated feelings in her lower abdomen for several years. During an examination, health care professionals felt two masses that were located on either side of her abdomen close to her hip bones. A CT scan found two masses in those areas. She ultimately underwent surgery to remove the masses. When the doctors cut the masses open, it was discovered that they were in fact surgical sponges that had become encased in what were described as "thick, fibrous walls."

Five tips for safety-minded business owners

In Florida, as anywhere else in the U.S., it can be hard to maintain a safety-minded culture in the workplace. Deadlines must be met, and the fast pace of the workplace hardly lets up. To neglect worker safety, though, leads to higher injury rates, increased workers' compensation costs and higher medical expenses. The turnover rate will go up, and productivity will go down. Morale will decrease, as employees will lose their trust in their employers.

Business owners and site managers who want to build up that safety-minded culture will want to consider the following five tips. First of all, it is only with strong leadership that such a culture can begin to be organized. To begin the organizational process, employers should survey employees about several topics: for instance, what they know about corporate safety policies, how they perceive their own duties and what others expect from them. The survey should be anonymous.

Workers at risk of death at work

Some Florida workers may have a higher likelihood of dying on the job than other workers. According to a report released by the AFL-CIO, 5,190 people were killed while at work in 2016, an increase from the 4,836 fatalities that occurred in 2015. The report also stated that another 50,000 to 60,000 workers died as a result of occupational diseases. The primary cause of employees was transportation incidents.

The industries that are considered the most dangerous are forestry, fishing, agriculture and hunting. For this group of industries, the death rate was 23.2 for every 100,000 workers, with the daily number of deaths for the industries totaling 593.

Tired drivers can be a serious threat on Florida roads

When drivers are not able to fully focus on the task at hand, it can lead to an increased chance of a car accident. One of the reasons why some drivers have a difficult time safely operating their vehicles is because they are tired. Tired drivers are a serious threat to the safety and well-being of everyone on the road.

Florida readers may know there is a difference between driving while slightly sleepy and driving while too tired to think clearly. Exhausted drivers often show some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers, and they can cause serious accidents. If you suffered because of a driver who was too tired to safely operate a vehicle, you have options.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Justice Association
  • The Florida Bar 1950
  • Florida Workers' Advocates
  • Florida Trends Florida Legal Elite
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Musleh Law Firm
907 SE 3rd Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471

Phone: 352-484-0134
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