As a motorist, you are used to reacting to colors: red for stop, yellow for caution and green for go. Orange is another color that warrants special attention because it is a work zone alert. If you are accustomed to driving around your local area, you probably know where many construction zones are located, but that will probably not be the case when you are traveling. You will need to adjust your driving not only because of the work zone ahead, but also in anticipation of the "no-zone" areas that surround any large trucks with which you may be sharing the road.
Catastrophic injuries typically have life-altering consequences -- not only for the victim but also for that person's loved ones. If, for example, a limb is lost, the victim's home and vehicle might have to be modified to accommodate his or her new physical limitations, and he or she might never be able to return to work. Such injuries are often the result of car accidents, and the negligence of one Ohio driver can change the life of another in the blink of an eye.
The unanticipated expenses might cause financial ruin. These could include medical treatment and procedures, rehabilitation, vocational training and home and vehicle modifications. One way in which to deal with this is to pursue compensation through the civil justice system. However, coping with the legal proceedings could be overwhelming at a time when the victim must adjust to a new lifestyle.
Ohio workers in all industries are no doubt aware that they are entitled to pursue financial relief in the event of workplace accidents that cause injuries and time away from work. However, some may not understand how the workers' compensation program works and how long they will have to wait for receipt of benefits. All payments to injured workers will be based on the severity of the injuries and the amount of time it takes the injured employee to return to work, if he or she is ever able to return at all.
Claims for injuries that required no hospitalization or absence from work are classified as medical only claims with immediate compensation. However, payments for a worker who cannot return until full recovery is achieved -- temporary total disability (TTD) -- will start within a week after the injury. Those with temporary partial disability (TPD) may carry out light-duty jobs at a reduced rate until they recover fully, and the insurance might pay the shortfall.
Ohio has a strong distracted driving campaign: "Look up, hang up, and go slow for the cone zone." The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that 80 percent of Americans believe hands-free devices are safer than handheld phones, but the research does not prove that. In addition, the problem of distracted driving is not limited to just cell phones or electronic devices. If you think you are immune from distracted driving, consider the following.
The number of ladder accidents that cause injuries to workers in various industries nationwide every year, including in Ohio, is concerning. So much so that March is National Ladder Safety Month. This might address the prevalence of workers' compensation claims by victims of ladder accidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, emergency rooms see 500 victims of work-related ladder accidents every day of the year.
OSHA says manufacturers test ladders at four times the weight for which they are designed, and for this reason, the condition and purpose for which a ladder is used will determine its safety. Employers must ensure that workers inspect ladders before every use for dents and cracks because, if one is bent or split, it can collapse unexpectedly. The agency says it is not only the side rails and rungs of the ladder that must be inspected but also the feet, which are typically covered in a soft material. Just like the tires on a car, they must be replaced when worn.
Vehicle operators in Ohio will always be responsible for the safety of their passengers. When passengers suffer injuries in car accidents that involve no other vehicles, the drivers might be liable for damages sustained by the passengers. However, for such a claim, there must be evidence of negligence on the part of the driver.
Such a claim might follow a serious accident that occurred in Pike County on a recent Wednesday. A preliminary report by the Ohio Highway Patrol indicates that a 40-year-old driver was traveling west on Ohio 124 when he veered off the road. His car smashed into a tree, trapping the driver and his 31-year-old passenger inside.
The groundhog may have claimed that there are six weeks left of winter, but spring will come faster than you anticipate. As the snow melts and the temperatures warm up, you deal with unique driving conditions that may cause accidents. Every time the season changes, you are forced to adapt your driving to deal with the newest danger. You can help avoid being involved in or causing accidents if you are prepared for common spring driving dangers and the best ways to avoid them.
From statistics compiled nationally to those collected by state agencies, an accurate and often disturbing picture develops of highway fatalities and how they come about. The numbers are recorded each year, and we can see certain trends.
The latest statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, reveal that in 2015, 35,092 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Closer to home, Ohio law enforcement agencies provide vehicle crash statistics from every county, and the results show some surprising information about the reasons for highway fatalities in our state as compared to those that occurred nationwide.
One of the primary safety hazards on construction sites in Ohio and other states is fall accidents. However, many employers continue to disregard federal safety regulations. Many construction workers' accidents with devastating consequences occur because of unsafe scaffolding structures and a lack of fall protection.
Two employees at a construction site on the premises of a middle school recently suffered serious injuries in a fall accident. According to preliminary reports, the two men were standing on scaffolding boards that were held by a mechanical arm. It is suspected that the arm malfunctioned, causing the workers to fall approximately 25 feet to the ground. One co-worker witnessed the fall, but he could not tell authorities what caused it.
Three workers lost their lives in an explosion at a plant that manufactures corrugated container boards. Although this tragedy happened in another state, many workers' compensation claims are said to have resulted from workplace accidents at facilities of this company in other states, including in Ohio. Reportedly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has repeatedly issued citations at various facilities of this manufacturer.
The recent explosion apparently resulted from a build-up of gas in a tank holding organic fiber waste. OSHA says the company's failure to do hazard analysis caused it to be unaware of the highly flammable hydrogen gas that was produced by the growth of anaerobic bacteria inside the tank. A similar explosion at one of the company's facilities in another state claimed the lives of three employees in 2008.