Lexington Kentucky Personal Injury Blog

Stay safe while working during the holidays

The holiday season traditionally leads to an uptick in worker activity in Kentucky. More people are visiting retail stores, and this means more workers are delivering products, selling merchandise, and interacting with customers. OSHA is reminding employers to protect their employees' health and well-being during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

One of the reasons for increased precautions is the large number of people who visit retail areas, especially when retail stores have major sales events. Employers should be on the lookout for safety hazards and make sure that they have a sufficient amount of trained security personnel as well as ropes and barricades to prevent customers from wandering into unsafe areas. Proper crowd control should also be implemented.

Most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents

In Lexington, Kentucky, and elsewhere across the U.S., motorcycles continue to be a common and much-loved form of transportation. However, they're not without risk, especially with distracted vehicle drivers to contend with.

The Centers for Disease Control released some useful statistics that show which injuries are the most common and whether wearing a helmet makes a difference. Based on information concerning over 1 million people who were treated for non-fatal, motorcycle-related injuries, the largest percentage of injuries were recorded on the lower extremities, namely the legs and feet. Leg and foot injuries made up 30 percent of these recorded injuries. After lower extremity injuries, the next most common injuries were to the head and neck. These made up 22 percent of injuries. Closely behind head and neck injuries were upper trunk wounds, and then arms and hands, and finally lower trunk injuries involving the hips and pelvis.

Responsibilities employers have to protect temporary workers

During busy times of the year, it's not unusual for businesses in Kentucky to turn to a staffing agency to provide them with some extra workers for a limited period of time. In order to ensure that these temporary workers are protected, OSHA recommends that the staffing agency and the host employer clearly spell out specific responsibilities in their contract. Doing so may minimize the risk of confusion over an employer's obligations.

Typically, staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for making sure that a safe work environment is maintained for temporary employees to minimize injury risks and workers' compensation issues. What this entails will depend on the nature of the job. For instance, in some situations, OSHA's hazard communication, training and record-keeping requirements would need to be implemented. However, OSHA may hold both the employer and staffing agency responsible for violations since temporary workers should have adequate training beforehand and know what potential hazards are involved with the job before they accept the temporary assignment.

Safety, construction sites and winter months

As the winter season approaches, construction workers in Kentucky should take extra care to be safe while at construction sites. Cold temperatures can be a factor in many mishaps, such as slips, and it is necessary to take certain actions to ensure that construction sites are safe.

Before the winter season is in full swing, parking areas and roadways should undergo any necessary maintenance to ensure that there are no uneven surfaces or potholes as carrying out such work will be significantly difficult once the ground becomes frozen. If the roadways are maintained properly before the winter season starts, the removal of snow and routine maintenance tasks will be easier to conduct once the colder temperatures arrive. If there are excavations, ditching or holes that cannot be filled, they should be barricaded and clearly marked so that they are noticeable when it snows.

Lexington police identify worst roads, intersections

Each year, the Lexington Police Department issues a traffic report that is full of details. Their 2017 report lists the three top locations for intersection collisions and between-street collisions.

The area of East New Circle Road between Palumbo Drive and Life Lane/Woodhill Drive was the top location with 44 collisions. It was also the top location in 2016 with 56 collisions.

OSHA draws attention to common workplace dangers

Workers in Kentucky might often face dangerous conditions on the job. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed some of the leading workplace safety violations that workers are likely to encounter. Many of these violations could lead to serious workplace accidents and injuries, some even preventing people from returning to their workplaces.

The leading workplace safety violation cited by federal regulators has remained the same for the previous few years: failing to provide proper fall protection. Employees' lives and health are at risk when working on heights, and employers have a responsibility to provide proper equipment to prevent falls and to protect workers' lives in case of an incident. However, 7,270 employers were cited for violating this standard in the past year. Some failed to provide fall protection gear near unprotected edges or on roofs. Construction workers were the most likely to suffer from this type of violation.

3 ways you can stay safe on Kentucky roads

Driving is a daily activity for most people that cannot be avoided. Unfortunately, however, being on the roads is dangerous. An alarming number of car accidents, including fatal crashes, occur every year in Kentucky. In 2016 there were 834 fatalities and 3,143 serious injuries on Kentucky roads caused by car accidents.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep yourself safe while driving. The rise of technology, in particular, is helping make the roads safer all the time. There are a few helpful apps and other programs you might want to start using.

OSHA's NEP to enforce trenching and excavation safety guidelines

OSHA has added to its series of National Emphasis Programs, this time with one on trenching and excavation safety. Employers in Kentucky who want to ensure compliance with the federal safety guidelines in this field can consult a newly updated Trenching and Excavation Quick Card. In addition, they can reach out to their regional OSHA office for assistance.

This is because the NEP, which went into effect Oct. 1, is providing a three-month span of education and prevention outreach. Employers, permitting agencies, equipment rental companies and water works supply companies can all benefit from these OSHA materials.

Legalized marijuana and car accidents

Medical marijuana may eventually be legal in all 50 states, including Kentucky, but legislative efforts to legalize marijuana in Kentucky so far have not been successful. States where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes have seen a rise in the number of car accidents according to statistics from the National Safety Transportation Safety Board.

A 2017 study found that crashes involving fatalities have not increased overall since the legalization of recreational marijuana but suggests that there has been an overall increase in the number of car accidents in these states. The study found that there was a 6 percent increase in states that had legalized marijuana for recreational use compared to the crash rate in neighboring states.

The state closes an accident-prone intersection for repairs

Using funds available through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Act, Kentucky has designated a notorious section of state highway for repairs to improve the safety hazard it poses for drivers. The project will cost in excess of $1.5 million, and the road will be closed to motorists for at least four weeks. This is one of three local projects identified as in need of immediate attention, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesperson said.

According to KTC reports, the specific intersection in question has been the scene of 18 reported crashes in the last few years. However, the necessity to replace the guardrail at the intersection numerous times other than due to reported incidents makes it likely that additional unreported car accidents occurred there as well. Additionally, 16 crashes occurred along a nearby section of one of the intersecting roads. In all, a 3-mile section of highway has been identified as problematic.

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