Lexington Kentucky Personal Injury Blog

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.

There were fewer fatal car crashes in 2017

There were fewer fatal car crashes in Kentucky and across the U.S. in 2017, according to a new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The report found that crashes involving most vehicle types decreased last year compared to 2016.

Overall, 37,133 people died on American roads in 2017, which is slightly less than the 37,806 motorists who were killed in 2016. Death reductions occurred in most vehicle categories, including passenger vehicles, vans, light pickup trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. There was also a slight reduction in the number of pedestrians killed in 2017 compared to the previous year. Deaths from alcohol-related crashes and speeding-related accidents declined over the same period of time as well.

Some jobs have higher risk of opioid overdose

According to the results of a recent study, workers in construction and extraction jobs are six times more likely to die due to opioid use. Opioid overdose and misuse are typically not seen as work-related issues in Kentucky. However, the study draws a connection from particular jobs to opioid overdose.

For the study, the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts examined 5,580 deaths related to opioids in the state between 2011 and 2015. Researchers found that 1,155 of them were construction-industry fatalities. Other high-risk sectors that also had high rates of opioid overdose include fishing, forestry and farming.

Most people overestimate their driving skill

Motorists in Kentucky and throughout the country tend to rate themselves as good drivers regardless of what their history actually is. A study done 50 years ago asked a group of drivers who were responsible for significant car accidents that sent them to the hospital. Most rated themselves as excellent as opposed to very poor. The same was true of another group of people who were deemed to be good drivers.

The second group were similar in age, gender and education level to the individuals who were in the hospital. Of course, it is impossible for everyone to be an above average driver. Generally speaking, age plays a role in how well a person drives. Typically, teenagers are most likely to get into an accident. Those between the ages of 60 to 69 are the safest drivers of any age group.

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