Lexington Kentucky Personal Injury Blog

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.

CVSA releases stats on its summer inspection blitz

Motorists on Kentucky roadways may be interested in the findings from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's three-day nationwide inspection blitz targeting commercial vehicles. Law enforcement and regulatory agencies combined forces to perform roadside inspections on more than 67,000 trucks between June 5 and 7. According to recently released figures from the initiative, nearly 12,000 vehicles were ordered out of service along with over 2,600 drivers.

The inspections, which were conducted across North America, resulted in over one out of every five trucks subjected to a Level I inspection (21.6 percent) being taken out of service for violations. A major focus of this year's initiative was hours-of-service issues, which accounted for nearly half of all driver violations. With a substantial percentage of freight being transported across America by truck, the safety level of transport trucks mingling in traffic with school buses and passenger vehicles is of concern to every community with roadways.

Large truck accidents: causes and responsibility

Unfortunately, accidents between large commercial trucks and small passenger vehicles are increasingly common. In the Lexington and Louisville area, you may need to be cautious when driving along Interstate 64, a common site for wrecks.

In 2016, close to 4,000 individuals died due to large truck accidents. Individuals in the smaller vehicle have the highest percent of death in these situations, as 66 percent of the fatalities are these occupants. What are the most common reasons that these accidents occur? Who is responsible for covering damages to you and your vehicle?

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