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Grand Junction Personal Injury Law Blog

Did you lose your hearing on the job?

Workplace injuries sometimes come from consistent exposure to harm rather than from one event. People often think about things like ladder falls or electrocutions, and those things do happen, but that does not mean that sickness, illness and disease -- among other things -- are no less important.

For instance, did you know that many American workers suffer from hearing loss? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are the most common "chronic physical conditions" that adults face:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Arthritis
  3. Hearing loss

Tips for avoiding injury on a portable ladder

Portable ladders see use in many professions. They're very common with electricians, construction workers, roofers, drywall installers, cable installers and many others, but that doesn't mean they don't show up in office jobs and other settings. A janitor at a school or an office complex may use a portable ladder to change light bulbs, change air filters and clean hard-to-reach areas, for example.

It's important for all workers in all industries to know how to use these ladders safely. Falls are very common and can lead to serious injuries. Even a short portable ladder could cause a fatal fall. Here are some safety tips that can help:

  1. Before every use, take the time to inspect the ladder. This is especially true if you are not the only person that uses it.
  2. Always read the warning labels and instructions. They're usually printed right on the ladder itself. It only takes a few minutes to avoid a serious accident.
  3. If necessary, take the time to secure the bottom and/or the top of the ladder. For instance, you always want to use a level, firm surface to set up the ladder. If there's any question, secure it.
  4. Keep three points of contact with the ladder at all times. Never work with both hands or lean so far that you take a foot off.
  5. If someone else is on a ladder, never touch it except to stabilize it. If you need to move it, even an inch, have them come down, move the ladder and then climb back up again.

Workplace safety myths to avoid

Workers get injured year in and year out, in part because they buy into workplace safety myths that make their lives more dangerous. You want to make sure that you always have accurate information and that you never let these myths push you into mistakes or a false sense of security.

To get started, here are a few of the most common myths you need to avoid:

  1. Office workers don't get hurt. The truth is that they absolutely can. They may not face the same exact risks as physical laborers, but they definitely can get injured in slip-and-fall accidents, wiring accidents, technology-related incidents and much more.
  2. You always have to do what your boss says. You don't. If your boss instructs you do to something you believe in good faith to be dangerous, you can decline the request. You may also be able to ask for a safety inspection. You do not have to put yourself in danger.
  3. Older workers get hurt, not younger ones. Young people often think that being in great physical shape will protect them from injury, but the truth is that inexperience actually leads to a lot of injuries and accidents. Workers can get hurt at any age.

How often do workers get injured?

Even if you don't have one at your company, you have certainly seen signs proclaiming that a business has been accident-free for a certain number of days. This is done to show that they are dedicated to safety, and they make it a priority. Accident rates are different for different industries, but it might be a very big deal for some to get to 365 days without an accident, injury or fatality.

However, these signs do make you wonder just how common accidents are. How often do American workers get injured? How serious are the risks that they face?

Living with facial disfigurements after an accident

Even in serious motorcycle accidents, many injuries will eventually heal. Broken bones mend themselves. Road rash fades away. Even brain injury symptoms can heal and improve over time, though they may not completely heal.

For some, though, disfigurements last forever. This can have a drastic impact on a person's life, especially if they suffer from a facial disfigurement. It can happen in all sorts of ways, with or without a helmet.

5 steps to handle a tailgater

The driver behind you wants to pass. You know because they're aggressively tailgating you, seemingly driving right on your rear bumper. You're scared that they're going to cause an accident. What do you do?

You're right to feel frightened. This is an all-too-common type of dangerous, reckless driving. You need to know how to handle it, and these five steps can help:

  1. Be careful. Understand the risks. Do not get overly emotional or make any quick, rash decisions. Safety must always come first.
  2. Touch your brakes lightly a few times. You don't want to do it hard enough to slow down, but just enough to flash the lights.
  3. Once you have given them that warning, then start to slow your car down.
  4. At this point, what you do next depends on what type of road you are driving on. If it's a multi-lane road, attempt to change lanes so that the tailgater can pass you.
  5. If you're on a road with only one lane in each direction, then you can slow down to make it easier for them to pass you. You may even want to consider looking for a safe place to pull onto the shoulder. After the tailgater goes by, then you can get back on the road and drive at a safe, responsible speed.

Negligent driving vs. reckless driving

The reason for many car accidents is simply negligence. Someone is not careful enough and makes a mistake. Maybe they don't hit the brakes quite hard enough when coming up on the back of a traffic jam, and they rear-end another car. They didn't mean to do it, but they just misjudged the distance.

On the other hand, when someone does something that they know is dangerous and often illegal, that's when they may face accusations of reckless driving. It's a step up from negligence because it's not just a mistake. They knew that what they were doing was dangerous, they decided to do it anyway, and they caused an accident.

Saccadic masking and motorcycle accidents

A driver stops at the end of a road as you approach on your motorcycle, heading down the cross street. You don't have a stop sign, but they do. You see the driver look in your direction. Then, even though they just looked at you, they pull out into the road.

For a motorcyclist, it's a nightmare situation. You cannot avoid the crash, and you are probably going to suffer serious injuries, if you survive at all.

Why drivers often blame someone else for accidents

A driver clearly causes an accident; maybe they run a red light or a stop sign. They hit your car. When you get out, though, they're already yelling at you, asking what you think you were doing and blaming you for the crash.

Suddenly, you're concerned. Are they going to fight this? Are they going to report you to the police? Will you have to pay for their mistake?

Night driving is 3 times as dangerous

Did you know that your odds of getting into a fatal car accident may simply come down to what time of day you get behind the wheel? Studies have found that your risks at night are three times higher than your risks during the day. That information comes from the National Safety Council.

Why is night driving so dangerous? There are a lot of different reasons, including:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Drunk driving
  • Compromised night vision
  • Lack of depth perception
  • Trouble with color recognition
  • Issues effectively using peripheral vision
  • The blinding glare of oncoming headlights
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