Dangerous Materials in the Workplace

Dangerous Toxics and Materials in the Workplace

There are jobs out there that have dangerous conditions and equipment, making employees at risk of injury or disease. In the injury aspect, workers may sustain head and brain injuries, shoulder and back injuries, hip and pelvic injuries, because of a variety of reasons, such as slip and fall accidents, equipment malfunctions, and overexertion. Some of these complications even require surgery or legal help, such as the shoulder replacement lawsuit attorneys of Williams Kherkher.

But aside from the physical strain, there is a much more dangerous aspect at work – exposure to chemicals, toxics, and other substances that may have negative effects on the body. Below are some of the common dangerous materials that can be found in the workplace.

Asbestos

Asbestos has once been used as a fire retardant in buildings and residences, but it has been discontinued because of public pressure. But because of exposure to asbestos can potentially lead to the generation of cancer known as mesothelioma, the construction workers before are at risk. Other workers that may be at risk of mesothelioma include automobile mechanics, demolition workers, firefighters, and shipyard workers. The issue is serious enough to warrant the need for a mesothelioma cancer lawyer.

Benzene

Benzene is a chemical compound that is naturally found in volcanoes and forest fires. It is a known carcinogen, meaning that it can cause cancer, especially on long exposures. This compound is not just found in nature, but also in the industrial world. It is found on motor vehicle exhausts, gasoline stations, and burning coal and oil, so those who are frequently exposed to these things, like employees, are the most vulnerable to benzene exposure. Exposure can have varying results, from simple drowsiness to even death.

Perchlorate

Perchlorates are salts that easily dissolve into water. They most common perchlorates include magnesium, potassium, ammonium, sodium, and lithium, and they are most commonly found in explosives, fireworks, and rocket motors. Those who are most at risk of perchlorates are those involved in the said industries. But even if you are not involved in these industries, you may still be at risk, especially if you live near rocket test sites. Exposure to perchlorate does not cause cancer, but it can cause issues to thyroid activity, resulting in problems involving the skin, skeleton, and bodily systems such as the reproductive system and nervous system.

To avoid injuries and illnesses in the workplace, it is best to always follow safety regulations, wear protective gear, and be cautious of your surroundings. Knowing the dangers of these materials gives you a step forward in entirely avoiding workplace accidents.

Read More

Minimum Wage and Overtime Threshold in New York

Minimum Wage and Overtime Threshold in New York

In the recent past, New York has recently made headlines after increasing minimum wage and the overtime threshold. Starting December 31, 2016, the minimum wage in New York City will be $11 for large companies and $10.50 for companies that have less than 11 employees. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, it is $10. For the other counties in New York, it will be $9.70. Fast food employees even have it better. In New York City, the basic minimum hourly rate is $12, and $10.75 outside the city.

Despite the different increases, the goal is to make minimum wage to $15, and these different kinds of workers on different places in New York will reach that goal in different time periods.

In New York City, the minimum wage for large companies will increase $2 annually, meaning that it will reach the $15 mark on 2018. The minimum wage for companies that have less than 11 employees will have a $1.50 annual increase, resulting into a $15 minimum wage on 2019. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, minimum wage earners will have a $1 increase until the minimum wage turns into $15 in 2021.

Though fast food employees have a better start in the race, they will not go over $15. In New York City, fast food employees will get a yearly increase of $1.50 until the minimum wage clocks in at $15 on 2018. For the fast food workers outside New York City, there will be monumental increases up to 2021, where the minimum wage also stops at $15.

The overtime threshold, or the threshold in which an employee is no longer eligible for overtime pay, has also increased, making more and more people eligible for overtime. The increase will also be implemented on December 31, 2016.

In New York City, the new threshold for large companies will be $825 and $787.50 for companies that have less than 11 employees. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, this threshold will be set to $750, and $727.50 for the rest of New York.

For New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, this threshold will increase annually until it reaches $1,125. The rest of New York will also experience the same increase, but it will only culminate into $937.50.

These increases ensure that New Yorkers are properly compensated, both in wage and overtime. It is also a good thing that New York has lawyers who specialize on unpaid wage and overtime, such as those in Cary Kane, LLP. The law is on the side of employees, so don’t be afraid to step up if you are not meeting these new increases.

Read More

Alcohol and Drugs on Driving

Negative Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that may have negative effects on the body is a crime, because being impaired while on the road puts you at greater risk of committing mistakes, and we all know that a single mistake can already trigger an accident, injure somebody, and destroy a property. According to the website of a Fort Walton beach car accident lawyer, carelessness and negligence are enough grounds to bring a driver to court.

But what exactly are the negative effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, and how do these effects trigger drivers to commit mistakes?

Limited body coordination

Driving requires the efficient coordination between hands, feet, and eyes, and if one of these factors are compromised, you may be in for a traffic accident. Failure to coordinate bodily functions may also be a sign of limited comprehension and concentration skills, resulting in more problems. The intoxicated driver may fail to comprehend traffic signs or concentrate on the road and his lane.

Limited sensory information

Being under the influence limits a driver’s sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touching. These senses can be particularly important in driving, particularly sight. If a driver has impaired vision, he is putting himself in greater risk of collisions with obstructions like road signs and trees, other vehicles, and pedestrians. He will also have a hard time perceiving traffic signs and lights, and road curves and turns.

Overconfidence

An often overlooked effect of alcohol and drugs is the fact that they can potentially make drivers more open to stunts and other reckless behaviors like speeding, weaving between lanes, turning sharply, and overtaking without regard to the others around them, and generally disobeying traffic rules. This puts not just the intoxicated driver in danger, but also the others around him who may fail to react on time to his reckless tendencies.

Getting injured in a car accident, particularly because of a drunk driver, is always a terrible experience. But it is a good thing to know that driving under the influence is against the law. The only thing we should worry about now is the proper implementation of the law to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Read More

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. Unlike car and truck drivers, motorcyclists, and other motorists, they are not enclosed in metal and they do not have protective gear. When they are involved in a collision, they absorb most of the force. This may result into injuries, and on some instances, even death.

According to the website of the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, pedestrians who have been injured because of negligent drivers have legal options to pursue. It is good to know that the law is on the side of the victims. But pedestrians should also make the effort to avoid accidents.

Make sure that you are visible
Many pedestrian accidents happen because of low visibility that results from inadequate lighting or dark clothing. To avoid such accidents, avoid dark areas and dark-colored clothing. If possible, wear light-colored clothing and reflective materials and bring flashlights with you if crossing in dark areas is inevitable.

Look before you step
The obvious safety tip for pedestrians is following traffic rules. Cross only on marked crosswalks and intersections. Look left and right before crossing, even if you have the right of way, because you will never know when a reckless driver is going to show up.

Don’t expect vehicles to stop
Even if you have the right of way, always be wary of moving vehicles, because they might not stop for you. This is especially true for drivers who are distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and want to run through a red light or stop sign.

Be mindful of your surroundings
Different environments pose different levels of risk of pedestrian accidents. If you are near parking lots or parking spaces, be cautious of vehicles. If you are crossing in an intersection, watch out for turning cars. You should also avoid distractions that may compromise your focus on the environment, such as mobile devices and headphones.

Read More

Counter-arguing Charges of Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired (DWI) are serious traffic crimes that refer to driving while impaired by the effects of either alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs). Some states use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to the same crime, others, on the other hand, differentiate between the two, using DUI to signify lesser intoxication.

In all U.S. states the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit is 0.08% (this is usually reached after consuming about four regular bottles of beer within an hour). A driver who registers a 0.08% BAC level will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI or DWI (if his/her BAC level is higher than 0.08%).

Impairment, which is the effect of alcohol and the real root of danger for both the (impaired) driver and all others on the road, is the primary reason why drinking and driving are strictly prohibited under federal and state laws. While this may be a legally acceptable reason to apprehend and charge violators, the overzealousness of some enforcers has, in a number of instances, resulted to the unreasonable arrest of many individuals.

An enforcer or any police officer has the authority to stop a driver suspected of being impaired; he also has the authority to require a driver to perform sobriety tests, like standing on one leg or walking in a straight line, and even submit to a breathalyzer test.

Though professional-grade breathalyzer devices, like those used by law enforcers for roadside alcohol testing, are believed to be highly accurate and sensitive, there are important factors that enforcers need to consider when using these on suspected drunk drivers:

1. These breathalyzers require periodic calibration in order to maintain accurate readings; failure to calibrate these on regular basis can affect BAC analysis.

2. Breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks; however, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash.

3. Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.

According to Columbia DUI defense lawyers of Truslow & Truslow, no matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously. This is because a person, who has been charged with, or is under investigation for, a crime can suffer serious prejudices in life even after he/she has already served his/her sentence. Thus, whether a case would be heard in a Municipal, Magistrate, State, or Federal court, having a dedicated and qualified criminal defense attorney to defend his/her case may save him/her from getting convicted and his future from getting ruined.

Read More

Preventing Motor Vehicle Accidents

Traffic accidents have contributed to the increasing number of deaths in the United States over the years. According to the website of Abel Law Firm, road crashes and collisions can result to fatal injuries or tragic deaths. According to the website of Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department for crash injuries in 2012. No matter how safety conscious we are, accidents can still happen so the best way to avoid these injuries is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

There are three basic prevention strategies that can be considered by governments and/or agencies in order to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes. Primary prevention involves removing various circumstances that lead to injury such as reduction of traffic speed, reducing consumption of alcohol, and fitting stair gates to young children.

In secondary prevention, each individual needs to undertake steps on how to reduce the severity of an injury should an accident occur. This includes installation of child safety car seats, bicycle helmets, smoke alarms, and others. Finally, tertiary prevention involves optimal treatment and rehabilitation after an injury. This includes effective first aid and appropriate hospital care.

Both clinicians and non-clinicians have a huge role in the prevention of motor vehicle injuries and deaths. Health professionals can have an important role in providing advice to patients through the identification of accident risks or medical conditions. Likewise, they can help identify and treat accident causing conditions in patients with medical conditions.

Non clinicians, on the other hand, can implement non-clinical interventions such as advocacy and policy making, collaboration with other agencies, promotion of accident prevention education and training, and research. The provision of safety equipment also plays an effective role in increasing safety practices. Among the advocacies that can be implemented include using primary enforcement seat belt laws, using sobriety checkpoints or comprehensive graduated licensing system.

Read More

All You Need To Know About Wrongful Termination

One of the most painful experiences that an employee can have is getting wrongfully terminated. For most workers, their job is their source of livelihood and becoming unemployed without sufficient cause. Although employers have the option to retain the employees they want to stay in the company, Melton Law Firm says that it should be within the limits of the law. If not, they can be held liable for wrongful termination.

It is worth noting that most employees are “at-will” which means that they or their employer can terminate at any time with or without reason their relationship. However, this does not give employers the right to unjustly terminate their employees. Federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from being illegally dismissed from their work. Thus, their company cannot just terminate them on the basis of color, race, age, nationality, gender, and others.

Wrongful termination also happens when an employer retaliates against the action of an employee. For example, the employee reports them to a government agency for violating workplace safety laws. If the employer terminates the employee for doing so, they can be liable for wrongful termination. The refusal of an employee to perform an illegal act should also not be made a ground for termination. The employee just exercised their right and their safety is at stake.

If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have to prove the manner as well as the reasons your employer did. This requires gathering evidence. In most cases, you cannot go to court right away. You will first have to lodge the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agency will study the case and render a decision. A successful claim may entitle you to get damages such as back pay, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and others.

As with any case, a wrongful termination claim is also covered by a statute of limitation. Upon receipt of the right to sue letter from the EEOC, you only have 90 days to file your lawsuit.

Read More

Reporting An Accident In The Workplace

Employees have the assumption that the workplace is one of the safest places to be in. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Workplace accidents have taken its toll on employees who end up injured or worse get killed. As the website of Goings Law Firm, LLC reveals, it can cause overwhelming consequences on the part of the injured worker. The good news is that your rights are protected by the state and you can always file a complaint against your employer.

The first thing to do when you get involved in a workplace accident is to inform your employer about the incident. Do not think that reporting the accident will affect your employment in the company. In the first place, it is the job of your employer to guarantee your safety and put in place some measures, as Houston personal injury attorneys of Williams Kherkher will tell you. Unless someone reports it, there might be other employees who can get injured or killed.

Employers are also legally bound to report any accidents or injuries that happen in the workplace. They have the obligation to provide you with sickness benefits or give you some time to recover from your injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), reporting accidents will benefit the company rather than hurt its reputation. It will help create a culture that seeks to identify and control hazards which could reduce the risk of potential harm in the future.

Once the accident has been reported, the employer must then conduct a risk assessment and take the necessary steps in ensuring the health and safety of employees and visitors. Employers keep an accident book where accidents, its causes, or any injuries are recorded. As the injured party, it is your job to ensure that your accident is indeed recorded in the accident book.

The accident book of the employer can come in handy in case you decide to file a complaint and recover damages.

Read More

The Different Types of Storage Facilities Explained

Some people have a lot of belongings that can eat up a lot of space. Some even have antiques that they want to preserve but do not have space where they can store. Sometimes deciding on where to place their items can be a daunting task for some people. Have peace of mind when storing your items with storage facilities. There is a plethora of choices depending on your requirement and need.

Moving Company Storage

Although the most expensive, moving companies are the safest and most convenient storage option. If cost is not your concern and just wants storage to be professionally done, this is the best option for you. Moving companies will pack your belongings properly, pick them up, and transfer them to their facility. However, you need to schedule pick up of your belongings from your unit.

Self-Storage Units

Self-storage units are ideal for people who live in the big city. They come in different sizes and offers different features such as climate or temperature control or outside units. The downside is that you will have to do the packing, moving, and storing yourself. The good news is that there are some facilities that allow renters to visit their units at their most convenient time.

Mobile Storage

Mobile storage units are available as wooden or steel vaults, trailers, or 12 to 16-foot containers. Then will then be dropped off at your location for loading and unloading of your belongings and then transferred to a storage facility. With mobile storage, you also do the packing so make sure that you have proper packing supplies for furniture, antique items, fur, or other valuables.

Austin storage facilities will let you store and transfer your belongings securely. Now you can be sure that your items will be stored safely. This way, you do not have to worry about space.

Read More

Understanding The Effects of Alcohol on Driving Performance

Driving and alcohol do not mix. We all know about the bad effects that will happen when these two are combined. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33,561 people were killed from traffic crashes with 10,056 deaths due to drunk driving in 2012. Those who were involved had a BAC of more than 0.8. The same statistics revealed that for every 100,000 Americans below 21 years old, 1.3 were killed in drunk driving fatalities in the same year.

The bad effects of alcohol on driving performance cannot be discounted. The website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm revealed that driving under the influence of alcohol can significantly lower a driver’s response time, decision making, and general cognitive process. As a depressant drug, it can slow down the activity of the nervous system, which includes the brain. Driving requires hand, eye, and feet coordination but this becomes clouded when one is drunk and on the wheels of a car.

In addition, alcohol gives drivers difficulty in doing several tasks at once. This means they will not be able to keep their eyes in the lane and in the right direction and focus on the other traffic at the same time. Aside from that, it decreases a driver’s ability to judge the position of their car on the road as well as that of the other vehicles. Moreover, alcohol slows down the eye muscle function, visual perception resulting to blurred vision.

When driving under the influence of alcohol, you could put at risk not only your life but also that of other drivers. Houston car accident lawyers of Williams Kherkher will tell you that driving while intoxicated can result to serious or even life-threatening accidents. You could find yourself liable for injuries or deaths that you have caused just because you did not practice safe driving.

So if you intend to drive, as much as possible do not drink. However, if you must, take control of alcohol that you would take. Drinking too much may also affect your blood alcohol content and you could still get flagged for increased BAC even if you are not completely drunk. In this case, wait until your BAC drops before you drive.

Read More