Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Connecticut Legal Blog

Researchers endorse teen driving programs

Thousands of teenagers die around the country each year in motor vehicle accidents, and police investigations often reveal that they were ignoring posted speed limits or staring at cellphone screens when they died. Public information campaigns have done little to deter young drivers from behaving recklessly behind the wheel, but a Baylor University study suggests that supplemental driver's education programs that bring teenagers face-to-face with the consequences of speeding and distraction could succeed in Connecticut and across the U.S. where more conventional approaches have failed.

A group of 21 teens with checkered driving histories were asked a series of road safety questions both before and after they took part in a risk reduction program that included trips to intensive care units and morgues. Researchers found that visiting these places and speaking with the doctors, nurses and pathologists who work in them made the teens far more aware of the possible consequences of even a moment's impatience or distraction. However, the researchers did not gather enough follow-up information to find out if these lessons were applied when the teens got back behind the wheel.

Investigation reveals unsafe conditions at Amazon warehouses

Online retail giant Amazon currently has over 140 fulfillment centers across the U.S. However, these warehouses have frequently been hotbeds of worker injuries. This prompted an investigation on workplace conditions from the Guardian. Connecticut residents should know that the investigation turned up numerous cases of Amazon employees being improperly treated after workplace accidents.

In April 2018, a 43-year-old former employee in Florida filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that his managers fired him after he hurt his back. He also said they neglected to file a workers' compensation claim once the injury was reported. They allegedly told him that he was too young to experience back problems. Amazon Human Resources would have been able to authorize a doctor visit, but the employee was fired before that could happen.

Keeping chemical handlers safe with 11 rules

Employers in Connecticut who have their workers handle hazardous chemicals will want to make sure the following 11 rules are incorporated into their own safety policies. They should, first of all, have employees perform their duties just as they were trained to do and not deviate from established practices. They should also provide their employees with personal protective equipment like gloves and respirators: whatever applies to their workplace.

Thirdly, employers must have emergency procedures in place for fires and spills, among other emergency situations. Employees are encouraged to be cautious and always think ahead on potential hazards. Fifth, employees can be required to clean their work surfaces at least once during every shift to prevent contamination.

Lawsuit filed after duck boat accident

Connecticut residents may have heard about a duck boat accident that took place on July 19 in Branson, Missouri. As a result of the accident, a family member of nine people who died in the incident filed a lawsuit against the boat operator. The lawsuit claims that the company that ran the boats knew that they weren't safe. It also claims that the boats were taken out even though a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued.

The boat encountered large waves and winds of up to 60 miles per hour as it tried to get back to shore before sinking. There were 31 people on the boat at the time of the accident, and a total of 17 people were killed. According to the president of Ripley Entertainment, the boat shouldn't have been on the water, and the NTSB has been issuing warnings about duck boats for many years.

BLS releases 2016 workplace fatalities report

Traffic congestion may not be what Connecticut residents think of first when it comes to on-the-job dangers. However, government data reveals that transportation accidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the United States. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of the workers killed in 2016 lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. Among the dead were 632 truck drivers, 116 farmers and 62 landscapers.

The BLS releases a Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries every year, which includes a list of the nation's most dangerous occupations and how often workers in these sectors lose their lives while on the job. Workers in the logging sector face the highest risks, according to the 2016 data, but truck and sales drivers were killed in far higher numbers. Construction workers, roofers, steel workers, trash collection and recycling plant workers, pilots and fishing industry workers are also killed at rates far higher than workers in other sectors.

New auto technologies are increasing distracted driving

Car manufacturers are constantly attempting to improve their information and entertainment products to impress their clients. However, Connecticut residents might be surprised to learn that a study from AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that these same systems might be contributing to distracted driving and the resulting accidents.

The study is one of many that focuses on the impact of new systems designed to provide information and entertainment and help drivers on the road. The result, however, has been that those same systems might be distracting drivers and contributing to a number of car accidents. Some of the systems are installed in the vehicles while others are used through cell phone apps. Either way, the systems demand enough concentration that drivers have a harder time focusing back on the road after using them. In fact, available data suggests that young drivers between the ages of 17 and 22 spend at least 12 percent of the time they are driving using their cell phones.

Costs of workplace injuries stack up

Far too many companies in Connecticut fail to put sufficient attention on protecting workers' safety on the job. While many corporations proudly proclaim their commitments to safety, their practices may leave much to be desired. Many workplace injuries are considered to be the result of on-the-job accidents, but most of those accidents result from unsafe practices that are often overlooked or even welcomed in the workplace. In addition, many employers may consider some level of injuries to be a cost of doing business. Where improving workers' safety means rising costs or lowered profits, companies may choose to look the other way.

However, the costs of blatant disregard for workers' safety can be significant. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration can fine companies $129,336 for each incident caused by willful neglect. At the same time, that standard can be difficult to prove and is only infrequently applied. The costs of serious workplace injuries can go far beyond the imposition of fines or other state or federal sanctions, however. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the average cost of a fatal workplace injury is $1 million. That striking number includes insurance fees, workers compensation, medical bills, legal costs and similar expenses.

Injuries and deaths from large truck accidents on the rise

Connecticut motorists may be interested to learn that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently published new data about the number of fatal truck accidents. After analyzing nationwide wrecks, the agency reported a 3 percent increase in deadly truck accidents in 2016. The top causes of fatal crashes for both commercial trucks and passenger vehicles were speeding and distracted driving.

The FMCSA report 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts totaled large truck deadly wrecks at 4,074 in 2015 and at 4,213 in 2016. These accidents translated into 4,094 deaths in 2015 and 4,317 deaths in 2016. Injuries also went up during the same period. The report attributed approximately 145,000 injuries to truck accidents in 2016. This was a sharp rise compared to the 116,000 truck-accident-related injuries recorded in 2015.

Startup's wearable tech could keep workers safe

Employers and safety managers in Connecticut may be able to improve the work environment for their employees with the help of an Insuretech SaaS startup based in Des Moines. Its name is MākuSafe, and it has recently developed a wearable band for employees that will record, in real time, all environmental and motion data. It can automatically report near-misses and hazardous situations as well as track information like lighting and temperature settings.

This data is stored in a cloud platform for workplace safety managers. It doesn't take a data scientist to analyze the data, which is made more consumable. Most importantly, the devices are able to highlight hazardous trends and determine what areas of the workplace are at the highest risk for accidents. This can then encourage managers to take preventative measures, such as setting up safety equipment and supplies.

Bill Paxton's family files wrongful death lawsuit

Connecticut residents may remember that actor Bill Paxton died during surgery in February 2017. His estate claims that his surgeon and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were negligent in diagnosing, managing and treating him. However, the hospital and the doctor said that Paxton knew that the surgery could be risky. They also claimed that the actor had an existing condition that made the procedure an even bigger risk.

The estate claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit that information had been concealed from Paxton prior to the surgery or had not been properly explained. It further claimed that the doctor was using an uncommon surgical approach that was beyond his scope to perform and that he had little experience with. Complications from the initial surgery would result in additional procedures that would ultimately lead to his death because of a stroke.

Email us for a response

When you need legal help,

we’re here for you.

Contact Us Today for a Case Review. Fill out our quick contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly, or call us today at 860-351-3552.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Jainchill & Beckert

144 West Main Street
Plainville, CT 06062

Phone: 860-351-3552
Fax: 860-351-5442
Plainville Law Office Map