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Truck accidents influence movement for change in law

Large commercial trucks have the potential to cause major accidents on Connecticut roads. According to federal data, large truck crash fatalities rose significantly between 2009 and 2014. Despite this problem, trucks are not required to use crash-avoidance technology, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has largely ignored pleas from the National Transportation Safety Board to change this law.

According to the safety board, many of the accidents caused within the last decade could have been avoided or mitigated with crash-avoidance technology. In a press release, the NHTSA said that it is researching the technology and will come up with a recommendation of its use by 2020. Companies that develop these products say that automatic braking systems could prevent seven out of 10 accidents and significantly reduce the harm caused in others.

OSHA updates its emphasis on trenching and excavations safety

Construction workers in Connecticut may be interested in OSHA's new update to its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. The update, which was released on Oct. 1, supplants the 1985 special emphasis instruction on trenching and excavation.

According to the 2018 NEP instruction, there were 130 recorded fatalities in trenching and excavation between 2011 and 2016. The private construction industry accounted for 80 percent, or 104 of those deaths. Nearly half of the fatalities occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Truck accident fatalities buck trend by rising in 2017

Motor vehicle accident fatalities in Connecticut and around the country fell slightly in 2017 after rising worryingly in 2015 and 2016 according to Fatality Analysis Reporting System data released on Oct 3 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Road deaths fell by 2 percent overall in 2017 with especially sharp falls in the number of cyclists and van occupants killed. However, the number of road users killed in accidents involving commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more bucked the downward trend by surging 16 percent from 725 in 2016 to 841 in 2017.

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative reacted to the NHTSA figures by pointing out that many of the trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2017 weighed between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds and were not subject to the agency's oversight. He also said that the booming U.S. economy has led to a significantly higher number of commercial vehicles on the nation's roads. The 28.5 percent increase in the number of road user killed in truck accidents involving multiple vehicles is especially concerning for agencies like NHTSA and the FMCSA.

OIG: lack of data led to OSHA underreporting injuries and deaths

The Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General has called out OSHA for underreporting workplace injuries and fatalities. The safety organization revised its rule on how employers are to report serious work-related illnesses and injuries as well as deaths. However, it appears that a lack of data has led to the inability to enforce those rules. Employers in Connecticut will want to know more.

The OIG found that employers reported 4,185 fatalities and 23,282 severe injuries from January 2015 (when the OSHA rule revisions went into effect) to April 2017. Yet according to a former OSHA assistant secretary of labor, employers may have failed to report 50 percent or more cases of severe injuries.

Everyone on the road can help improve motorcycle safety

Motorcycle-involved accidents can have some of the most devastating results due to the heightened level of risk associated with these vehicles. Some risk factors such as the weather or poor road conditions are out of a driver's control, but other factors including fellow drivers on the road are preventable.

When it comes to motorcycle safety, everyone on the road in Connecticut can take some added precautions to help mitigate the risks that often contribute to collisions involving these vehicles. Even taking a couple of extra seconds to double check the road or give more space for a motorcycle can mean the difference between a collision or a safe ride on the road.

What is a soft-tissue injury? Do I have one?

When many people think of workplace injuries, they think of major accidents that cause bloody, life-altering injuries. These types of injuries, however, are rare. Far more common are soft-tissue injuries.

A soft-tissue injury involves damage to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. While soft-tissue injuries tend to occur during sports, exercise or other rigorous activities, they can also occur during everyday activities. If a job involves repeated physical activity, it may lead to a soft-tissue injury.

How to tell if a nursing home is neglecting a loved one

There may come a time in someone's life when you face the difficult decision of putting a parent(s) in a nursing home. Moving a family member is never an easy decision and you want them to be safe in the care facility. Though nursing homes do a lot of good, abuse is a serious issue at many facilities.

Neglect occurs when a person does not get the care they need. The amount of care a resident needs can be circumstantial, but it often includes personal hygiene and assistance with eating and mobility. Although the signs of neglect can vary per case, it is important to know the common warning signs that your loved one is at risk.

Nurses suffer an alarming number of back injuries

Nurses devote their day-to-day lives caring for the health and well-being of their patients. Unfortunately, many nurses are seriously injured in the process. Lifting patients and transporting them from one location to another can cause severe back and spine injuries.

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' reports show that nurses face three times more back injuries than workers within the construction industry. What should all nurses know about back injuries and how to protect their well-being?

Ways to strengthen your personal injury claim

Some injuries are more visible than others. However, a case of whiplash can be far more painful than a scraped knee. If you are going to file a personal injury claim in Connecticut, make sure you are fully prepared for the legal process.

Follow these tips to help strengthen your claim:

Don't wait: Take action against nursing home negligence

It was a difficult decision to make, but you admitted your elder family member into a nursing home for a reason. You knew a nursing facility would be best to provide care to your beloved family member. Eventually, you find out that is not the case.

During your visits, you start to notice changes in your loved one and have concerns about their well-being. Here are some signs that negligence or abuse may be going on in the nursing facility if your loved one is:

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