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Beckley Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Sleep apnea rule discarded

Motorists in West Virginia and other parts of the country might be waiting to find out whether truckers will ever be tested for sleep apnea. The Department of Transportation decided to discard the proposed requirement in June. This decision will affect truck drivers who might have been tested for the affliction due to factors that influence their health such as age, BMI, and blood pressure. Instead of waiting to find out who would pay for medical tests and certifications that would allow them to continue working, truckers will not have to be tested at this point.

Another rule that has been under consideration is the speed limiter rule. The trucking industry has not been in favor of it, and the DOT has not decided whether the rule would be implemented. Rather, it has put the rule with others that will be considered in the long term.

Hard hats to become like mountain climbing and sports helmets

West Virginia workers on jobs where objects could fall or fly around face a risk of serious injuries. Because of this, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requires protective helmets for these workers. A typical hard hat has an interior support that separates the skull from the outside of the hat, which could diffuse and limit the impact of an object on the wearer. Now some construction companies are seeking to improve upon the design of workers' protective gear by adapting technology used in helmets for mountain climbers and other athletes.

An engineer from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health noted in 2014 that workers deserved better protective gear. He called for equipment manufacturers to draw upon advances in engineering, medical science and material science.

Drop in coal production leads to drop in safety

West Virginia, along with several other states have been looking at cutbacks to safety programs in the mining industry. One of the main strategies they are considering is reducing the number of inspections per year already required by the law.

However, with five miners already killed in accidents in 2017, many residents are asking if now is the right time to consider reducing inspections. While other states, including Illinois and Alabama, have imposed serious cutbacks to their inspection requirements, West Virginia still requires four state inspections per year.

Booming economy blamed for surge in traffic accident deaths

Falling energy prices and favorable economic conditions have led to an increase in vehicular traffic in West Virginia and around the country. More Americans on the nation's roads means more traffic accidents, and fatal crashes have increased alarmingly after decades of steady decline. Economists believe that new jobs will continue to be created and fuel prices will remain low, and this has road safety advocacy groups worried.

When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that driver death rates had fallen by almost a third in just three years, it gave much of the credit to car makers and improvements in vehicle design. However, more recent studies have revealed that driver fatalities are on the rise despite significant advances in automotive safety technology. Motor vehicle accident fatalities increased by a disquieting 7 percent in 2015, and figures from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System suggest that 2016 crash statistics will be even more alarming.

July 4th deadly holiday for drivers

Our nation's birthday is a time of celebration, backyard bar-b-cues and spectacular fireworks. It also has the dubious honor of being one of the deadliest days for drivers. As drivers pack the roads of West Virginia on the way to their various holiday destinations, it is important to keep in mind how to stay safe and what to do if an accident occurs.

A report by Travelers Companies, Inc. claimed that 7 percent more accidents occur on the Fourth of July and the three days preceding it compared to the other two summer holidays. Already busy summer roads are made that much more dangerous by often hurried and distracted drivers who may be driving unfamiliar roads and have the added distraction of excited kids and family in the back seats.

Steps to take after an auto accident

Whether or not West Virginia motorists are at fault in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that they are aware that there are certain things they should do in its aftermath. For those who are not at fault, these steps can help safeguard their rights if the at-fault party flees the scene of the accident, provides an account of the accident that is false or neglects to report the accident to the police or the insurance company.

The welfare of all of the drivers and passengers involved in the crash should be the first concern. Medical assistance should be sought immediately for anyone who has been injured, and the victims should not be moved unless it is for their safety. If possible, the vehicles involved in the accident should be moved out of the roadway, away from traffic and onto the side of the road.

Symptoms of concussions

West Virginia residents could suffer a brain injury, such as a concussion, if they become involved in a car accident or other traumatic event. While most people generally recover well from these types of injuries, others live with the symptoms for several days, weeks or longer if the injury was serious.

Concussion symptoms fall into several categories, including physical, emotional, cognitive and sleep. Physical symptoms include headache, blurry vision, dizziness, light or noise sensitivity and a lack of energy. Emotional symptoms can include a change in personality, increased nervousness and anxiety and irritability. Cognitive symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, loss of short-term memory and feeling slowed down. Finally, sleep symptoms can include sleeping more or less than usual and having trouble falling asleep. Concussion symptoms can occur immediately or take days, weeks or months to manifest.

OSHA and NIOSH release heat safety smartphone application

Workers in West Virginia and around the country who perform their duties outdoors face additional hazards during the summer months. Heat-related conditions claimed the lives of 16 American workers in 2014 according to figures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the federal safety agency says that most of these deaths could have been prevented. OSHA has taken steps to address the problem by collaborating with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to develop a heat safety smartphone application for employers.

The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool uses geolocation technology to deliver accurate temperature and humidity data including heat index forecasts. Employers can use the data, which is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to adjust work schedules when temperatures could make conditions dangerous. The application summarizes the climate data and issues one of four risk levels that range from minimal to extreme.

Is your former employer ruining your chances for a new job?

Imagine working for the same company for years. You very rarely took a sick day, and your vacation time was almost untouched. You followed the rules and performed your duties to the utmost of your abilities. You always expected the company to show you the same loyalty that you had shown it over the years.

Everything changed when you noticed some very severe safety violations. You reported the situation to your manager and by the end of the day you were cleaning out your locker. Your supervisor had notified you at the end of your shift that you were fired.

Recent mine accident claims the life of Boone area worker

People who live and work in West Virginia understand how dangerous the world of coal mining can be. Workers can easily be severely injured or even killed in a number of ways. The work involves big machinery, which can be dangerous. There's also the potential for a cave-in, toxic gases or injury from someone else's tool. While safety precautions are required, including protective head gear and training for heavy machinery operation, accidents still happen with alarming frequency. Most recently, a worker at a coal mine in Boone County on Tuesday, June 13 claimed the life of a worker.

The employee was only 32 years old. He was operating a machine called a continuous miner at the time of the incident, which happened shortly before 9 PM. Osborne was an employee of Rockwelll Mining, LLC, and was working at Gateway Eagle Mine. There is currently an ongoing investigation and the mine in question is on hiatus until the investigation is complete. Other miners around the state continue to report for work every day, knowing that they are taking a risk every time they come to work.

Office Location

Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
114 Main Street
Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-250-3280
Toll Free: 888-692-8084
Fax: 304-250-6012

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