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Memphis personal injury law blog

Employers must protect construction workers against winter cold

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires construction company owners to provide safe work environments and protect employees from known hazards, one of which is cold stress. Without protection, construction workers in Tennessee and across the country put their lives on the line. Through safety training, workers must learn about the dangers they face when working in cold conditions, and also recognize cold stress symptoms in themselves and co-workers.

Training must cover basic first aid and the steps to take in emergencies, which could include downed power lines, slippery roads, winds that drive temperatures even lower, along with the risks of hypothermia, trench foot and frostbite. Workers must learn how to dress to keep their bodies warm and dry, how to navigate the engineering controls, and use the personal protective equipment their employers provide. OSHA encourages employers to limit the time workers spend outdoors and allow frequent breaks in warm rest areas.

Alleged DUI driver causes construction site injuries to 4 workers

Tennessee road construction crews often put their lives on the line to keep drivers safe. Unfortunately, many drivers have little or no concern for the workers. This was underscored by a recent incident in which an alleged drunk driver caused serious construction site injuries to four highway workers near the Memphis exit from northbound Interstate 65.

The police were called to the scene on a recent Sunday evening. They discovered that a driver who had lost control of his car smashed into a light tower. The impact caused the light tower to fall on the workers. Authorities say two workers suffered injuries to their legs, one had a collapsed lung, and the fourth worker's spine was fractured.

Falls from heights frequently cause construction site injuries

Safety authorities say that falls from heights make up a significant percentage of workplace injuries nationwide, including Tennessee, and that many of which are fatal. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to comply with strict safety standards when it comes to working on scaffolds or other elevated areas. The regulations cover the need for adequate fall arrest equipment, including a harness, lanyard and a secure anchor point to prevent catastrophic construction site injuries.

An example of noncompliance involves a recent tragedy in another state in which a construction worker fell to his death. Reportedly, an emergency call was received shortly after 10 a.m. First responders arrived at the construction site of a condominium complex to find the 37-year-old worker had fallen from where he was working on storm shutters on the eighth floor.

Expert witness in medical negligence deemed not expert enough

Navigating a civil lawsuit is a complicated field of the law and when it comes to expert witnesses, it becomes even more intricate. This was underscored by a medical negligence lawsuit in Tennessee in which a patient claimed that a medical assistant's negligence caused him to fall and break his back. The plaintiff chose a neurosurgeon as an expert witness, but the trial court and the appellate court found the neurosurgeon failed to meet the requirements for being an expert in this case.

According to court documents, the medical assistant asked the plaintiff to sit on the bed to have his blood pressure measured. He said he was unable to get onto the bed, but the defendant insisted, leading to the patient stepping onto the stool and falling. He claimed to have struck a wall before falling onto the concrete floor, landing on his buttocks. He alleges the assistant helped him into a chair and had a Licensed Practical Nurse examine him. After having X-rays taken, he was sent home.

3 reasons for the increase in pedestrian accidents

Walking is a good form of exercise and transportation. This physical activity has a low risk of injury, making it an appealing choice if you cannot or do not like to engage in more vigorous movement.

However, where you walk makes a huge difference in how safe it is, and walking near traffic is a big danger. Pedestrian deaths have increased over the years, reports CNBC. What makes the rate rise despite the numerous safety measures in place in vehicles and on roads?

Flesh-eating bacteria causes serious injuries at nail salon

Anyone who visits a nail salon likely does so with anticipation of being pampered and treated by skilled operators. Suffering serious injuries will certainly not be on the mind of any client who visits such an establishment. However, a client of a nail salon in Tennessee apparently almost lost her arm after she suffered a flesh-eating bacterial infection after a manicure earlier this year.

Reportedly, the woman suffered a small cut to her thumb during the manicure. She went to the doctor after developing flu-like symptoms, and a nurse practitioner determined that the infection had spread into her arm. Further swelling sent her to the ER, and she reports that the doctor warned that she might lose her arm, or even her life.

Motorcycle accident claims life of 31-year-old rider

Motorcycle riders will always be more vulnerable than drivers of other vehicles. Not only do bikers need more skills than car drivers do, but they also ride on two wheels only, significantly increasing the risk of crashing. Furthermore, motorcyclists have none of the protection offered to motorists, such as airbags, seat belts and the cab of the vehicle. For those reasons, the chances of surviving a motorcycle accident are limited.

One such a tragedy occurred in Memphis on a recent Saturday evening. According to a preliminary crash report, the accident happened on Interstate 55 shortly before 10:30 p.m. when a 31-year-old motorcyclist was exiting the interstate. Police say the biker was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a 51-year-old driver.

Catastrophic injuries: Work-related amputations

Workers nationwide, including Tennessee, risk losing body parts each year. In unsafe work environments, unprotected working parts of equipment and machines cause compression or crushing injuries. Hands, feet, fingers and other body parts can also be struck by or caught between objects. The most common amputations are reported to be fingertips.

As a part of employers' responsibility to provide safe workplaces, safeguards must be installed to prevent contact with moving parts. Among others, potential amputation hazards include power presses, conveyors, printing presses, meat grinders, food slicers, band saws, table and portable saws, grinders, and shears. Safeguards must be secure, and bypassing or tampering with the guards must not be allowed. Workers must receive adequate safety training related to the dangers of avoiding safety devices and taking short cuts that could lead to catastrophic injuries.

Catastrophic injuries: TBI brings dramatic life changes

Life after a traumatic brain injury is hard to imagine. Just like all other catastrophic injuries, TBI affects not only the victim but also his or her family members and friends. Tennessee families might find comfort in learning that, if the negligence of another party caused such an injury, potential damage recovery options may be available.

TBI can range from mild to severe, and the consequences can be long-term or short-term. Victims can suffer permanent or temporary aftereffects -- often life-altering. Brain injuries typically cause unconsciousness, and the level and length of this state usually determine the severity. Mild and minor brain injuries could cause headaches, disturbed sleep patterns, fatigue, seizures, mood swings and depression, but a TBI could also resolve within about one year.

Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing home residents annually

When you place a parent or another elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you likely do so after acknowledging that he or she needs extra assistance when it comes to getting around and otherwise caring for his or herself. While deciding to move a loved one into a care facility is often an extremely difficult one, it can be easier on the entire family when you know your loved one will receive a high level of care in the residence you select.

Unfortunately, not all American nursing home residents receive the level of care they deserve, and numerous factors contribute to this. In many cases, nursing homes lack adequate nurses or other staff members, which can make it extremely difficult for your loved one to receive the mobility and other assistance he or she needs. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News reports that falls happen at alarming rates in many nursing home environments, with the average 100-bed nursing home reporting between 100 and 200 resident falls every year.

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