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Huntsville Personal Injury Law Blog

Job-related injury, death statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 3 million cases of workplace injuries and illnesses occur in the private sector every year. Although this figure is less than half of the 6.6 million reported 20 years ago, many workplaces are still hazardous. Alabama workers might know the dangers involved in the construction industry, but they might not have considered the dangers involved in office and health care environments.

In 2013, there were approximately 1.16 million cases of local and state government and private sector workers suffering a workplace illness and taking at least one day off of work, according to the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. A primary measure of the severity of job-related injuries and illnesses, workers took off work for a median of eight days to recover. While health care professionals could throw out their backs lifting patients, office workers can develop musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel from computer use. The median days of recovery for this was 11 days.

Alabama pastor killed in 2 vehicle accident

The Alabama Highway Patrol has reported that a 76-year-old man was killed on March 16 in an accident involving two vehicles in Cullman County. Troopers did not immediately say what factors may have contributed to the crash, but their investigation was said to be ongoing. The collision occurred at approximately 8:00 a.m. on County Road 1435 about two miles from Cullman.

According to reports, the vehicles involved were a Toyota sedan and a Ford pickup truck. Emergency response personnel pronounced the driver of the sedan dead at the scene. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma by the Cullman County Coroner. Troopers at the motor vehicle accident scene reported that the man had been wearing a safety belt. Authorities report that the man had served for many years as a pastor at an area Baptist church.

Nail gun injuries in Alabama workplaces

Nail gun injuries are very common, especially for those who are employed in the construction industry. Although the use of these tools can increase productivity, care must be taken in order to minimize the risk of injuries when using them.

A review of nail gun injury statistics highlights the prevalence of this type of injury, especially with less-experienced workers. Two out of every five apprentice carpenters report having received at least one nail gun injury within their first four years of employment, while one out of five reported receiving more than one injury. One out of 10 carpenter apprentices reported receiving three or more nail gun injuries during the same time period.

Public reporting of workplace injuries

Alabama residents may know that employers are obligated to maintain records on illnesses or injuries that employees suffer on the job. At this time, the company retains this information, and no public record is made available.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is poised to implement a new rule that requires employers to send the information to OSHA electronically. Employers with 20 or more employees would submit the information annually. Employers who have 250 or more employees would be required to send the data every three months.

Worker injured, and woman charged with assault in Alabama

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on Feb. 28 in Birmingham, a construction worker was struck by an SUV while he was working on Lane Park Road in the 2600 block. The area was well lit and the injured worker was behind safety cones at the time of the accident, according to a Birmingham police representative. He also stated that the worker was pinned between a bulldozer and the bumper of the SUV.

When the crash occurred, the worker had one leg severed, and the other leg was partially severed. Co-workers taped his legs with duct tape to avoid bleed-out, and he was transported to UAB Hospital. Losing his left leg is a possibility, and he has already lost his right foot, but he is reported to be in stable condition.

Alabama crash injures 7 and kills 3

A multiple-vehicle accident in Montgomery left 10 vehicles wrecked in the roadway and in the median of I-65 on March 2. The crash resulted in the death of two adults and one minor. Seven more people sustained injuries. The southbound lanes and one northbound lane of I-65 were closed, and traffic was rerouted following the incident. Reports indicated that it took hours for emergency crews to help free victims from the wreckage for transport to a medical facility. Despite heavy fog that day, the cause of the incident had not yet been determined, said authorities.

It was indicated that a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe carrying five occupants had been traveling on I-65 several miles south of the I-65/85 interchange at the time of the accident. The incident involved three tractor-trailers: a 1998 Kenworth, a 2002 Freightliner and a 2007 Volvo. Six more passenger vehicles, a 1992 Mazda pickup, a 2002 Honda Civic, a 2003 Nissan Altima, a 2006 Toyota Camry, a 2010 Fiat and a 2010 Toyota Corolla, were also affected in the wreck.

Spinal cord injury awareness

Alabama motor vehicle accidents can cause a variety of injuries, and spinal cord injuries can be particularly painful and debilitating. An SCI can result in loss of important functions, including mobility or feeling, and these issues can result even if the spinal cord has not been completely severed. A common misconception is that SCIs and back injuries are the same, but there is a major difference in that damage to the bones surrounding the spinal cord won't necessarily traumatize the spinal cord itself.

The spinal cord is the main group of nerves traveling between the brain and the remainder of one's body. Additional nerves branch out from those contained in the spinal cord to carry information back and forth. The spinal cord passes through a series of bony rings, or vertebra, which collectively compose the spinal column. The vertebra are identified by regions based on their location in the cervical spine, thoracic area, lumbar area, or sacral area.

Avoiding danger when working near or with forklifts

Forklifts are crucial pieces of equipment at many work sites, as these industrial trucks can move a large quantity of heavy materials at one time. However, many injuries and fatalities are caused by forklifts because employers and workers either are not aware of the risks when working with or near forklifts or do not follow the safety standards when working with forklifts. Workers in Alabama can avoid many accidents and deaths caused by forklifts.

Around 100 workers are killed every year because of forklift accidents in the United States, and about 20,000 are seriously injured. Most fatalities related to forklifts occur when the equipment overturns, and other deaths related to these machines might be caused by falls, being crushed or getting struck while on foot. Knowledge of the dangers of these vehicles and the proper training when working on or near them can help reduce the likelihood of a forklift accident.

Fractures of the back

Spinal fractures are among the most serious injuries that any resident of Alabama can undergo. The spine tends to break along the middle of the back, also known as the thoracic spine, and the lower back, known as the lumbar spine. These fractures most often occur because of high-velocity impacts, such those experienced in car accidents and falls from great heights. However, conditions such as osteoporosis are known to increase the chances of such a break occurring.

There are three general types of fractures of the middle and lower back. They are flexion, extension and rotation fractures. Flexion fractures occur when the spine is bent too far in a particular direction. Extension injuries happen when the spine is pulled too far in two directions. This can happen in an accident when someone is restrained by a lap belt that holds their lower body in place while their upper body is thrown forward. Rotation fractures take place when the spine is twisted.

Compensation for injured federal employees

Alabama employees who work for the federal government are covered by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, a law that governs the conduct of their employer towards them in the case of a work-related injury. Injuries that occur at the workplace and occupational issues that arise over long-term exposure to harmful conditions at the place of employment are both eligible for compensation.

The law requires that the employee be paid for any and all harm that they suffer because of their work. They are also legally entitled to repayment for the cost of their travel to and from the place of treatment. The use of illegal drugs or intoxicants at the time of injury can prevent the payment of compensation, and the government is also not required to provide support if it can be shown that the employee injured themselves on purpose or they injured themselves in the attempt to injure someone else.