Allegedly drunk cops hit Pennsylvania flour truck head-on, 2 dead

Last weekend, a group of off-duty police from Linden, New Jersey, and a friend were on their way home from an evening at a strip club. According to reports, the…

Last weekend, a group of off-duty police from Linden, New Jersey, and a friend were on their way home from an evening at a strip club. According to reports, the officer driving that car had earlier posted a photo on Instagram showing three shot glasses he captioned, “Jack Daniels Fire on the house.”

That may explain why the man’s car was later caught headed the wrong direction on the West Shore Expressway on Staten Island just before 5:00 a.m. Unfortunately, it’s only too common for intoxicated drivers to become confused and drive against the flow of traffic, and this time it led to tragedy. The car with the off-duty officers and their friend smashed head-on into a tractor-trailer for Snavely’s Mill, a northeastern Pennsylvania flour processor.

Two of the four men in the car were killed. The driver and the fourth passenger were critically injured. The 33-year-old tractor-trailer driver was injured, as well, although an NYPD spokesperson gave no details except to say he had been treated and released.

A blood-alcohol test has been performed on the driver of the car, but the results weren’t in as of this posting. The man’s boss, the Linden Police Chief, said it was premature to speculate on the cause of the accident, adding, “We were all young once and I’m sure we’ve all done stupid things in our life.”

The driver was 27. The passengers were 28, 28 and 23.

There is hardly a greater recipe for disaster than a drunk driver hitting a commercial truck head-on. Now, two men are dead, two others are injured critically, and one whose injuries are unclear. Sadly, they and their families are now left with both emotional and financial issues they may be dealing with for years.

Source: Lancaster Online, “Manheim truck driver injured in wrong-way accident caused by off-duty N.J. cops returning from strip club,” Cindy Stauffer, March 22. 2015

Is there a real risk from chemical exposure during welding?

Yes. If you work construction or in a heavy-industrial setting, welding might be something you see every day. Whether it’s your job to operate a welder or you work nearby,…

Yes. If you work construction or in a heavy-industrial setting, welding might be something you see every day. Whether it’s your job to operate a welder or you work nearby, however, you need to be aware of the potential hazards of exposure to potentially toxic welding fumes and chemicals associated with the welding process.

Unfortunately, toxic exposure is a serious risk in many industries. In the context of workers’ compensation law, the phrase “toxic exposure” simply means workplace exposure to a chemical, dust, or other toxin. Sometimes this causes immediate injury. Other times, it can cause or contribute toward a worker developing a serious, long-term occupational illness.

Among the most serious hazards in welding can be invisible

It’s obvious that the extreme heat and light from welding could cause serious injuries. Without the appropriate personal protective equipment, however, welders and others who work nearby could be exposed to potentially toxic gases.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, welding fumes produced by welding aluminum, mild steel or iron during manual metal arc or oxy-acetylene welding commonly contain metals that have been heated so much that they become gas. Aluminum, iron or zinc oxide gas, fluorine, arsenic, beryllium, silicate, and other toxins can be present in welding fumes.

One of the most dangerous is manganese from the base metal or the welding rods, wire and flux. Welding within a confined space increases the risk of exposure to hazardous levels of toxic gases like manganese.

‘Metal fume fever’ is the least of your problems

An estimated 30 to 40 percent of all welders have suffered from metal fume fever, which causes delayed flu-like symptoms and typically requires just a couple of days off work. Unfortunately, exposure to manganese welding fumes can also cause neurological damage, including a serious disorder called “manganism,” which has symptoms somewhat like Parkinson’s disease.

If you have suffered a chemical injury or believe you may have developed an illness due to toxic exposure at the workplace, it’s very important to act right away. Assuming your sickness was caused by job-related activities and you’re otherwise eligible, you should be covered by for workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp insurers will require a great deal of detailed medical information and may even deny your claim at first, so you may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer.

Truck driver turns self in to face charges in construction death

Road construction crews on the highway usually must work near traffic rushing by. Though state law penalizes drivers for causing accidents in construction zones, and crews put up barriers, cones…

Road construction crews on the highway usually must work near traffic rushing by. Though state law penalizes drivers for causing accidents in construction zones, and crews put up barriers, cones and signs, accidents still happen. A construction worker has almost no time to react to a car or truck bearing down on them, and likely will suffer terrible harm when hit.

A driver who fails to notice or ignores warnings to slow down for road workers can easily cause a worker’s death. That is what happened last summer, when a truck driver struck two construction workers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, killing one of them. After being charged in the crash, the driver turned himself in to Pennsylvania State Police earlier in March.

The deceased was a 61-year-old employee of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Last June, he and a crew were doing maintenance work on the Turnpike in the eastern part of the state. While they were working, a tractor trailer driven by the defendant entered the lane the crew had closed off and struck the victim, along with another crew member. The second worker sustained minor injuries.

It appears the investigation into this terrible incident took several months, but it did eventually lead to charges of homicide by vehicle. Police believe the driver was speeding at the time of the crash. The accident led State Police to put radar traps in construction vehicles. They found dozens of drivers speeding through construction zones near the site of the fatal incident.

After surrendering to police, the driver apologized to the victim’s family.

Even minor workplace hand injuries can be very debilitaitng

Anyone who has ever had a hand injury knows how much even a minor wound to a finger or palm can impact your ability to work. Any job that involves…

Anyone who has ever had a hand injury knows how much even a minor wound to a finger or palm can impact your ability to work. Any job that involves using your hands can become impossible, especially if the injury occurred at the workplace.

Hands can be struck by a heavy object, penetrated, twisted, jammed, bent abnormally or crushed. These accidents can cause injury to the hand’s ligaments, tendons, joints, bones or muscles.

Another possible hand injury is dislocation. If a finger gets pulled or pushed out of place by a blow, falls or sudden twisting, it can get dislocated, or taken out of joint. Even after the finger joint is popped back into place, the dislocation can cause problems for the victim, such as damaged soft tissues, nerves or blood vessels. In some cases, a piece of bone from the base of the joint can break off, causing further fractures or other problems.

Without full use of both hands, many work tasks, like manufacturing, lifting, construction and typing can be very difficult. The victim may need time off of work to recover. Some hand injuries are relatively mild, and RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) can be effective in the short term.

Other injuries require more involved treatment. Your doctor may put the injured hand in a splint of cast, and surgery may be necessary.

Meanwhile, you may need workers’ compensation to make up for your lost income, and pay for your medical bills. If your initial claim is denied, an attorney can help you with your appeal.

Working on scaffolding can lead to a serious construction accident

Working in construction means spending time on scaffolds. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 65 percent of construction workers, or an estimated 2.3 million workers, do their…

Working in construction means spending time on scaffolds. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 65 percent of construction workers, or an estimated 2.3 million workers, do their job while standing on scaffolding.

Scaffolds allow access to parts of the building high above the ground, but they also put workers at risk of becoming serious hurt in a fall. Safety precautions can reduce that risk, but accidents do happen. One study found that 72 percent of scaffold accidents at construction sites were caused by three scenarios: the planking or support collapsing, the victim slipping and the victim being hit from above by a falling object.

OSHA argues that all three of these accident types can be prevented in many cases, simply by having construction companies comply with the agency’s safety standards.

The agency has promulgated several regulations related to scaffolding use in construction, more than we have space to discuss in this blog. But as an example, OSHA generally requires that a scaffold be capable of supporting its own weight, plus at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted onto it. Also, a scaffold must be designed by a qualified person, and put together in accordance with that person’s design.

Even when the builder complies with all federal and state regulations, sometimes a construction worker suffers an accident anyway. A fall or slip off of scaffolding can lead to severe injury, and it could be months before the victim is well enough to work again. During that time out of commission, workers’ compensation may be a financial lifeline.

Construction worker killed by falling forklift attachment

Construction workers in Pennsylvania often leave the state to seek work to support their families. Being separated from their spouse and children can be painful, but the money is necessary….

Construction workers in Pennsylvania often leave the state to seek work to support their families. Being separated from their spouse and children can be painful, but the money is necessary.

Unfortunately, no construction zone in any state is completely free of the risk of a deadly accident occurring. In a tragic example, a 30-year-old construction worker died recently when he was hit by a heavy piece of equipment.

The victim was working on the third floor of a hotel. He was nearby as the construction crew used a machine called a Lull to put a piece of pre-fabricated wall into place. The Lull was using a forklift attachment to hoist the section of wall.

Somehow, the attachment fell off the Lull and landed on the victim. Other workers heard the impact and rushed over. They lifted the forklift attachment off of him and administered CPR. The man was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead about an hour later.

The victim was from Utah, but was working in Minnesota. According to a fundraising website started for his family, he is survived by his wife and four young children. The website describes the victim as a “kind-hearted, generous and genuine friend.”

As awful as this story is, most work injuries are not fatal. Suffering a work injury while out of state may complicate efforts to obtain medical records and other important pieces of evidence, to prepare for your workers’ compensation application. The help of an attorney, either with your initial application or with an appeal, could be valuable.