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Latest workplace fatalities report contains good and bad news

All jobs in Georgia have the potential to expose workers to some type of workplace hazard. Risk factors vary among occupations, but the latest figures on workplace fatalities have shown some overall improvement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017 saw a slight reduction in the overall fatality rate from 3.6 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent. The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017 prepared by the BLS concluded that 43 fewer people died on the job in 2017 compared to the previous year.

When focusing on specific industries, the BLS identified progress among crane operators, manufacturing and wholesale trades. These sectors achieved their lowest worker fatality rates since the government started collecting data in 1992.

How would you deal with an uninsured motorist in a crash?

In the state of Georgia, drivers must carry minimum auto liability insurance. Many motorists feel the minimum will prove sufficient if there is a crash with injuries, and many others carry no insurance at all.

How would you handle a crash situation in which you were the victim and the driver who caused the crash was uninsured?

Car accidents major cause of deaths worldwide

Many people in Georgia are deeply troubled by the growing number of traffic fatalities found on the roads. This is far from a local concern, however; global health experts at the World Health Organization have identified traffic-related deaths as a major worldwide problem. Across the globe, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 29. Across all age groups, crashes are the eighth most common cause of death, outstripping HIV and tuberculosis on the list of fatal global health concerns. In 2016 alone, 1.35 million people lost their lives in car crashes, a statistic cited by the WHO in its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety.

The WHO urged countries to beef up their programs to improve roadway safety, identifying traffic fatalities as a major concern. It noted that the United Nations' goal of reducing collision deaths by half between 2016 and 2020 is unlikely to be achieved. However, the WHO also said that while the number of fatalities is growing in the absolute, the death rate in terms of the world population has remained stable. For the past 15 years, that rate has hovered at around 18 traffic deaths per 100,000 people.

Improving retail worker conditions during the holidays

Retail workers in Georgia, including both permanent and temporary ones, are often the busiest during the holiday season. OSHA is reminding company owners to protect retail workers' safety and pay during the annual holiday rush. After all, this is the time of year when customer traffic typically increases, which can boost the potential for work-related injuries. Part-time workers may also have issues with receiving proper compensation, especially from retailers not accustomed to routinely hiring seasonal workers.

Long workdays, overtime hours and expanded schedules can also contribute to increased stress and fatigue as people lose sleep and sacrifice time with their families. Workplace stress also increases the risk of individuals sustaining the type of injuries that commonly lead to workers' compensation claims and days missed from work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stresses the importance of making retail workers feel safe and supported in various environments.

Police reports lack information on crash causes

Car accidents are a common cause of injuries in Georgia and around the country. Data from the National Safety Council suggests that states are falling short on collecting information about the causes of most crashes. Police reports may contain inadequate or inaccurate information about the incidents.

The study found that no state police report forms contained sections to record information about driver fatigue. All 50 state reports lacked fields to record information about driver-assistance technology. Cellphone data is also inadequate - 26 state forms lacked fields about texting while driving and 32 lacked fields to record information about hands-free cellphone use.

OSHA reveals list of most common workplace violations

The purpose of the guidelines enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to keep workers in Georgia and other parts of the nation as safe as possible. During an annual National Safety Council Congress event, OSHA officials revealed their 2018 list of the most common workplace violations. The majority of issues that warranted citations involved fall hazards and failure to provide sufficient safety-related training.

While OSHA didn't factor workers' compensation claims into their stats, many of the common violations are ones that often lead to serious injuries and missed days of work. Failure to provide fall protection tops the list. According to OSHA's deputy director, issues of this nature typically involve insufficient fall protection for roofers and other contractors who normally work from significant heights. No. 2 on the list was hazard communication. More than 4,500 communication citations were issued because of failure to inform employees at places like auto facilities about potential workplace hazards.

Motorcycle safety awareness is crucial on Georgia roadways

Since motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in motor vehicle crashes than individuals in passenger cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sponsoring efforts to increase motorcycle safety awareness and behaviors among all of the nation's motorists. A 5-year safety plan includes crusades such as 'Share the Road" and 'Stop Impaired Riding" because a full 14 percent of all roadway fatalities are motorcycle riders.

It is sound advice, and in many states, it is also the law that all motorcycle riders need to complete a rider education course. These programs are designed to offer complete instructions and comprehensive experience to motorcycle riders. State departments of motor vehicle offices have information regarding motorcycle training courses. Every state requires a motorcycle operator to have a specific license in addition to a regular automobile driver's license.

NHTSA: fatal crashes down except in urban areas and among trucks

Georgia residents who frequently find themselves driving in urban areas or alongside large trucks should learn about what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has discovered about 2017 car crash trends. It turns out that there was a decrease in every type of fatal accident except large truck crashes and wrecks in urban areas.

The total number of traffic fatalities went down nearly 2 percent with pedestrian deaths, in particular, decreasing for the first time in five years. Fatal crashes involving vans, light pickup trucks and bicycles saw a significant decrease of 5.8, 4.5 and 8.1 percent respectively. Speeding-related deaths went down by 5.6 percent. Preliminary estimates show that the first six months of 2018 continue this downward trend.

Study reveals that young drivers crash twice as often

Decades of research shows that the vast majority of drivers in Georgia and around the country consider themselves to be highly capable behind the wheel. A study conducted more than 50 years ago reveals that even motorists who had been involved in single-vehicle accidents that police concluded were their fault rated their driving skills as good or excellent. Insurance companies rely on accident data and claims histories rather than self-assessments to determine how much of a risk drivers pose to other road users, and it is young drivers that emerge as the biggest driving hazard.

The most dangerous drivers of all are 16-year-olds according to car accident statistics. These drivers lack experience behind the wheel and are filled with the boundless optimism of youth, which are among the reasons why they crash about twice as often as any other age group. Some road safety advocacy groups have called for the mandatory retesting of senior citizens, but even motorists over the age of 80 are involved in accidents far less frequently than those teenagers. Drivers between the ages of 60 and 69 are the nation's safest road users according to the data.

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Law Office of Perry Dean Ellis, P.C.
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