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Hazardous materials in the workplace

Georgia employers should make sure to educate their employees about the basic safety rules for handling hazardous materials in the workplace. Employees could be informed about the rules during a regularly scheduled safety meeting at work. Furthermore, workers may be encouraged to offer additional safety rules for managing hazardous materials.

Rule No. 1 should be to adhere to the workplace policies that are in place and execute their work duties in accordance with proper training. Using caution when handling hazardous materials is a must, and employees should always give close attention to the work they are performing.

Georgia cellphone law goes into effect

Georgia became the sixteenth state to prohibit the use of hand-held mobile devices by drivers when Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 673 into law. The bill, which is also known as the Hands Free Law, also bans recording video with mobile devices and reading cellphone screens while behind the wheel. Motorists in the Peach State who wish to avoid a $50 ticket must now either use hands-free devices or pull over before using their smartphones. The law went into effect on July 1.

The bill does not mark the first time that lawmakers in Georgia have attempted to tackle the issue of distracted driving. Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the law was widely criticized by road safety advocates because making phone calls was still allowed.

The most dangerous jobs in the US

In Georgia, on-the-job injuries and fatalities are all too common and show no sign of decreasing. To promote greater safety, the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries has released data on the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. The results show that some industries are more hazardous than expected.

Topping the list was the logging industry, which suffered 135.9 on-the-job fatalities per 100,000 full-time or equivalent workers. This was followed by the categories of fishing workers, aircraft pilots/flight engineers and roofers. One surprising inclusion was the trash and recycling collection industry, which had a fatal work injury rate of 34.1.

3 risks for motorcycle riders

As a motorcycle rider, you are likely well aware of the many risks you face every time you hit the road. Safety is particularly important for motorcyclists because they are more exposed to the hazards of the road, especially on busy, multiple-lane freeways.

Here are three of the top risks for motorcyclists, along with tips about how to help mitigate these risks. By following a few simple precautions, you can protect yourself from some of the most hazardous conditions on the road.

Researchers study effect of new tech on drivers

Since 2014, the annual number of traffic deaths has increased by 10 percent. Drivers in Georgia are probably thinking that technology is to blame. While public safety officials have not made a definitive link yet, this indeed seems to be the case. Mobile tech and automated features are making many drivers distracted and complacent.

Many recent studies have come out exploring the relationship between technology and driver behavior. For instance, an analysis by AAA had 64 participants drive in five different vehicles that each contained a built-in infotainment system. The participants were asked to make calls, text, enter destinations and use the other features of the infotainment systems. At other points, they were asked to do the same for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These interfaces run off smartphones.

How to avoid common motorcycle accidents

Georgia motorcycle owners like to think about wide open roads and warm sun, not bike crashes. However, by anticipating some of the most common motorcycle accidents in advance, riders may be able to avoid injuries.

Other vehicles present the most danger to motorcycles. In fact, a car turning left in front of a bike is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. Riders can avoid this type of crash by remaining alert and slowing down when they see a car preparing to take a left turn ahead of them. Cars may also rear-end motorcycles at red lights. To avoid this, people should try to squeeze in front of a car that is already waiting at the light. Riders can also stop near the side of the road and flash their brake lights repeatedly to alert approaching cars. In addition, cars frequently change lanes and cut motorcycles off. Riders can reduce the chances of this by making themselves aware of other drivers' blind spots and moving to a more visible area as soon as possible.

Deaths from pedestrian accidents increase again in 2017

A recent rise in pedestrian deaths is being attributed to distracted walkers and drivers using smartphones and other handheld devices. According to research by the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in 2017. In Georgia, pedestrian deaths rose by 11 percent. While no scientific conclusions have yet to be made, experts believe that distractions as well as intoxicated walking could account for the increase.

The spike in pedestrian deaths, which are now at a 25-year high, is coming at a time when vast improvements to vehicle safety are being implemented with technologies like emergency braking systems and collision-alert technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes, however, states that poor vehicle headlights remain a huge problem. With 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurring at night, illumination appears to be a critical part of the issue.

Insurtech startup's new wearable tech ideal for workers

In Georgia and across the U.S., workplace accidents cost employers and insurers hundreds of billions of dollars each year in workers compensation benefits. Worldwide, workplace accidents lead to more than 1,000 deaths every day and over 500 injuries every minute. Wearable technology from MākuSafe, an insurtech SaaS startup in Des Moines, could be just what employers need to help reduce accidents in their workplace.

What MākuSafe has developed is a wearable band for workers that automatically records environmental data like changes in lighting and temperature and reports any near-misses and hazardous situations. It sends this information to a cloud platform where the data is made consumable and risky trends and areas are identified. Safety managers can use this information to equip high-risk areas with the proper equipment and supplies.

Five tips toward a safety-minded business culture

Workplace injuries are all too common across Georgia, and their number only increases when employers turn the other way and choose not to address worker safety. However, employers do harm both to their employees and to themselves when they ignore the issue: there is an increase in workers' compensation costs and medical expenses and a decrease in employee morale, employee retention and business productivity. The company's branding will ultimately suffer as well.

This is where employers should consider five safety tips. The first tip is to be proactive in the organization of a safety culture. Everything must begin from the top down. The second is to conduct an anonymous survey asking employees what they know of corporate safety policies, what they expect from others and how they regard their own duties. With this feedback, a good idea can be formed of how employees perceive the safety of their workplace.

Injured on the job? Three important first steps

Georgia law requires all workplaces with more than three employees to carry worker's compensation insurance, or worker's comp. It will pay two-thirds of your salary, up to $575 per week, if you cannot work due to any injury on the job.

The coverage is there for your protection, but it has very specific requirements. It is important to follow the procedures carefully and have appropriate representation to be sure that you have your full benefits. Here are three first steps that you need to take if you have been injured on the job.

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Law Office of Perry Dean Ellis, P.C.
3495 Piedmont Road NE Building 10, Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30305

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