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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.

Visits to ICU may benefit teen drivers' ed programs

Distracted driving, especially among teens, is as much of a problem in Georgia as it is in other states. One study conducted by Baylor University shows that traditional drivers' education may not be enough to keep teens from engaging in dangerous activities behind the wheel. Researchers focused on an interactive, reality-based supplemental program called the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program and its effect on 21 teen participants.

Most of these participants were either enrolled by their parents or referred by a court or school administrator for disciplinary action. Their poor driving was reflected in the fact, revealed in their answers to a pre-program questionnaire, that they frequently called and/or texted while behind the wheel.

When do most car-pedestrian collisions happen and why?

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians killed in collisions with vehicles have been on the rise since 1996. What are the major causes of such accidents, and when are they most likely to occur?

Roadway crashes

Amazon workers report unsafe warehouse conditions

Georgia residents who work at Amazon warehouses are probably familiar with the string of allegations that have been made against the online retail giant. In April 2018, a 43-year-old former employee at a warehouse in Florida filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired after suffering a back injury on the job. The firing purportedly took place before Amazon Human Resources could authorize a doctor visit.

The plaintiff states that the managers failed to file a workers' compensation claim when the injury was reported. Furthermore, the managers allegedly told him that he was too young to have a back condition. Another former employee in Pennsylvania is suing the corporation for being fired five weeks after a workplace injury. Others report that they had to quit because the warehouse environment was causing them to suffer excessive fatigue and exhaustion.

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.

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