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July 2014 Archives

Workplace Safety Scam Uncovered

Outsourcing building inspections, a common practice at the New York Department of Buildings, has unwanted consequences. It turns out that two safety firms hired to verify that workplace safety practices were implemented correctly at building sites were actually scamming the system and that the desired outcome -- preventing construction accidents -- was the last thing the "inspectors" were doing.

Technology to Prevent Train Accidents Not Widely Implemented

There’s a safety device that could prevent train accidents that’s been around for more than 40 years. It’s called Positive Train Control (PTC) and it monitors and controls the movements of trains, preventing trains from speeding, missing stop signals or entering work zones at the wrong time. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been recommending PTC since 1969 after two passenger trains collided in Connecticut.

Bus Accidents Inevitable in Lincoln Tunnel Given the Traffic

How statistics are reported matters. Take, for example, a recent article in BuzzFeed about traffic on the Hudson River tunnels and bridges based on numbers provided by the Port Authority. At first glance, it looks as if most of the eastbound traffic from New Jersey into New York City consisted of cars. Whether this is really true depends on how you count.

Garbage Truck Accident Kills Staten Island Woman

Yet another truck accident involving a city sanitation truck has killed a New York City resident, this time on Staten Island. An elderly woman was returning from her daily trip to the local store to get her paper and coffee when she was hit crossing the street at Clove Road and Delafield Avenue in West Brighton at 7:30 AM last Friday.

City Takes First Steps Toward Reducing Pedestrian accidents

Vision Zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to eliminate traffic deaths, took a step forward last month. The mayor signed 11 bills that are designed to improve traffic safety and reduce pedestrian deaths. The mayor's long-term plan is to eliminate pedestrian deaths entirely. In the meantime, the city will take steps to make its streets safer for pedestrians.

Danger of Injuries to Healthcare Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines on preventing back injuries in the healthcare industry. It turns out that workers in nursing homes and residential care facilities were sidelined twice as often by musculoskeletal injuries than construction workers. Why? It turns out that manual patient moving and shifting is more dangerous to the back and other muscles than high-risk construction work.

Recent Garbage Truck Accidents Remind of Dangers

An apparently drunk driver who had been arrested previously for drunk driving plowed into a garbage truck, killing one of his passengers. The 26-year old driver was traveling south on Utica Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush when his BMW slammed into the sanitation truck near Avenue D. The accident occurred early on Wednesday morning.

Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury

The back injury suffered by Brazil's football star Neymar highlights how devastating such injuries can be. Most people occasionally have aches and pains in the back caused by poor lifting techniques, falls and incorrect ergonomics. Even a minor muscle strain can be extremely painful, but for most people, the pain is of relatively short duration compared with the long-term consequences of a spinal cord injury.

Driver Caught Reading While Driving A Bus

The New York City lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have repeatedly written about the perils of distracted driving. Distracted driving is not something we expect from our public employees - - certainly not a bus driver while he is operating a bus filled with passengers. Still, a bus driver was caught reading Tuesday morning while driving more than 40 passengers on his New Jersey Transit bus. Stunned, frightened passengers snapped photographs, catching the reckless driver in the act.

Protect Young People From Workplace Accidents

This post is about a Canadian situation, but it also applies to New York City and the United States generally. In the province of Saskatchewan, workers under age 25 suffer more workplace accidents than do older workers. Most injuries occur during July and August, when young workers are out of school and have temporary jobs.