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Heat Wave for New Jersey – Hazard for its Workers

New Jersey Heat Wave Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Mintz & Geftic – lawyers for New Jersey workers

The Heat Wave is coming. When summer arrives in New Jersey and the invades the Garden State, there’s plenty of things we can count on occurring each and every year.

People will be driving down the Garden State Parkway to enjoy time on the New Jersey beaches.

Families will be walking along the boardwalks of Point Pleasant, Seaside and Wildwood.

Nature lovers will be heading to some of New Jersey’s best hiking trails, while others might be tubing down the Delaware River.

Parents will be escaping for some weekend fun in Atlantic City, while others may opt for some much-needed R&R in Cape May.

Concert goers will be heading to the Garden State Arts Center (while still refusing to acknowledge that it’s now called the PNC Bank Arts Center).

And unfortunately, several New Jersey workers will be suffering from heat-related illness.

Occupational Heat Exposure – Deadly Risks

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure, and some even die. Excessive exposure to heat can cause a range of heat-related illnesses, from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Types of Heat-Related Illness

Heat Stroke

The most deadly heat-related illness is heat stroke. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. This may occur with little warning to the worker and leave him/her unaware that a crisis stage has been reached. When heat stroke occurs, employee’s skin is hot, usually dry or can have profuse sweating. His/her body temperature will be around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and the worker can be confused, have seizures or lose consciousness.. Unless the worker receives rapid and appropriate treatment, brain damage and/or death can occur.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion is not as dangerous as heat stroke, but can quickly progress to heat stroke if the worker is not attended to immediately. Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, heavy sweating, elevated body temperatures.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. Heat rash often looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It will usually appear on the worker’s neck, upper chest, groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

Heat Wave Dangers – Who is at Risk?

Outdoor workers include any workers who spend a substantial portion of the shift outdoors. Examples include construction workers,, baggage handlers, oil and gas well operations, asbestos removal workers, electrical power transmission and control workers, landscaping and maintenance workers, plus many others that spend their days outside in the hot New Jersey summer.

New Jersey workers that are new to working outdoors are generally most at-risk for heat-related illnesses. It it critical for these workers to gradually increase their workloads and take more breaks more frequently.

New Jersey Heat Wave – How Hot is Too Hot?

The best measurement tool for New Jersey workers and employers to use in assessing the heat is the heat index. The heat index combines temperature and relative humidity into one number that reflects how hot the weather will actually feel.

From the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Heat IndexRisk Level
Less than 91°FLower (Caution)
91°F to 103°FExtreme Caution
103°F to 115°FDanger
Greater than 115°FExtreme Danger

IMPORTANT NOTE – The heat index values were devised for shady, light wind conditions. Exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15° Fahrenheit.

New Jersey Employers Must Protect Their Employees

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat during a heat wave with precautions such as:

  • Providing workers with water, rest and shade.
  • Allowing new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
  • Planning for emergencies and training workers on prevention.
  • Monitoring workers for signs of illness during a heat wave or anytime that extreme heat is present.

Are your employers protecting you and your coworkers from heat-related illness during a heat wave? If not, you should contact the OSHA office nearest you.

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury).

If you have any questions on any of these laws please contact your New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Mintz & Geftic today.

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working or as a result of heat-related illness, call our New Jersey lawyers today at 908-352-2323 or send us an email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!

 

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html

https://www.wcf.com/heat-related-illness

 

 

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4th of July in New Jersey – Top 10 Dangerous Facts

Mintz & Geftic - 4th of July Injury Lawyers

US CPSC flickr.com/photos/uscpsc

The 4th of July weekend is here. The Fourth means family barbecues, parades, times with friends, enjoying the beaches of the Jersey Shore or maybe all of the above for some New Jersey residents.

Of course, as New Jersey’s top law firm for the seriously injured, we at Mintz & Geftic tend to look at the other things that also come along with the 4th of July; blowing things up, dangerous driving, drinking in the hot sun and maybe all of the above for some people in this case as well.

Here are 10 facts about the dangerous side of the 4th of July

Warning: the following list might be considered a buzzkill. Cue the Debbie Downer sound.

  1. 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July.
  2. Fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in U.S. Hospital emergency rooms during the calendar year of 2013.
  3. When it comes to fireworks-related injuries, the body part(s) most injured are the hands and fingers. Giants’ fans know all about this danger.
  4. The type of fireworks causing the most injuries are firecrackers, accounting for 20% of all fireworks-related injuries. Believe it or not, sparklers are a close second with 19%.
  5. Furthermore, sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  6. Maybe not as surprising, men make up 74% of the people suffering from fireworks-related injuries on the 4th of July.
  7. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,900 reported fires, including 1200 structural fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires, culminating in 8 deaths, 40 injuries, and $32 million in property damage

    And as your top New Jersey accident lawyers, we had to include a few facts about the dangerous roads on the 4th of July….

  8.  The National Safety Council estimates indicate 466 people may be killed and an additional 53,600 may be seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes during the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend.
  9. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car crash statistics for over 25 years, and they show that, on average, 51% of all fatal automobile accidents on the 4th of July are related to alcohol. This is more than any other holiday.
  10. An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on the 4th of July.

We had to finish with at least one fun fact to reward anyone that made it through that “cheerful” list.  We at Mintz & Geftic wish you and your families a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

Elizabeth, New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers

We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our car accident injury attorneys serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

 

Sources:

http://www.nsc.org/Connect/NSCNewsReleases/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=126

http://www.medicalbag.com/grey-matter/fourth-of-july-injuries/article/472651/

https://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Research-and-Statistics/Injury-Statistics/Fuel-Lighters-and-Fireworks/2013FireworksReport.pdf

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Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in New Jersey

workers' compensation New Jersey

www.flickr.com/photos/53558245@N02/4978362207

Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

As the premier workers’ compensation lawyers in Elizabeth, New Jersey, we at Mintz & Geftic have been representing the hardworking men and women of New Jersey for over 25 years. In this time, our workers’ comp lawyers have represented clients from all different industries who have suffered from work-related injuries.  This list includes construction workers, factory workers, truck drivers and many others that suffered some kind of personal injury while working.

Who is at Risk?

With all of our workers’ compensation experience, we can tell you that every single job contains some level of risk when it comes to work-related injuries.

We have seen workers’ comp clients working at a basic desk job get injured from a slip and fall accident at their office. In a case just last year, we helped obtain a large settlement for an office worker who suffered brain injuries in an auto accident. This settlement included $430k for negligence as well as $101k for workers’ compensation benefits, since this client was performing work-related duties when the accident occurred.

Of course, those working in jobs like construction are definitely subject to a higher level of risk than your typical office employees. In another case from last year, we had a client suffer work-related injuries when falling from scaffolding while at work. He endured multiple fractures to the skull, knees, wrists and face, along with a long list of other serious injuries. We were able to help the client obtain a settlement of a million dollars for negligence and an additional $136,500 for workers’ compensation benefits.

New Jersey’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs

Okay, so which jobs were found to be the most dangerous in New Jersey? Check out this slideshow from NJ.com for a full breakdown. You can also click here to see why we think Santa should have been considered for the list.

If you work at one of the jobs on the list or you can think of any others that should have been included, please let us know here on our facebook page.

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us an email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our  workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!

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Bus Accident Driver Fatigue

Elizabeth, New Jersey Bus Accident Lawyers “I remember waking up in the hospital screaming. I have never screamed so much in my life,” she said. “I kept forgetting where I was and I would just scream and not stop because the pain was so intense.” (Ganim, Zamost, cnn.com)

The Bus Accident

The quote above is from Elora Lencoski describing the night in late 2013 when she was a passenger on a Greyhound bus that crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer, killing one woman and injuring dozens of other people.

Just 18 years old at the time and a talented opera singer ready to attend a top music school, Lencoski suffered catastrophic injuries in the bus accident. These accident-related injuries included a brain injury and badly hurt leg. But the most devastating injury to the young singer was the vertebrae in her neck that shattered, affecting her voice box, and seriously diminishing her ability to sing.

Some said their Greyhound bus driver had red eyes when she was taking tickets in New York. One man said he saw the driver doze off behind the wheel. Another driver on the same road saw the bus swerving and remembers thinking, “They are going to kill somebody.” (Ganim, Zamost, cnn.com)

As the excerpt above from CNN references, it is alleged that the Greyhound bus driver fell asleep at the wheel causing this horrible bus accident. As Elizabeth, New Jersey’s top accident lawyers, we at Mintz & Geftic have noted in previous blogs just how dangerous distracted driving can be, especially in this age of texting and smartphones. However, another major cause of deadly accidents and catastrophic injuries occurring on New Jersey’s roadways has been around far longer than cell phones, and that is driver fatigue.

A government study from 2012 found 37% of all passenger bus crashes were due to driver fatigue. Of the 184 fatal crashes involving a passenger bus from 2010 to 2014, five were due to driver fatigue, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Greyhound Not Following Its Own Rule – Bus Accident

Greyhound has had a rule in place that states drivers are supposed to stop about every 150 miles, get out and walk around the bus to help combat against possible fatigue. It would be great to see a company prioritizing the safety of its drivers and passengers with such a rule. However, CNN’s investigation discovered that the so-called rule is not enforced by the company.

In fact, in a deposition, their CEO testified that they have no system in place of actually enforcing the rule. He also acknowledged that some longer routes could have drivers going twice as far as 150 miles without stopping.

Another passenger who was riding the bus with Lencoski lost his leg and sued separately as a result of the bus accident. The jury in his case found that “Greyhound demonstrated reckless indifference to the safety” of passengers and drivers. The jury also faulted the company for “giving contradictory language in their rules and training” related to “fatigue level,” and not “enforcing their rules.”

He was awarded $23 million, and another $4 million in punitive damages. In addition, the jury tacked on $150 to its bus accident verdict to send a message that Greyhound wasn’t following its 150-mile rule.

We suggest checking out CNN’s article in full here, where you can watch their video and learn about more details about this bus accident and their full investigation.

 

Elizabeth, New Jersey Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Our Elizabeth, New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers and workers’ compensation lawyers give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident or hurt while working, call us today at 908-352-2323 or send us an email by clicking here to evaluate your case.

Our bus accident lawyers and workers’ compensation lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.

WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!