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June 2013 Archives

Young Workers Faced Elevated Risk Levels

Every summer, many young workers enter the workforce for the first time in their lives. While a person's first job can be exciting, or at least eye-opening, it can also be a source of danger. Young workers suffer from highly elevated rates of workplace accidents. The workplace injury rate for workers under 25 years of age is double that of older workers. They are the most likely to be injured and the most likely to die in fatal on-the-job accidents. Knowledge that many older workers may take for granted needs to be imparted to new workers to help them stay safe. The numbers make it clear that we are not doing enough to protect new workers when are first learning what it means to be employed.

Are Too Many Scans Endangering Patients' Lives?

Along with a rise in claims of defensive medicine and unnecessary medical testing has come a concern that certain medical tests could be causing a dangerous increase in radiation exposure among some patients. A new movement has begun in some hospitals to track the cumulative radiation exposure a patient receives as part of his or her electronic medical record. While most are doing nothing more than tracking exposure, it may be a step toward curbing over-testing in that it will show doctors when a patient has received multiple high radiation dose procedures over time. It may encourage doctors to be more judicious in ordering these potentially damaging tests.

A Broad Argument Against Multitasking

It is a common belief that multitasking is a way to get more done in a limited amount of time. In reality, multitasking can be inefficient and, when done in the wrong situations, dangerous. Distracted driving accidents are just one area where the myth of multitasking is causing harm. Pedestrians also suffer elevated accident rates when they engage in texting, chatting or other tasks that take their attention away from getting safely to where they are going. The ability to focus your attention on a single task and do so until it is complete is highly valuable. That is true for almost every activity you do, including driving.

Federal Funding Could Be Key To Distracted Driving Laws

When asked in a survey, 94 percent of drivers acknowledged that texting behind the wheel is dangerous. That survey, conducted in 2011, was one of the first to identify a serious problem in targeting distracted driving. While admitting the practice was dangerous, one-third of survey respondents indicated that they had texted while driving in previous month. They knew it was dangerous, but they did it anyway. Awareness campaigns and data indicated an increase in fatal car accidents caused by distracted driving do not seem to be enough. The question is, what can states do to get drivers to put down their phones?

Independent Drivers Express Concern Over Larger Trucks

Many facets of the trucking industry are regulated by state and federal laws. In an effort to reduce truck accident fatalities, lawmakers regulate things like hours of service for drivers, maintenance requirements for semis, health checks for drivers and much more. Congress is currently considering a proposal to make a change to a long-standing regulation concerning the size and weight of trucks allowed to operate on U.S. highways. One organization of independent truck drivers has expressed concern about the wisdom of allowing "supersized" semis on the roads.

Chicago Bike Safety A Serious Issue

A growing number of people are using bicycles as a primary mode of transportation in U.S. cities. Chicago is aware of the trend and is looking to create a more bike-friendly infrastructure designed to reduce the number of deadly interactions between cars and bicycles. While changes can be made to make biking in Chicago safer, it is important for drivers and riders alike to be prepared to make considerations geared toward a safer, more easily navigable place to live and work.

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