Keeping Outdoor Workers Safe During Winter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]OSHA has listed some of the top hazards of winter outdoor work at its Winter Weather resource site. Employers in West Palm Beach, especially those whose employees might drive a snow blower or remove snow off roofs, will want to know what some of the organization’s safety tips are. The first step is to follow OSHA’s guidelines regarding personal protective equipment, hazard training and fall protection.

PPE should include things like insulated gloves, steel-toed boots and coats. Hazard training should cover specific tasks as well as orient any employees who come from areas with less severe winters. Guidelines for fall protection systems, ladders and aerial lifts must be followed. Ideally, workers who engage in roof snow removal should not have to go on the roof; they could instead apply de-icing materials from a ladder or use snow rakes and drag lines.

Employers should have a qualified employee inspect all vehicle systems, focusing on the brakes, exhaust, tires, oil and visibility systems. Vehicles should have winter windshield wipers installed. When snow blowers get jammed, workers should turn them off first and then use a long stick to clear out the snow and debris.

If workers need to remove trees or tree limbs in the snow, they should use powered equipment that’s designed for wet conditions. Again, PPE is essential, especially eye, ear and head protection.

Those who are injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation regardless of who, if anyone, was at fault. Victims may also opt for a lump-sum settlement instead; a lawyer may explain what the pros and cons are. Workers’ comp benefits might cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages, but victims can only file for them when they have reached maximum medical improvement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Avoiding Accidents When Driving In Direct Sunlight

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Many residents of West Palm Beach who head out on the road during the early mornings or late afternoons find themselves unprepared to face the bright sunlight. This is dangerous; bright sunlight can increase the chances of a life-threatening car crash by 16 percent because of the visual illusions it can create and the harm it can do to one’s eyes.

The following are some safety tips for those who drive in direct sunlight. One tip is to avoid driving in such conditions or, if that’s not possible, to wait until the sun has risen or set below the horizon. Inside the vehicle, drivers should always keep a pair of sunglasses ready because these can reduce brightness and guard the eyes from harmful UV rays. Drivers can also use their sun visors, which are all designed not to hinder visibility.

On the road, drivers are encouraged to keep a distance greater than usual from the vehicles in front because bright sunlight can slow down reaction times. They should exit the road if the rays hurt their eyes; the sun will reposition after 10 or 15 minutes.

Window tinting is effective, too, and any specialty auto repair shop can install it for a few hundred dollars. Drivers should note that having overly darkened windows could result in a traffic citation, so it is important to follow the legal requirements for tinting.

Those who fail to make provisions for the sunlight and collide with another vehicle could be held liable. Those who incur a personal injury might want to ask a lawyer about whether they should file a claim. In this state, victims have their damages reduced based on the percentage to which they themselves were negligent. A lawyer might hire investigators and other third parties to ensure a strong case and a reasonable settlement. If a settlement cannot be negotiated, the victim may choose to litigate.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Truck Accidents In Florida

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sharing the road with a semi or large truck is not uncommon, especially if you are on the highway. While you may think nothing of it, large trucks can cause serious car accidents.

There were nearly 300 fatalities involving large trucks in 2017, which does not count crashes that did not result in death. What do you need to know about large truck accidents in Florida?

Types of accidents

Just like car-car accidents, there are many ways that large truck-car accidents can occur. Some common ones include:

  • Rear-end accident: If the car in front of a large truck slams on the brakes or the truck driver does not see a car slowing down in front of them, a rear-end accident may occur. It takes a lot of time and space for a large truck to come to a complete stop.
  • Blind spot accident: Unlike typical cars, large trucks have blind spots on all sides. If they do not see a car when they are merging, the results could be disastrous.
  • Jackknife accident: This type of accident happens when the trailer swings out to the side of the main part of the large truck. It can occur due to weather or the speed of the truck. However, it is almost impossible to control the truck once the trailer is swinging.
  • Rollover accident: Sometimes, trucks can roll over, which can be dangerous for any vehicle in its path. Often this happens when trucks take tight turns and the force of the turn tips the vehicle, making it roll.

Effects of accidents

Often, the result of a large truck accident is death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these types of accidents cause one in ten highway deaths. Due to the size and weight of large trucks, the effects of an accident on individuals in a smaller car can be devastating. Catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are unfortunately common.

How to avoid an accident

While not all accidents are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to stay safe and avoid a crash.

  • Stay out of the blind spots
  • Do not cut off or tailgate
  • Keep your distance from the truck and trailer
  • Try not to stop suddenly when you are in front

Thinking about getting into an accident with a large truck or semi is terrifying, but knowing that there are ways to avoid them is helpful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]