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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Bridging the generation gap in the workplace

With more and more people working past traditional retirement age, employers across New Jersey may have to adapt to age diversity in the workforce. Many of these older workers are filling industrial jobs, so it's especially important to provide effective safety training.

For instance, employers can check in on their older employees and be flexible when age-related conditions make them no longer able to perform a given task. Companies could also introduce workers to new technologies in the context of safety training. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, only 18 percent of Americans 65 and older owned smartphones. Once older adults are familiarized with new technology, however, they tend to embrace it.

How concussions differ between men and women

Residents of either gender in New Jersey may experience concussion symptoms in their lifetime. However, according to the director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, women will experience those symptoms differently than men. As there has been little research into female concussion symptoms, it is still unclear why this is the case. Furthermore, women may take longer to recover from a concussion than men do after experiencing a head injury.

It is believed that part of the reason why this is the case is because of differences in hormones. It may also be because of differences in how the neck muscles react between men and women. Women may also be more likely to report concussion symptoms, such as withdrawing from friends of experiencing headaches. Furthermore, female athletes may be more likely to experience a concussion than male athletes.

Heat safety for workers still a concern as summer winds down

With summer coming to a close, many New Jersey residents are looking forward to cooler temperatures. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics reminds some workers that they should still be aware of the dangers of heat exposure while working through the remaining warm weather months.

According to the BLS, heat exposure contributed to 2,830 nonfatal workplace injuries and 37 worker deaths across the U.S. in 2015. Thirty-three of those deaths happened between the months of June and September.

Vehicle collision reduction systems are saving lives

Collision avoidance systems have not become the norm in vehicles in New Jersey and around the nation as of yet. However, recent findings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggest that manufacturers should consider making collision avoidance systems standard.

In 2017, lane departure warning systems were standard in only 6 percent of vehicles, and blind spot alerts were standard in only 9 percent of vehicles during this same time. However, the IIHS findings concluded that an 11 percent reduction exists for single-vehicle, side-swipe and head-on collisions when a vehicle has a collision avoidance system. In the same study, it found that a 21 percent reduction in injury crashes exists for drivers of vehicles equipped with collision avoidance technology.

Reports show weight-shaming of patients has poor health outcomes

New Jersey patients who are overweight may experience harmful "fat shaming" from their doctors according to a study presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. The study was conducted by researchers at Connecticut College and published on Aug. 3.

The researchers reviewed 46 studies about doctors and their biases regarding obesity. They also examined self-reports of fat-shaming and compared that to patients' health outcomes. The report said that the decreased trust in the doctor that resulted from the fat shaming resulted in poorer health outcomes. Patients might also delay going to the doctor or avoid it altogether.

How common dosage errors could be avoided

New Jersey patients rely on technology and a chain of professionals to accurately get their prescription medications to them, and mistakes can sometimes occur. It is common for mistakes to be made that are dosages that are off by factors of ten. This is such a common problem that an article suggests that the FDA and pharmaceutical companies avoid marketing dosage strengths that differ by a factor of ten and says that safer writing or typing practices could also help.

Cases reported in which 10-fold overdoses of medication were dispensed to patients include overdoses of the psychotropic medication Abilify and the opioid pain management drug Belbuca. A 2-year-old child was given 20 mg of Abilify instead of the 2 mg that was prescribed. The child took 68 doses of 20 mg and became withdrawn, irritable and 'in a zombie-like state" according to the report. Another reported error involved a woman who was given 750 micrograms of Belbuca instead of her doctor's intended dosage of 75 mcg. She took five doses before the mistake was discovered.

Study finds surgery not always necessary for prostate cancer

Men in New Jersey and throughout the country who have surgery for early-stage prostate cancer may not benefit from it according to a study that was published in a peer-reviewed journal on July 13. The study took place over 20 years and dated from the early days of the routine prostate-specific antigen blood test. At the time, it was thought that early detection and surgery was the best approach to treating the disease.

However, the study found that complications including erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and infection could result from the surgery while overall, it did not tend to prolong life. Because prostate cancer grows slowly, observation and treatment only in the event that symptoms appear may be a better approach. The study did find better surgical outcomes for men who had longer life expectancies and whose prostate cancer was at an intermediate stage.

Young workers face higher risk of on-the-job injuries

A New Jersey teenager getting a first job might not receive adequate safety training or supervision, which could increase the risk of workplace accidents. When the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health looked specifically at employees younger than 24, it found that 403 such workers were killed on the job in 2015, and people under age 18 accounted for 24 of the fatalities. An analysis of the period of 1998 to 2007 showed that young workers needed treatment at emergency rooms twice as often as employees age 25 and above.

NIOSH identified the leisure and hospitality industry as the largest employer of teenagers. This category includes food service. Retailers came in second place for the number of teenage workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 2 million youths under age 20 work around hazards in the agricultural sector.

Another request to postpone crane rule

Construction workers i may be interested to know that on June 20, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposal to postpone the enforcement date of its crane operator certification mandate to Nov. 10, 2018. OSHA also requested an extension to the same date for the existing requirement for employers to make sure that crane operators are able to safely operate equipment.

The proposal for an extension is the third request since the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard was established by OSHA in 2010. The reactions to the OSHA request have been varied and have included qualified agreements as well as emphatic disagreements.

Nursing home residents at risk for improper anticoagulant usage

New Jersey families who have loved ones living in a nursing home may not be happy to learn that staff may not be properly administering anticoagulants. These anticoagulants, such as Coumadin and Warfarin, are quite deadly according to many medical experts. However, nursing home residents are often not properly monitored for adverse medical events once they are given them.

Anticoagulants reduce the risk of stroke in patients that have blood or heart conditions that could cause the formation of blood clots. However, the anticoagulants prevent the patient's body from being able to clot in the event the patient suffers internal bleeding. The medication can also be deadly if the patient is given an insufficient dose or an excessive dose. While the anticoagulants can prolong a patient's life, there are patients who suffer adverse effects when they are not properly monitored after being given the medication.

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