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Daytime running lights save lives and reduce accidents

Georgia law requires motorists to turn on their headlamps between sunrise and sunset and when visibility is reduced to less than 500 feet. However, traffic safety research indicates that drivers in the Peach State would be wise to keep their lights on even during the daylight hours. The number of multi-vehicle crashes dropped by 11 percent in Canada following the introduction mandatory daytime running lights legislation, and Danish officials reported a 37 percent reduction in left turn accidents after a similar law was passed.

What has road safety advocates most excited about daytime running lights is the kind of crashes they are most effective at preventing. Accidents involving left-turns or head-on collisions often result in catastrophic injuries, and they are often caused by drivers or pedestrians who did not notice an oncoming vehicle. Daytime running lights also protect the most vulnerable road users. Studies have found that they reduce certain motorcycle crashes by 23 percent and pedestrian accidents by 12 percent.

Survey finds drivers disapprove of texting but still do it

Many drivers in Georgia and throughout the country may believe that texting and driving is dangerous and should not be permitted even though a number of them engage in the activity. This was one of the findings of a survey by Progressive Insurance. The company received around 1,000 responses to its August survey from drivers who were not customers.

Younger drivers were more likely than older drivers to say they could safely text while driving with over 60 percent of people 18 to 34 making this claim but only 6 percent of people 55 and older. Despite this, almost two-thirds of 18-to-34-year-olds said they believed looking at a phone or texting was a main cause of accidents. Among all drivers, more than 80 percent believed police should be able to stop people who were texting and driving. Nearly twice as many men as women reported being "very confident" in their texting and driving ability. However, nearly 90 percent of men and 97 percent of women said the practice should not be permitted.

Top 3 workplace hazards for young retail workers

Working in the retail industry may seem simple and sometimes boring. However, you face some unique workplace hazards. If you are a young adult or teenager who works in retail, you have a higher chance of getting injured than workers with more experience, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how do you stay safe?

The first step is to learn about the most common hazards and what your rights are if you suffer an injury on the job. Below is an overview of common causes of retail injuries and what you should do about a workplace injury. 

More can be done to reduce slip and fall injuries

Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries in Georgia and around the country according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a study conducted by a leading industrial absorbent company suggests that property owners and building managers are not doing nearly enough to protect their workers and visitors. The New Pig report also claims that some of the steps commonly taken by businesses to reduce slip and fall accidents and injuries are actually making the problem worse rather than better.

New Pig's Walk Zone Safety Report was based on data compiled during interviews with safety, maintenance, health and facilities management experts in several industry segments. Almost half of those polled severely underestimated the number of risk zones in their buildings according to the report, and less than a third of them said that they placed floor mats in customer walkways. Accidents in these areas account for about one in four slip and fall injuries.

OSHA focusing on struck-by deaths in construction industry

Construction workers in Georgia and across the nation face significant workplace hazards. Over 800 construction workers died between 2011 and 2015 when objects or vehicles struck them on the job, according to data collected by the Center for Construction Research and Training. Nonfatal struck-by accidents occur at nearly twice the rate within the construction industry compared to other occupations. To increase awareness of the problem, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration added information about these hazards to its Focus Four campaign.

This initiative strives to educate employers about the risks of struck-by accidents and provide resources to improve safety training. The outreach campaign also addresses other common forms of construction accidents, such as electrocution and falls.

Common water pipe repair method could be hazardous

According to research, a procedure that is commonly used to repair water pipes in Georgia and around the country may not be as safe for workers as previously thought. It is called the cured-in-place method and involves placing a resin-impregnated fabric tube into the damaged pipe and curing it. The curing part of the method usually involves pressurized steam, hot water or ultraviolet light.

Air tests were completed at seven different locations. Researchers determined that this water pipe repair method released chemical plumes that contained some organic compounds and vapors that were known carcinogens. It has previously been assumed that the plumes released during the curing process were just made of harmless steam. Because there are no known studies that determines what exposure limits to workers, the public and the environment are safe, additional research will be needed.

How to avoid repetitive strain injuries at work

Repetitive strain injuries may not be the most commonly known workplace injury, but they are the most costly. A report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shared that overexertion was the most expensive disabling injury in the country. 

Many people assume if they work in an office, they do not have to worry about workplace injuries as much. However, sitting at a computer for hours at a time can lead to some dangerous conditions. Be aware of how much time you are spending at your desk each day so that you can avoid damage to your musculoskeletal system. 

Study calls for more reporting consistency among companies

Even though a Georgia worker might be employed at a company that is listed in the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, that company might lack a standardized set of reporting rules for workplaces illnesses, injuries and death. The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability released a study on Aug. 1 that was a followup to a 2013 study and found that there had not been much improvement in terms of safety and health reporting.

The United Kingdom's Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Society of Safety Engineers comprise the CSHS. The chair of the organization's board of directors called on sustainability reporting groups to work for more collaboration to improve workplace safety.

Work injuries affect families in many ways

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries on the job, the immediate repercussions may be obvious. For example, perhaps you have to miss work and deal with some loss of income for a while. When you are in pain and trying to get the facts straight, it is hard to think long term.

However, the injuries that you or someone you love sustain can affect your lives for years to come.

Working in confined spaces in residential construction

Georgia employees who regularly work in confined spaces on residential construction projects may not realize just how dangerous this work can be. As such, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an updated fact sheet to residential construction companies keep their employees safe when they are working in attics, crawl spaces, basements and other confined spaces.

OSHA defines confined spaces as a space that is large enough for a construction worker to enter and that has a restricted or limited means of entry. Additionally, confined spaces are also not designed for continued occupancy. A finished basement designed for continuous occupancy would not be considered a confined space. Some confined spaces that have certain hazardous conditions present may require permits. For example, permit-required confined spaces are those that potentially have a hazardous atmosphere, contains a material that engulf or bury a person in the space, has asphyxiation hazards due to a lack of oxygen or contains a recognized health or safety hazard.

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Peachtree Corners, GA 30092

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