Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Altoona Personal Injury Blog

We help injured construction workers get compensation

There are many people who work in various segments of the construction industry in Pennsylvania. From highway and utility workers to those who are in charge of building homes or even large skyscrapers, all of these people perform jobs that are invaluable to the area's economy.

The least these workers should expect is that they will be safe on the job for so long as they are reasonably careful and try their best to follow the rules. Unfortunately, however, many of the best construction workers in the Altoona area still get seriously hurt on the job through no fault of their own.

Safety violations can change a trench into a grave

If you are a member of a construction crew in Altoona or another city in Pennsylvania, you will likely risk your life frequently. Jobs on elevated platforms and scaffolds, around large construction vehicles like excavators, and inside trenches all pose life-threatening hazards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has data that shows a significant number of construction site fatalities involve caved-in excavations and collapsed trench walls. For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations and standards with which compliance is crucial.

Although your safety and health is the responsibility of your employer, your own vigilance will likely improve your chances of going home safely. When it comes to excavations on constructions sites, familiarity with safety regulations and the ability to recognize potential hazards are crucial. The slightest judgment error could change a trench into an early grave. A competent person on each construction site must ensure that all trenches are safe. You can refuse to work in an excavation that fails to comply with safety standards.

Motorcycle accident at intersection leaves motorcyclist dead

During the warmer months of the year, more motorcyclists may be seen on Pennsylvania's roads. However, riding a motorcycle is not without its dangers, as one accident shows.

A lunchtime accident at an intersection in another Pennsylvania city left a motorcyclist dead. The motorcyclist was a 40-year-old man. He was taken from the scene of the accident with life-threatening injuries, and he died at an area hospital a short time later. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma, as the motorcyclist collided with another vehicle.

Could change to 'hours-of-service' rules lead to truck accidents?

A previous post on this blog talked about how the number of fatal truck accidents across the country have been on the rise of late. The post also discussed how, even in the face of these statistics, the federal government is now considering loosening the federal rest rules to allow what proponents call additional flexibility for truckers and the trucking industry in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

Those who favor the changes may often tell stories about how a driver had to stop and take a 10-hour break while less than 10 miles for home rather than risk the consequences of violating the rest rules.

Futuristic wearables might keep you out of the hospital

If you are a construction worker in Pennsylvania, you might be skeptical about the prospect of working in an environment in which your employer can track your every move, and even watch you doing your job from a remote location. However, construction wearables aim to prevent injuries and fatalities and not to intrude. Embracing advanced technology will significantly increase your chances of returning home safely after each shift.

The wearable devices have built-in futuristic features that collect data about your activities, biometric conditions and environment before analyzing it to detect hazards. It can keep your employer informed about your safety and warn you when it is at risk.

Fatal truck accidents have increased nationwide

The number of deadly and serious accidents involving large trucks, that is, semi-tractors and other trucks weighing in the area of 80,000 pounds, has been on the increase, at least according to some recent information compiled by the federal government.

In 2017, there were 344,000 truck accidents that resulted in significant injuries to at least one person. Additionally, there were 4,237 crashes which involved fatalities. These numbers were each an increase of about 10% over last year.

Forklifts pose life-threatening safety hazards

Forklifts are valuable machines in many industries, from construction sites to warehouses, fulfillment centers and more. If you work on or around forklifts, it might be a good idea to learn about the hazards these machines pose. Thousands of workers nationwide, including in Pennsylvania, suffer forklift-related injuries each year -- some of which are disabling or even fatal.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, forklift accidents and injuries are preventable by compliance with prescribed safety regulations. The agency says employers must inform you and your co-workers of the dangers posed by forklifts. These machines do not only endanger the safety of operators but also pedestrian workers who share the same work area.

Girl killed in truck accident

An accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike left a 5-year-old girl dead the scene. Additionally, the child's parents, as well as two other children who were traveling with the family, had to be taken to an area hospital. However, it was not clear how serious their injuries were.

Authorities and witnesses say that the accident involved three vehicles. Apparently, a commercial box truck slammed in to the rear of the family's passenger car. This truck accident happened during the start of the evening commute when traffic is more likely to slow down unexpectedly.

Can an unsafe work environment cause permanent eye damage?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has eyewash requirements for certain types of facilities nationwide, including Pennsylvania. Industries that work with corrosive materials must protect workers from suffering eye injuries that can be extremely painful. If not treated promptly, it could cause permanent damage to the sight of the injured workers and leave them permanently disabled.

Under federal and state laws, your employer is responsible for your health and safety. However, putting all your trust in your employer might not be a good idea. If you know for which workplace hazards to look out, you could take precautions to avoid eye injuries.

Handling truck accident claims requires attention to detail

While our blog has talked extensively about the importance of attentive driving, it is of equal importance for lawyers who are handling personal injury claims to pay careful attention to what they are doing at all stages.

A lack of attention to detail can make a legal proceeding more difficult and, in the worst cases, mean that the victim of an accident does not get the compensation that they deserve.

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Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

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