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Are Automated Trucks Safer For Our Highways?

With numerous companies exploring the possibility of automated vehicles, significant attention is now being paid to the long-haul trucking industry. If self-driving 18-wheelers are tasked with hauling goods and materials across the United States with little driver interaction, does this make our nation’s highways safer … or deceptively dangerous?

Preventing A Deadly Trench Collapse

Construction workers face danger nearly every moment of every shift. There are certain situations, however, that can prove more dangerous – more deadly – than others. Workers must take special care to prevent fatal accidents such as trench and excavation collapse.

Material excavation is fairly common in most construction projects and many large renovation projects. When the excavation becomes deeper than it is wide, it is considered a trench. If a trench reaches a depth of five feet or greater, a protective system must be put in place to ensure worker safety. A trench collapse can mean thousands of pounds of pressure piling up on construction workers in an instant. One cubic yard of dry topsoil weighs 2,000 pounds. Saturated, the same amount of soil weighs nearly 3,000 pounds. When this material comes crashing down on a worker, they have little time to react. The enormous weight can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death.

Truck driver shortage may lead to dangerous road conditions

Driving a truck has always been a difficult job. Long hours away from the family is only one drawback. Many truckers have difficulty sleeping scheduled hours. There is often no ability to get exercise. There is stress in trying to meet deadlines while following strict federal regulations.

Now, there is an additional burden — the lack of available drivers.

Study: ERs fail to treat people with brain injuries adequately

Patients treated in emergency rooms for brain injuries may not be getting the right level of care, according to a new academic study published in late May.

Medical researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles studied the cases of hundreds of patients at 11 emergency rooms and trauma centers throughout the U.S. They found that less than half of all patients treated for concussion symptoms received education materials regarding how to care for their injury and what symptoms to watch out for in the future.

Tesla facing safety issues at its plant

It may seem to the rest of the world that Elon Musk is on a hot roll lately, as electric vehicles, driverless cars and even space exploration are in the news almost daily. But at the Tesla manufacturing plant in Fremont, workers may be more concerned about their safety right now, rather than getting their CEOs name in the news.

After a subcontractor’s employee working on site suffered an injury to his face and jaw, Tesla’s operations came under scrutiny by the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH), a workplace safety watchdog division of the California Department of Industrial Relations. Following the April 9th accident and subsequent report, Tesla initially denied some of the content of the report, including claims that multiple workers at the plant complained of back strain, repetitive-stress injuries and severe headaches caused by fumes. Now DOSH has opened a second inquiry into plant safety, but has not disclosed the nature of the investigation.

Jury awards $117 million to man who got cancer from baby powder

On April 5, a jury awarded a New Jersey couple $37 million in compensation after finding that Johnson & Johnson baby powder contained asbestos. On April 11, the jury subsequently ordered J&J to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages. 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used as insulation and for other purposes throughout the 20th century. Asbestos proved to be extremely dangerous. Asbestos dust, when inhaled, causes cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, the terminal illness for which there is no cure. Thousands of people die every year from mesothelioma.

Is lane splitting on a motorcycle safe?

California is currently the only state in the U.S. that allows motorcycles to share lane space with cars. Called lane splitting, motorcyclists can weave around traffic by going around slow or stopped traffic.

When it works as intended, it is a safe way to allow for a better flow of traffic. However, the practice is controversial. This year, a number of states are considering allowing lane splitting. Attempts by lawmakers to allow lane splitting in the past have failed. It will be interesting to see whether the bills currently under consideration become law. 

An important immigration law update for DREAMers

Immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children can continue to renew their status under DACA - for now.

That is the result from the U.S. Supreme Court's recent refusal to decide a case involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly known as DACA.

Workplace fatalities continue to rise

14 workers a day lose their lives on the job, the most in eight years

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data on work-related fatalities in the United States. The news was not good. The report notes that 5,190 workplace deaths occurred in 2016, 354 more than in 2015. This was the third year in a row workplace fatalities have increased. The last year on record with more than 5,000 deaths was in 2008. 

Hospitality workers suffering sexual harassment in silence

It is time for other industries to help stop sexual harassment

When we think of sexual harassment, recent news stories about entertainment industry icons and prominent political figures come to mind. But another segment of society has been contending with this issue for years. Media coverage of widespread sexual harassment scandals is finally giving them a platform to speak out. This overlooked group is comprised of low-wage employees in the hotel industry, especially those who work as housekeepers.

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