Important things to know about an Achilles tendon injury
In the course of your employment in New York, there are many ways that you could suffer an injury. Some injuries are minor, such as a stubbed toe or a paper cut. Others are more severe. There are also some that may seem severe but that turn out not to be too bad. An Achilles heel injury is one of those. It can be bad enough to require surgery or it may heal on its own.
As far as work injuries go, an Achilles heel injury may not be something that happens too often, but it can be quite scary if it does. The Mayo Clinic explains that this injury occurs to the Achilles tendon that runs down the back of your leg and heel area.
Causes of an injury
Achilles tendon injuries are most common in athletes. Sports requiring jumping usually see the most occurrences. However, falling, stepping into a hole or anything that causes overextension of the tendon can lead to this type of injury. It is not unheard of as a construction site injury because sites carry risks like this.
You will usually notice right away if you suffer an Achilles heel injury, but it is also possible to have no signs. Typically, you will notice pain or have issues with moving your foot up and down. You may also hear a pop or a snap at the time of the injury. Depending on how severe it is, you may also have trouble standing and walking.
Not every injury requires surgery, but some severe cases may. Often other treatments work just as well for complete healing. The chances are, though, you will need some time off work to recuperate and properly heal so you can avoid further injury. Luckily, it is not an injury that will likely lead to permanent disability.
Overexertion is the top cause of nursing injuries
Nurses in New York face a number of work hazards that occur at higher rates than workers in other industries typically experience. The number one on-the-job threat to nursesâ€™ well-being, according to the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Bureau of Labor Statistics, is overexertion.
In the BLS study, 45.6% of the nonfatal nursing injury cases in 2016 were due to overexertion, primarily from these causes:
- Excessive physical effort
- Twisting, bending and lifting
- Repetitive motions
The nature of the injuries from all sources were strains, tears and sprains, and the back was the part of the body most often injured in cases where workers had to take time off to recover. The age group between 25 and 34 years had the most incidents of overexertion and bodily reaction injuries.
What can employers do to lessen the risk of these injuries? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some researchers believe the principles of ergonomics provide the answer. Ergonomics involves developing work task methods that allow workers to perform the job within their physical capabilities. When it comes to patient-handling techniques, ergonomics typically involves using safety procedures and equipment.
There is an equation for determining the amount of weight a person can safely lift without harming the back. However, although it may work well when referring to objects, researchers warn that lifting humans requires different techniques, and the lifting methods require different weight limits. Even using an adjusted method for determining patient-handling techniques, the equation requires that the patient cooperate and remain still during the movement.
Ultimately, safety experts believe the only way to protect nurses from overexertion injuries is to eliminate circumstances where a patient must be lifted manually.
Jury awards $60M to former student burned in chemistry class
A New York City jury awarded a former college-preparatory high school student nearly $60 million for the devastating injuries he suffered during a chemistry class. According to the Huffington Post, his chemistry teacher and the Department of Education were found to be liable for the accidental explosion that immersed the 16-year-old in burning flames.
The student was enrolled in a chemistry class while he was a sophomore attending one of Manhattanâ€™s elite public high schools. During a class, the course instructor prepared a lab demonstration to show the students how the â€śrainbow experimentâ€ť worked. This experiment generally involves using separate dishes filled with different types of mineral salts and a lit flame. Methanol, which is a highly flammable liquid, is then poured on each mixture to show how each of the different salts turns into a colorful flame, much like a rainbow.
Allegedly, the teacher used a gallon jug to pour the methanol onto the salts when it may have been safer for her to use a smaller container. A fireball burst out and latched onto the student who testified how he felt like his body was burning as though he were in a frying pan. The victim spent five months in the hospital where he endured numerous skin graft surgeries to heal the injuries that covered his arms, hands and neck. The juryâ€™s $60 million award included compensation for his pain and suffering, financial relief for his surgeries and funding for future rehabilitation treatments.
Accidental explosions and fires should be considered as foreseeable. Teachers owe a duty of care to their students when performing instructional experiments with flammable or combustible materials in a lab. To help prevent school lab injuries, the United Federation of Teachers union makes available a compilation of lab safety rules that students could follow.
What are steps to take to promote selfie safety?
The camera feature of smartphones allows people to take pictures of themselves anywhere they go. However, phone camera use has also been linked to instances of personal injury and even death. When you snap a selfie, you should be aware of your surroundings. Taking a selfie carelessly in New York can result in serious injury or death to yourself or others close by.
Cedars-Sinai recommends that people refrain from taking a selfie in certain situations. Smartphone users should stay away from moving vehicles, like trains, cars or anything that could cause a severe injury or death on impact. Selfies should not be taken in situations that require your full attention, like riding a bicycle, driving a vehicle, boating, or crossing a street.
Taking a selfie is also unwise if you are in a dangerous and unpredictable situation. Some people like to snap a picture of themselves near wildlife or at the zoo. However, animals can act out without warning, and if you are too close to an animal while distracted, you could be seriously injured or killed. Likewise, holding onto your phone while attempting a stunt or using a firearm can also result in a tragic end.
While taking a selfie, keeping your eyes open is essential. You want to be aware of railings or barriers, as it is possible to fall over them if you are taking a selfie. Similarly, if a drop-off or ledge is nearby, you do not want to be distracted while snapping a picture, or you might fall over the edge. And if you are walking while using your phone, you could fall, slam into a physical obstacle, or slam into another person.
To show how serious dangerous selfies can be, taking a selfie contributed to 259 deaths between the years 2011 and 2017, and this does not include non-fatal injuries sustained as a result of a selfie. While selfies can preserve a fun or important moment, they are not worth the life of yourself or those around you. All smartphone users should take proper care to avoid a bad outcome.
This article is written only to provide information on the topic of personal injury. It is not to be taken as legal advice.
Are electric scooters safe?
Walking is pretty much a given in New York. You may walk a couple of blocks or more to get to where you need to go without giving it much thought. It is free and easy. Plus, you do not have to wait for the subway, a taxi or some other type of transportation. However, when it is extremely hot or cold outside, walking can be unbearable. Many cities have started to introduce a new option: electric scooters. While they seem like a great solution, there are many jurisdictions that are warning how dangerous they can be.
CNET explains many larger cities are taking advantage of various companies offering electric scooter rentals. These scooters seem very benign and fun to zip around on, but people are often finding, they are terribly dangerous. They do not move as fast as a vehicle on the roadway, but they move much faster than pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. Since the introduction of these scooters, there have been thousands of injuries reported. There have also been a couple of deaths.
Part of the issue with them is people do not know how to ride them safely. You can pretty much rent one without any hassle or having to go through even basic training. Since they are so new, many locales have no laws or regulations in place for this type of service. This leads to people not knowing where to drive the scooter or how to drive it safely.
There are also quality issues. Scooters have the possibility of brakes locking up or failing or other mechanical issues that could put you at great risk when riding.
If you want to try out a scooter, be smart about it. Make sure you understand how it operates. Report any issues right away, and be aware of those around you, including vehicles. This information is for education and is not legal advice.
Despite the known risks, distracted driving is not going away
In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in traffic accidents involving a distracted driver, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That number represents 9 percent of all 37,461 traffic fatalities that year, which is the most recent year for which distraction data is available.
Thousands are dying each year, yet nearly 80 percent of drivers admit talking on their phones while driving. Over 30 percent admit to having had a near-miss accident while they were distracted. And 19 percent said they would continue to drive distracted even if it were illegal â€” which it is.
This information comes from a recent survey of over 2,000 consumers and executives for the 2019 Travelers Risk Index by Travelers Companies. The survey examined the frequency of distracted driving behaviors and attitudes toward reducing them.
Executives were interviewed because they often put pressure on workers to be available even when theyâ€™re not in the office, and that can lead to distracted driving. Unfortunately, it appears that many workplaces donâ€™t consider distracted driving when making policies about employee availability.
The distractions keep coming â€” and getting worse
The Travelers Risk Index found that the surveyed drivers were engaging in some behind-the-wheel activities that seem incredibly distracting:
- 44 percent of drivers admitted typing texts or emails
- 23 percent admitted using social media
- 22 percent admitted taking photos or recording videos
- 15 percent admitted shopping online
Just when we think weâ€™ve seen it all, drivers continue to engage in ever-more potentially life-threatening behavior. Moreover, many of those surveyed said it would be difficult or very difficult to stop. In fact, 5 percent of survey respondents said it would be very difficult to stop shopping online while they were driving.
As we mentioned, pressure from the boss to be available at all times has ramped up the pressure to engage in distracting behaviors. Of the executives surveyed, 87 percent said they expected their employees to be sometimes or frequently available when theyâ€™re not in the office.
At least 20 percent of the consumers interviewed admitted that work pressure to be available had led them to drive distracted. Almost half said either that they always need to be available or that they didnâ€™t want to miss a work emergency.
Another 17 percent admitted that driving is when they get a lot of work done.
Travelers found that about 75 percent of workplaces have distracted driving policies. Of those, however, only 18 percent actually advise employees to set their phones to â€śdo not disturbâ€ť when they are driving.
What can we do to reduce distracted driving?
According to the Travelers survey, speaking up could make a big difference. Of the consumers surveyed, 16 percent said they rarely or never say something when riding in a car with a distracted driver. However, 54 percent said they would probably stop driving distracted if a passenger asked them to do so.
Other research has found that parents can be effective at reducing distracted driving among their teens by having discussions and setting clear expectations. About two-thirds of parents say they have had such a conversation with their kids.
Finally, we can hold bad drivers financially responsible for the harm they cause through personal injury lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, meet with an experienced attorney for an evaluation of your situation and advice about what to do next.
Women more likely to be injured at work
The National Safety Council (NSC) has recently parsed the data regarding those injured in the workplace in 2017. Its analysis was published on its Injury Facts web site. The bottom line is that it is an enlightening read, but it was not good news for women who work.
Assaults on women are much higher
Perhaps the most disturbing data was that women sustained 70 percent of all assault-related injuries that are not fatal. This adds up to 12,820 incidents in 2017 and a 60 percent jump between 2011 and 2017. Men sustained 5,530 assault-related injuries that were not fatal in 2017.
Other workplace safety issues for women
The NSC analysis also pointed to other instances where women were more likely to be injured on the job:
- Women make up 61 percent of complications due to repetitive motion
- Women make up 59 percent of injuries accidentally caused by another individual
- Women make up 57 percent of falls on the same level
Professions more dangerous for women
There are also certain common occupations where women sustain non-fatal injuries or illness at a disproportionately higher rate:
- Women in the healthcare industry sustain 80 percent of these injuries and illnesses
- Women in education sustain 61 percent of these injuries and illnesses
- Women performing office work sustain 60 percent of these injuries and illnesses
Women deserve a safe work environment
It will be interesting to find out what the NSCâ€™s breakdown of numbers in a state-by-state analysis. However, employers here in New York need not wait to institute new protocols to better ensure that the workplace is safer for everyone.
The injured or ill women worker should seek medical care as soon as possible. It may also be necessary to file a workersâ€™ compensation claim or seek damages through a personal injury suit against the negligent parties or individual. In either case, an attorney with experience in workplace injuries here in Brooklyn and the surrounding area will be a tremendous asset for the successful resolution of their dispute or injury claim so the women worker can focus on her recovery.
How to stay safe on the subway
As the busiest transit system in North America, the New York City subway system is an economical way to get around the city. Overall, riding the subway is safe and convenient. There are some commonsense precautions; however, that can increase your security on your commute.
Avoid poorly lit areas
There are two reasons to avoid poorly-lit areas in the subway system: In an area with little light, you risk misstepping on stairs or not seeing an unevenness of a walkway. Poorly lit areas are also likely places for someone to hide that wishes to do you harm.
Do not fall asleep
Many of the thefts that happen on the subway have a sleeping person as the victim of the crime. Another way to avoid theft is to keep your wallet in a front pocket or zipped up in an inside coat pocket.
It is essential to your safety to stand back from the platformâ€™s edge, well behind the yellow line. There are instances where persons waiting for a train too close to the platform edge have fallen onto the tracks due to unforeseeable circumstances. Likewise, do not attempt to retrieve a belonging that fell onto the track. No matter how valuable it is, it is not worth your life.
Watch out for wet walkways
Subway stations can have walking surfaces that are wet for many reasons. Either rain or melted snow gets tracked into the platform area, or unaddressed spills get forgotten and threaten passengerâ€™s walking stability. When getting around subway stations, keep an eye out for possible hazards where you step.
Winter weather workplace safety tips
Winterâ€™s cold temperatures, sleet, snow and freeze-thaw cycles make getting around on foot potentially dangerous. When getting to work is a necessity, no matter the weather, itâ€™s good to remember some Winter safety tips.
Take your time
Your employer has the responsibility to make your workplace a safe place to do your job. Making your office or job site fully accessible by keeping snow plowed and shoveled and applying ice melt on walkways keeps walking surfaces as secure as possible. Even if the sidewalk you use is well maintained, take your time getting into work so you donâ€™t slip on some undetected ice.
Protect against construction falls
Winter conditions make slips and falls more likely. Your workplace should provide fall arrest systems. Make sure you use them correctly to guard against a deadly fall on the job site.
Even though gloves give you more dexterity, mittens are a smarter choice to guard against frostbite when temperatures are at their seasonal lows. Dressing in layers is the best way to trap pockets of heat up against your body. Avoid a cotton layer up against your body as it does not wick moisture well and will chill you if it gets wet. Wool, silk and synthetics are excellent choices for a base layer.
Look out for wet floors indoors
Donâ€™t let your guard up when you enter your office building. It is likely that wet conditions prevail right inside the entrance. Building management should have water-absorbing mats to provide traction, but if they donâ€™t, it could be as slippery as a skating rink. Investing in sturdy boots and using them to walk into work is a great idea.