Archive for March, 2012

Management Has More Influence on Number of Workplace Injuries, Study Says

Workers can often be blamed for their injuries on the job. Employers may assume that they have been careless or haven’t followed safety protocols. Yet, according to a new study by the University of Georgia, it turns out that upper-level management may have much more influence on workplace safety and the rate of workplace accidents.

The study – published this month in the Journal of Safety Research – found that when management fostered the perception of a positive safety climate among employees, the number of workplace injuries went down 32 percent. Day-to-day practices were more influential than written safety protocols.

When employees felt that a company ran smoothly and that there were minimal constraints on their performance, the injury rate dropped as much as 38 percent, the study found.

“Injury is a failure of management,” said study co-author Dave DeJoy, a professor of health promotion and behavior at UGA. “Organizations who blame individuals for injuries do not create a positive safety climate.”

The study, co-authored by DeJoy and recent doctoral graduate Todd Smith, is one of the first to examine the perceptions of workplace safety climate among a diverse sample of occupations and workers.

Work-Life Balance

In addition to the culture of workplace safety that employers establish, an imbalance between work and family life was also found to affect the rate of workplace injury. The study found that when workers felt that their work life was interfering with their family life – or vice versa – the rate of injuries rose 37 percent.

“We used to think work was one thing and family was another, but now there is a realization that work-life balance affects performance and productivity,” DeJoy said.

The study looked at nine factors that may influence workplace safety: relations between management and employees, safety climate, the effectiveness of the workplace, type of work, the potential for promotion or other advancement, the adequacy of resources, employee work-life balance, support provided by management, and worker participation. The study also considered the ethnic background of workers.

To see the full study, visit sciencedirect.com.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

The study shows how important it is for employers to create a positive safety culture for employees – one that doesn’t just put safety measures in place but that actively promotes the importance of safety. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.

North Carolina teenage driving laws tough enough? Study says no

Do you know what the laws are for teenagers to obtain a driver’s license in North Carolina? You must be at least 15 years old to get a learner’s permit. But the education process for a driver’s license can begin at 14 ½ years old. Teenagers in North Carolina can eventually obtain a license with restrictions until they are 18 years old, when they are eligible to receive an unrestricted driver’s license.

North Carolina’s laws might seem strict. But they aren’t tough enough, according to a recent national study. An estimated 83 lives could be saved every year in North Carolina if the state adopted phased-in teen driving privileges. That’s the conclusion of a study done by the National Safety Council. Nationwide, the study estimates that 2,000 traffic fatalities each year could be prevented if states had tougher phased-in teen driving laws, also known as graduated driver licensing (GDL).

What would you do if you were injured in an accident caused by a teenage driver? Who would you trust to help you put your life back on track? You may need an experienced North Carolina teen auto accident attorney on your side. You may need the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.

Serving clients in North Carolina, the dedicated attorneys at our law firm work tirelessly every day for clients. We can help you decide the best course of action, including whether to file a North Carolina car accident lawsuit. We understand how traumatic an auto accident can be for someone. Allow us to help you fight for the settlement you may deserve. Contact a North Carolina teenage auto accident attorney who puts people first. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.

If states truly want to save lives, they should adopt seven specific rules for teenage drivers that regularly result in fewer accidents, according to the National Safety Council. These rules include states waiting until drivers are 16 years old to issue a learner’s permit and 16½ years old to issue an intermediate license.

Auto accidents can be confusing. Knowing what to do afterwards can be overwhelming. Allow us to help you cut through the confusion. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. We’re on your side.

North Carolina Sees Rise in Workplace Deaths

Workers should be able to expect a safe working environment. Yet everyday, workers across North Carolina are seriously injured or even killed on the job.

Last year, despite the availability of safety and health training programs designed to avoid these tragedies, North Carolina actually saw a rise in the number of workplace fatalities. The North Carolina Department of Labor announced that 53 people died on the job in 2011, an increase of three fatalities from the previous year.

Workplace Fatalities, By the Numbers

Accidents involving workers being hit by vehicles or equipment were the most significant cause of work-related deaths (18 of the 53 deaths), and construction workers were the most at risk of suffering fatal accidents (16 of the 53 deaths). Here are some other highlights from the report:

  • 17 workers died as a result of falls
  • Deaths in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries increased 150 percent (from 4 to 10)
  • Wake County saw the most fatalities of any county in the state (6)
  • The majority of work-related deaths were men (52 of 53)

There were some bright spots in the report. The finance, insurance, real-estate, service, and manufacturing industries saw a decline in the number of workplace deaths. There were no work-related fatalities in 67 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Preventable Workplace Tragedy

Though the rise in the number of work-related deaths was small, it shows that accidents can still happen and that employers need to take safety seriously.

“The real tragedy is that all of these fatalities could have been avoided by having proper  safety and health training, which we provide free of charge,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in a statement. “I encourage all employers to pick up the phone and call the Department of Labor to take advantage of our safety training services that are customized to meet their specific needs.”

One death on the job is too many. If you lost a loved one to a work-related accident, would you be comforted by hearing that there was only a “slight” increase in incidents across the state?

If you or a loved one were seriously injured on the job, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help. Contact us right now to discuss the details of your case and find out if we can help. Your initial case evaluation is free.

MedPay

Often times those injured in a car accident struggle with paying for medical treatment, but are unaware that their own car insurance policy may provide coverage for medical expenses. By the time the injured party calls an attorney there may be large gaps in medical treatment that can significantly damage the case. One way to pay for hospital and doctor bills related to a car accident may be through “Med Pay.”

Medical Payments coverage, also known as Med Pay, may be used to pay for reasonable expenses incurred for necessary medical and funeral services because of bodily injury caused by an automobile accident. This coverage may be used for the insured or any family member while occupying, or as a pedestrian when struck by, a motor vehicle. Coverage may also be provided to any other person while occupying the covered vehicle or any other motor vehicle operated by the named insured or by a family member. It is important to know that fault is irrelevant where Med Pay is concerned, and thus if you have Med Pay coverage then you are likely entitled to this benefit regardless of who caused the accident. North Carolina regards MedPay coverage as supplemental and not mandatory, so it is important to speak to a lawyer to determine if this coverage is available to you. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin today to learn if your medical expenses may be covered by Med Pay.