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What are the top safety hazards on a construction site?

Working on a construction site, day in and day out, can be an enjoyable experience. There is no better feeling than watching your hard work build something that will help others and endure for years.

Unfortunately, construction sites can be dangerous at times. If you aren't careful with what you're doing, you could find yourself dealing with an injury that could change your life.

Injured railroad worker? You have rights

As a Chicago railroad worker, you know that there are constant hazards that you have to watch out for while on the job. In the early days of railroading, the occupation was so dangerous that the United States eventually passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in 1908. The Act is still in place and provides protections for thousands of railroad employees and their families. In general, FELA provides a legal option for recovering medical expenses and lost wages that result from rail workers' injuries.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, FELA gives you the option of filing a claim with your employer, the railroad company itself or taking your case to a federal or state court. In addition, FELA also sets the standards for working conditions, employer liability and employee safety. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a railroad worker, you might be entitled to compensation through FELA. To find out more about FELA, read below.

There are a few key steps to take after a car crash

A car crash can cause damage to your vehicle, but it can also lead to a serious injury or even death. While you hope that you never have a car accident in the future, you need to be prepared for anything that could happen while you are on the road.

Here are some of the many steps you need to take after a car crash:

  • Move your car to a safe place. This is not always possible, such as if you suffered injuries or the car is immobilized, but it's something you should attempt when possible. For example, move your car to the shoulder of the road. However, don't get out of your vehicle until you know that it is 100 percent safe to do so.
  • Check for injuries. In addition to yourself, you should check any passengers for injuries. Just because you don't immediately recognize an injury doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You may be so focused on what's happening around you that you overlook a potentially life-threatening injury that requires immediate attention.
  • Call 911. Doing so can reassure everyone that first responders, police and ambulances are on their way to the accident scene.The police officer will take control of the situation and summarize the events in a later report. An ambulance will ensure that you receive immediate medical attention.
  • Take notes and exchange information. It's important to take notes regarding the circumstances preceding the collision and those immediately following it. These notes will come in handy later. Also, don't forget to take pictures at the scene. e.g., the skid marks, vehicles' final resting place, etc.
  • Don't sign anything from an insurance company. While there is nothing wrong with contacting your insurance company to file a claim, you shouldn't sign anything until you learn more about your legal rights.

Trucks are exceedingly dangerous to others on the road

Truck drivers have an obligation to others on the road. Since they drive such large vehicles, they have the potential to cause serious accidents. It's their job to be on the roads, but it's also vital that they are cautious and trained appropriately to avoid crashes.

Truck accidents happen for many reasons, most of which could be prevented completely. For example, a driver who is distracted may look away from the road long enough to go over the center line. A driver who is eating behind the wheel may spill a drink and make a driving error as a result.

How your cellphone can help after a serious car accident

Safety after a serious car accident was one of the driving factors that popularized cellphones. No matter where you are or how bad the accident may be, you have the option of contacting emergency services right away. For parents of young drivers, knowing their child was carrying a phone was a source of comfort.

Nowadays, cellphones are often denigrated when it comes to car accidents. It is true that talking, reading or texting on your cellphone could result in a distracted driving crash. Your cellphone, used properly, could also be an important tool for your safety and recovery after a car crash.

Preserving evidence after an injury

When you are in a slip and fall accident at a business, one of the first things you need to do is to get medical attention for any injuries. According to the CDC, about 20 percent of all falls cause a serious injury, for example a broken bone or head injury. The business may have paperwork that you will need to complete to turn into their insurance company, but your health needs to come first. Once you have received medical attention, you can turn your energy toward preserving and gathering evidence if you believe negligence caused your fall. 

Here are the steps to take following an injury: 

  • Contact the business and follow the instructions for reporting the accident to the insurance company. When making the report, only state the facts. Be objective, not subjective.
  • Make notes of what happened and write down any information you have. It might surprise you how much a person forgets over time. Do not forget to include information about the weather if that was a factor in your accident.
  • Return to the scene to take photos. If you have someone who can take pictures of the scene before you go to the doctor, that could be a good option.
  • Take down the names of any witnesses, including employees. If the person did not witness the actual accident but came to your aid, get that person’s name and contact information as well.
  • Save any physical evidence pertaining to your accident, such as clothing, shoes or personal property which was damaged.
  • Keep a folder with any documentation from your injuries, including medical bills and reports. If you filled out an accident claim form at the business, ask for a copy for your records. 
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