Posts tagged with "safety"

Helpful tips when choosing a safe daycare center for your child

How to find a safe daycare for your kids

Finding a reliable daycare for your children is an anxiety-provoking event. You are turning your child over to others to take care of during the day, completely out of your sight. Very often people ask attorneys at our firm what they can do to ensure that their child is going to be looked after appropriately.

We always give them the same advice and tell them to go to the daycare center, make sure that it’s clean, talk to the people that run the daycare center and really try to feel them out and get to know them. Find out if they’ve taken a CPR course. See if they’ve taken a first aid course.

Find out if they’re insured.

Many people are shocked to learn that daycare centers in Massachusetts don’t need to be insured. There’s currently no law here requiring that they have insurance.

You want to ask those questions and determine whether or not if this is a place that you would want to leave your child. If you do, make sure you return a day or two later unannounced just to see how they’re taking care of the other children. That will give you some level of comfort in knowing that you’ve picked the right place.

Like anything, the more avid the parent is in making sure that their child is going to be safe, the greater the likelihood that the child will be safe in daycare.

If it’s too late for your family to avoid a daycare accident, or you want to hear what your legal rights are, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 and we’ll be happy to talk to you.

Boston needs to dedicate more lanes to make bicyclist safety better, and drivers and passengers need to watch before opening their doors.

Here’s the latest reason why Boston is dangerous for bicyclists

It’s happened again.

A bicyclist was travelling lawfully on a street in Cambridge when she was “doored” by someone coming out of landscaping truck. The woman was thrown from the bike and into traffic where she sustained significant injuries.

We need, as a community, to come up with common sense bike paths that will keep riders safe. Alternatively, or in conjunction with that initiative, we need to better educate the motoring public to look in their rearview and side mirrors before opening their vehicles’ doors. Without raising public awareness to this very serious situation, this pattern is bound to repeat itself over and over again.

Perhaps urging law makers to get behind public service messages that go beyond “Click or Ticket” and directly deal with this issue is long overdue. The Boston Cyclists Union has done an incredible job of making cycling a mainstream option for commuters and continues to push the envelope in that direction. But the more bicyclists who choose this as an alternative form of transportation, the more imperative it becomes to educate motorists of the inherent dangers of sharing the roadways with these very cyclists.

Most likely, by the description of the accident, this poor woman will have suffered life altering injuries that could have been wholly avoided if someone had merely taken a second to check their mirror before swinging their door open. Please be mindful and pass this sentiment along.

Bicycle safety is much easier when you pay attention to your surroundings

Bicycle safety is everyone’s responsibility

Now that the nice weather is returning, the streets will again soon be filled with bicyclists who are out to get fresh air and/or get back in shape.  Biking is more popular than ever.  One study reveals that between 2000 and 2009, the number of bike commuters grew 70% across the entire United States.

Returning to an outdoor lifestyle after enduring a typically frigid New England winter is a special if fleeting experience.  As any New Englander knows, a return to the outdoors is something that is treasured and earned with patience and endurance during the many cold, dark days that preceded.  You’ll want to ensure that you are safe as you enjoy the return of summer and by observing a few simple tips, you can increase your odds

  1. Most experts agree that bicyclists should alwayswear a helmet.  Your chances of surviving an accident are exponentially increased if you take care to wear a safety helmet.  Today, there are many to choose from .  You should do some preliminary research before you buy.  You should hold your vanity in check.  Remember that the helmet that looks best on you may not necessarily be the safest.
  1. Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic.  Bicycles are considered “vehicles” and are usually expected to observe the same traffic controls as cars.  This means you need to “stop” at a stop sign, etc.
  1. Whenever possible, get off the beaten path.  You’ll find that the beauty of your surroundings increases proportionally to the decrease in traffic.
  1. Make sure your bicycle is equippedwith a light, a mirror, a bell and a water bottle.  The light will increase your visibility; the mirror will allow you to see vehicles that are approaching your position; the bell will remind those traveling in proximity that you are nearby; and the water will keep you hydrated on those humid New England days.
  1. Refrain from wearing headphones.  You should use all of  your senses while biking.
  1. Be aware that even motorists who make active use of their mirrors still have to contend with blind spots. Avoid finding yourself in an area where a motorist can’t see you.
  1. Wear bright, reflective clothing and bike in a straight, predictable path.  The more steady and visible you are, the less likely you are to be in a collision.
  1. Don’t become distracted by your phone.  Texting or prolonged talking while biking is a recipe for disaster.
  1. Learn and use hand signals.  Like driving a car, you want to “telegraph” what your intentions are before you actually turn.
  1. Make sure your bicycle is in good repair. It is wise to have your bike “tuned up” at the end of the biking season to make sure that everything is working as it should.

Observing these simple tips will keep you safe, enhance your biking experience and give you piece of mind.

The federal government and OSHA do not report all worksite deaths and accidents

OSHA Database Underreports Workplace Fatalities

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the division of the U.S. Department of Labor charged with protecting the safety of employees in the workplace. OSHA’s etission is to prevent construction accidents, industrial injuries, and other workplace accidents. It seeks to do this through setting and enforcing safety standards, designing and delivering education and training programs, and engaging in outreach activity.

Unfortunately, OSHA sometimes falls far short of accomplishing its mission. For example, OSHA officials admitted in November 2011 that one of the ways the agency uses to monitor workplace safety – a database tracking workplace fatalities – is deficient in several key respects. OSHA’s lack of information is troubling because people need to know how many workplace deaths occur and the reasons for them in order to improve workplace safety.

Causes of Workplace Deaths

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 4,547 workplace fatalities in 2010. Massachusetts saw 51 workplace fatalities in 2010, down from 59 in 2009. The BLS reported that the causes of deaths in the workplace for 2010 were:

• Transportation incidents – 39 percent

• Assaults and violent acts – 18 percent

• Contact with objects or equipment – 16 percent

• Falls – 14 percent

• Exposure to harmful substances – nine percent

• Fire or explosions – four percent

OSHA Database Failure

OSHA has a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), wherein OSHA partners with employers who have injury and fatality rates below the BLS average for their industries. In exchange for proactively working on safety measures, the employers in the VPP are exempt from regular OSHA inspections.

One of the main deficits in OSHA’s workplace fatality data is that it does not include deaths that happened at employers in the VPP. By cross-referencing OSHA data and BLS data, the Center for Public Integrity discovered that OSHA data did not include 15 workplace fatalities that occurred between 2000 and 2010 because these deaths happened at VPP participant employers.

Another area in which OSHA does not have data is workplace fatalities that occur in the 21 states that administer their own version of OSHA’s VPP.

These are major gaps in the database and make it difficult for OSHA to do its job properly.

OSHA officials say they are taking steps to fill the information gap regarding workplace fatalities in VPP participant employers. OSHA’s second-highest official concedes the importance of following up on fatalities at VPP participant employers and including that information in OSHA data. OSHA’s main office has issued memos on the topic to regional offices in the past few years.

Preventing Workplace Deaths

OSHA and employers can take steps to make the number of workplace deaths decrease further. Some ideas include:

• Make safety a key value for owners and managers

• Train employees in safety techniques

• Engage employees in making the workplace safer

• Monitor employees’ actions to ensure compliance with safety regulations

• Analyze “near-miss” accidents so that they do not happen again and to discover any safeguards that functioned properly to prevent fatalities

People have the right to demand safe workplaces. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help pursue proper compensation for your injuries.

On cyclist safety (again)

Further to last weeks post on cycling safety, another tragedy occurred last night when a young lady was struck by a car in Cambridge, MA. Cyclists and pedestrians need to be constantly vigilant when traveling aside today’s drivers

Texting while driving has become a national crisis rivaling drinking and Driving. I feel confident in assuming that there are millions of more people texting and driving as opposed to drinking a driving. How any state can allow a driver to be distracted so frequently is beyond me. This activity needs to be forbidden as nothing short of a national health hazard. On the surface, many of these accidents just look like … well … accidents. But as we dig deeper we find that road design, construction site set-ups, and texting are at the heart of many of these tragedies. Something has to be done. Unfortunate but true, our society only pays attention to these things when it reaches epidemic proportions, or when a law suit helps crystallize the argument.

On cyclist safety

The tragedy that happened in New Hampshire this weekend brings into stark focus the issue of cyclist safety. Our law firm’s affiliation with the Boston Cyclist Union has made us acutely aware of the dangers cyclists face from negligent drivers.

Be it texting while driving, drinking and driving, or just inattention, cyclists remain at risk. The New Hampshire State Police are treating this as a criminal matter, as they should. Who knows who may ultimately be at fault for this senseless act. But it’s high time that the entire country look to jurisdictions such as New Jersey, who are making it a crime to be texting someone who you know is driving. In other words, you don’t have to be the one behind the wheel to be responsible in such situations. We have gotten creative about bringing such actions and remain vigilant in this regard. Just glancing at a text message while driving can claim a life. Saddest part of all is that the texter’s life is not the only one at risk. Other motorists, and even more so, cyclists and pedestrians are at far greater risk of death or serious injury due to the sheer lack of protection. We as a society need to take aggressive steps to end the ability for drivers to send or receive texts. And that aim should be pursued as vigorously as steps to curb drunk driving.