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Oklahoma City Personal Injury Law Blog

Are you prepared for the many hazards you will face as a trucker?

Transportation and logistics play significant roles in the economy of Oklahoma, and so do the brave men and women who spend many hours facing the numerous hazards of operating big rigs. If you are new to the trucking industry or considering making a career as a trucker, you might be interested in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's report that truckers experience more non-fatal injuries than workers in any other industry. Commercial truck drivers face much more than the dangers of road accidents.

To limit the number of injuries and deaths caused by fatigued and exhausted truck operators, the U.S. Department of Transportation regulates the number of hours the operators may drive before taking mandatory rest periods. However, many other aspects of trucking are hazardous.

Avoiding truck accidents as a pedestrian or bicyclist

Commercial vehicle operators use Oklahoma as a main thoroughfare for hauling their loads to destinations across the United States. The large number of big rigs on the roadways of the state can threaten not only smaller vehicles but also pedestrians and bicyclists, as not all commercial vehicle drivers make an effort to look out for those in their immediate vicinities.

As a pedestrian or bicyclist, you're obviously going to be moving a lot slower than most vehicles, and you will have little to no protection, making you significantly more vulnerable than most others sharing the roadways.

Common hazards faced by landscapers

If you are an employee of any of the landscaping companies in Oklahoma City, you would want to be sure you are part of a work crew that is protected by a comprehensive safety plan. If your employer complies with the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you can be sure of management's commitment to prioritize workplace safety. This will increase your chances of going home safely after every workday.

You will need assurance that your employer has safety protocols in place to identify workplace hazards and address them before illnesses or injuries occur. The company's safety plan should include adequate training to equip you and your co-workers with the ability to recognize potential hazards and know what steps to take to protect yourselves.

Work in health care? An injury could be in your future

Working in health care can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Sadly, it is also a dangerous one. Oklahoma health care workers are more likely to suffer an injury or serious illness on the job than those in any other industry.

If you work in a hospital, residential facility, private physician's office or anywhere in the health care field, you may not realize the insufficient safety standards in your workplace. Few people do until they suffer the consequences.

The hazards of bicycles and automobiles sharing the same roads

If you are an avid bicyclist, you were likely eager to get your bicycle out of storage after the harsh winter. National Bicycle Safety Month in May reminded bicycle riders and motorists in Oklahoma of the need to share the road effectively. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the numbers of fatal bicycle accidents are on the rise.

A safety advocate for the Auto Club Group said a survey indicated that the primary concern of most cyclists is a car striking them, followed by a fear of distracted drivers. She said the warmer weather would bring more cyclists onto the roads, and she urged both bicycle riders and motorists to demonstrate courtesy and care.

Trucking accident? What caused it, and who could be held liable?

As a motorist in Oklahoma, you have probably noticed that more and more commercial vehicles share the highways with you. Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and tanker trucks travel through our state to reach delivery points across the country. With the increased number of big rigs comes the higher risk of truck vs. passenger vehicle accidents, and the significant difference in size and weight often allows truck operators to walk away unscathed while occupants of cars usually suffer catastrophic injuries -- if they survive.

Although most truck drivers are aware of their increased responsibility to drive with care, some may be a little more lax behind the wheel, which can lead to serious crashes involving other motorists. If you or a loved one are suffering the consequences of a truck accident that was not your fault, the cause of the crash will determine who might be liable for your damages.

Do you have a claim to vocational rehabilitation benefits?

When you are hurt at work, it can have a significant impact on your life, especially your finances. Fortunately, there are workers' compensation benefits available for individuals who suffered injuries in the workplace or became ill due to occupational exposure. These benefits cover your medical bills, a portion of your lost wages and more. 

Depending on the nature of your situation, these benefits can also cover certain needs if you are unable to return to the same job you had before your accident. These are vocational rehabilitation benefits, and certain Oklahoma employees may qualify for them if their injuries prevent them from working in the same capacity they did before the accident.

Even experienced motorcyclists face multiple deadly hazards

If you enjoy taking to the Oklahoma roads on your motorcycle, you might be aware of the many hazards that could threaten your life. While biking can be so much fun, it can also be dangerous, regardless of how experienced you are. Although many people immediately assume a biker's negligence when they hear about a motorcycle accident, most such incidents involve negligent motorists.

Riding on two wheels requires a whole lot more skill than driving a vehicle with four wheels. You may face motorcycling hazards that you cannot avoid, some that involve other motorists, and those over which you have control.

Can your job cause Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

While some safety hazards threaten Oklahoma workers in general, others are limited to specific occupations. If you work in the logging industry or as a road construction worker, you might be at risk of developing HAVS -- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. This condition threatens the health of any worker who handles vibrating equipment or tools.

If you are a frequent user of power tools such as a grinder, jackhammer, impact wrench, chainsaw or another hand-held tool that vibrates, you might be one of the estimated two million workers nationwide who could develop HAVS -- according to the US National Safety Council.

Did you suffer injuries due to a common work-related accident?

Injuries on the job can happen to anyone. You may have thought that your duties did not pose much risk to you or that the safety measures in place would prevent you from getting hurt. Unfortunately, this notion does not always prove true, and you -- like other Oklahoma workers -- could easily end up suffering a serious injury. Even if you take precautions to avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk, those actions may not be enough.

In most cases, on-the-job accidents are preventable. Often, oversights in safety measures or failure to follow proper procedures can result in an incident that leads to injury. Even if you follow correct protocol, you could find yourself hurt if a co-worker acts negligently or an employer does not provide necessary safety equipment.

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Litton Law Firm

Litton Law Firm
2601 N.W. Expressway,Suite 209 West
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Phone: 405-896-9724
Fax: 405-308-4141
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