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Construction Accidents: Ladder Safety Tips

Construction workers suffer from some of the highest injury rates within the domestic workforce. According to a report from the United States Department of Labor, “one in five worker deaths . . . [are] in construction.” In the year 2017, 971 construction workers were either killed or fatally injured while on the job. What was the leading cause of these fatalities? According to the Department of Labor, almost 40 percent of worker deaths were the result of serious falls.

There are several factors that may be linked to the high number of fall deaths among construction workers, including the unsafe use of ladders. In a publication from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), researchers stated that “ladders are [a] major [source] of injuries and fatalities among construction workers . . . many of [these] injuries are serious enough to require time off the job.”

For any worker, taking time off work to receive medical treatment can have devastating financial consequences — especially if that treatment is long-term. If you work in construction, you can reduce your risk of falling by following a few important safety tips:  

  • Make sure that the ladder you are using is well-maintained and does not have any defects or weak points
  • Place the base of the ladder is on a strong, level surface
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Clean and maintain the soles of your shoes to maximize traction
  • Use towlines, a tool belt, or an assistant to carry your tools while climbing
  • If you are standing on a ladder, do not under any circumstances try to move it
  • Do not overextend, overreach, or lean away from a ladder while you are on it, as you could lose your center of balance and risk falling off
  • Follow the “Three Point-of-Contact Climb” rule, where you always maintain at least three points of contact with your limbs to the ladder while climbing.

Contact a New York Falling Hazard Attorney

Employers have a responsibility to their workers to maintain a safe, hazard-free working environment. If you were hurt in a ladder injury due to inadequate training, safety, supervision, or another reason, contact the New York construction accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and your legal options.

 

 


Birth Injuries Caused by Improper Use of Forceps

The birth of a child should be one of the happiest and exciting times in a new parent’s life. However, this excitement can be overshadowed by birth injuries caused by the negligence of medical professionals. Unfortunately, birth injuries are all too common. According to birth injury statistics, an average of 28 thousand infants are born with a birth injury each year. Among some of the most common injuries are head and brain traumas, which take place when the infant’s skull is subjected to too much — or improperly placed — pressure.

One of the leading causes of head and brain trauma in new-born infants is the improper use of forceps by medical professionals. Forceps are a birth-assisting tool, typically used by physicians when a mother cannot push a baby out on her own during delivery. However, the tools are seen by many obstetricians as so risky that many no longer use them. Many potential complications could arise with the use of forceps.

For the mother, these complications include:

  • Lacerations and tears in the lower genital tract
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Injuries to the bladder
  • Injuries to the urethra
  • Perineum pain

For the Infant, these complications include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Skull fractures
  • Hemorrhaging in the skull and brain
  • Bruising and swelling in the skull and brain
  • Seizures
  • Facial injuries or facial palsy

Sadly, there are many reported cases of infant fatalities due to the improper use of forceps. According to a conclusive study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, researchers found that forceps are “associated with increased rates of severe perinatal morbidity and mortality.”

Contact a New York Forcep Birth Injury Lawyer

If a doctor or attending nurse was negligent or careless in the use of forceps during delivery, both the mother and infant are at risk of serious injury. If someone close to you was harmed by the use of forceps during delivery, contact the New York birth injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP right away. We will be ready to discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation when you call (212) 779-0057.


Prescription Opioid Abuse: Who Is Responsible?

Prescription opioids are powerful painkillers that can produce morphine-like effects. Typically, they are prescribed for short-term pain relief after surgeries and injuries, or certain health conditions like cancer. However, more and more medical professionals have been prescribing opioids to treat long-term pain, such as osteoarthritis or back-pain, despite the high risk they pose for addiction and overdose. 

Opioid abuse is a growing epidemic within the United States and continues to claim the lives of thousands of Americans each year. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers have estimated that an average of 130 people die from an opioid overdose every day. This equates to over 47 thousand fatalities each year.

Prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine, are highly addictive. Anyone who takes these prescription medications is vulnerable to developing an addiction — even when they are taken as directed. In fact, “as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction,” states the CDC. The use of opioids can also have several side effects, including:

  • Tolerance
  • Physical dependence
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Sleepiness and dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Depression

In cases of opioid overdose, liability can be challenging to prove. However, by taking legal action against the manufacturers, it may be possible to attribute responsibility to drug wholesalers and manufacturers for contributing to addiction and abuse. In a report from NPR, 41 states — including New York — have joined a coalition to investigate drug manufacturers for supplying opioids to their markets. All over the U.S., multiple states and municipalities are filing lawsuits against potentially liable parties. With the opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, more lawsuits against negligent doctors and drugmakers are sure to come.

Contact a New York Prescription Drug Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered from a prescription opioid addiction or overdose, you are not alone. If you or a loved one were harmed due to a prescription opioid given to you by a negligent doctor or another medical professional, our attorneys could help you seek justice and fair compensation. Be sure to reach out to us at (212) 779-0057 or online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with us today.


Driving on Black Ice

Driving during the winter not only means dealing with frosted windshields, colder temperatures, and snowy roadways — it also means dealing with black ice. “Black” ice isn’t really black, it’s transparent. This is why it has the potential to be so dangerous. Often times, drivers on the road aren’t able to detect the black ice until it’s too late. Accidents involving black ice can be terrifying, as they often involve multiple vehicles and serious injuries. By understanding how to handle driving in situations with black ice, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a serious car accident.

What is Black Ice?

Black ice can form on roads, sidewalks, and driveways after a light freezing rain, or the melting and refreezing of snow. Because it forms without bubbles, it appears transparent. This quality effectively makes black ice transparent, and difficult to detect on the road in advance.

Where and When to Expect Black Ice 

Typically, black ice forms either at night or in the early mornings when temperatures are lowest. Black ice will be most commonly located in areas where there isn’t much sunshine, such as along a tree-lines route or tunnel. If roads are less frequently traveled on, black ice is more likely to be present.

How to Tell if You’re Driving On Black Ice 

In the right lighting conditions, it is sometimes possible to detect black ice on the roads. If you see a smooth, glossy surface on the pavement, black ice is most likely present. Sometimes, cars ahead of you may seem to swerve or slow down for no apparent reason. However, this may be due to the presence of black ice on the road.

Driving Over Black Ice

If you do encounter black ice on the road, remember that it is very important to stay calm. Do not immediately hit your brakes, as this could cause your vehicle to spin out. Instead, take your foot completely off the gas, and keep your steering wheel straight. Try to do as little as possible until your car passes over the ice.

Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer

Drivers must be extra cautious on roadways during the winter. Unfortunately, accidents happen all the time. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck because of a reckless or negligent driver who failed to exercise caution when driving in inclement weather, you have the right to seek compensation. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our team of experienced New York car accident lawyers can help you get the justice that you deserve when you call us at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your case. 

 

 

 


Poisonous Holiday Plants

As residents in New York City prepare for the holidays, people will be lining their homes with gorgeous seasonal greenery such as holly, mistletoe, yew, ivy, and poinsettias. However, what many people don’t realize is that these plants can be toxic — or even fatal — if ingested. Unfortunately, children are the most at-risk of being poisoned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “over 300 children in the United States . . . are treated in an emergency department, and two children die [from accidental poisoning].” By becoming educated on how these holiday plants can impact the health of your child, you can help reduce the risk of poisoning in your own home.

  • Holly – While the leaves of a holly plant are non-toxic, the berries can be poisonous if ingested. In children and pets, symptoms can be seen if even two berries are consumed. Swallowing these berries can cause diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, and dehydration. In severe cases, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary.
  • Mistletoe – Some species of this plant contain viscotoxins, which are poisonous proteins that can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed heartbeat, and other reactions. All parts of this plant (including berries, stems, and leaves) are considered toxic.
  • Yew – Yew plants contain the poisonous chemical compounds, Taxine and Taxol. In a 2015 study focused on the toxicity of the plant, researchers found that “patients who ingest a lethal dose [of yew] frequently die due to cardiogenic shock, in spite of resuscitation efforts.” The berries and needles of this plant are poisonous.
  • Ivy – English ivy, otherwise known as Hedera Helix, is toxic to both humans and animals. The leaves can cause severe contact dermatitis, blisters, and skin inflammation. The berries, which are a deep purple color, may cause a burning feeling in the digestive tract, breathing issues, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, hallucinations, and even seizures.
  • Poinsettias – Ingesting the leaves of a poinsettia can lead to mild cases of nausea and vomiting in humans. In pets, these symptoms can be more severe. If the sap of the plant comes into contact with the skin, it can lead to mild irritation.

If your child or loved one has ingested a toxic amount of any of these plants, do not hesitate to call the Poison Control Center for immediate advice. While a trip to the emergency room may be necessary, it is preferable to losing a loved one.

Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer

The holidays should be spent spreading cheer and showing generosity, not worrying about unexpected cases of poisoning. If you or your child became ill due to a negligent property owner’s failure to warn you about dangerous plants in their home or on their property,  call Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights. 


Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are They?

For those who celebrate Christmas, Christmas trees are an essential holiday decoration. Real Christmas trees can brighten up a home, spread holiday warmth, and help the environment. Unfortunately, they can also be a fire hazard. According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fires caused an average of 160 home fires, fifteen injuries, and three deaths from 2013 to 2017. Annually, these fires contributed to approximately $10 million in property damage.

Home fires are a serious matter, no matter what the cause may be. According to the NFPA, fires involving Christmas trees have much higher fatality rates than fires caused by other factors. Researchers have estimated that for every 52 Christmas tree fires, there is one death. Compared to the national average of one death for every 135 reported house fires, Christmas tree fires are almost three times more likely to result in a fatality.

The most common causes of Christmas tree fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. According to researchers from the NFPA, 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires were attributed to these factors. Twenty-five percent of Christmas tree fires involved a heat source, such as candles or space heaters, being too close to the tree. In almost 40 percent of reported cases, Christmas tree fires began in the living room.

During any time of year, it is essential to monitor your home for fire hazards. The holidays are no different. To ensure that your home is not at risk for a Christmas tree fire, you can take the following precautions:

  • Place Christmas trees away from flammable heat sources, such as candles or space heaters.
  • Make sure that any lights you decorate your tree with are not defective or damaged in any way. If you notice that your lights have cracked plugs, frayed wires, or bent prongs, do not use them.
  • Do not leave any lights or electronics on your Christmas tree plugged in while unattended. Be sure to unplug decorations on your Christmas tree every night before going to bed.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended around your tree for long periods
  • Make sure that your tree is adequately hydrated. Dried-out trees are significantly more likely to catch fire, making them serious fire hazards.

 Contact a New York Premises Liability Attorney

The holidays should be a time for celebration and happiness, not for tragedy and loss. If you or someone you know has suffered injury from fire caused by a negligent party, the experienced premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will be there to help you get justice and fair compensation if a negligent party caused a fire that harmed you. Call us today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation. 

 


Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Perhaps one of the most frightening aspects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is the fact that most victims don’t even realize when it’s happening to them. This is because CO is a colorless, odorless gas that humans cannot detect with their senses alone. Often times, victims don’t even realize something is wrong until they begin showing signs of sickness. Unfortunately, CO poisoning claims the lives of hundreds of people each year.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 25 thousand Americans must seek medical attention for serious cases of CO poisoning every year. Annually, an average of approximately 400 people each year die because of fatal CO exposure.

CO fumes are created by the incomplete combustion of fuels within machinery such as cars, trucks, stoves, small engines, grills, lanterns, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. If these CO fumes build up indoors, they can slowly and silently poison both humans and animals who breathe them in. According to the CDC, “People who are sleeping, intoxicated, or otherwise incapacitated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.”

 It is extremely important to recognize the signs of potential CO poisoning within your own home, so you can reduce the risk of potential illness or death. Some of the most common symptoms of CO poisoning in humans include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • “Flu-like” symptoms

CO poisoning is a silent danger that many Americans unknowingly face on a daily basis. To ensure that you and your family remain safe, make sure that your home is outfitted with an up-to-date, battery-operated CO detector that will immediately alert you should danger arise.

Contact a New York Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered a CO-related injury or if you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a property owner, know that help is available to you. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our experienced premises liability attorneys will seek justice on your behalf and take every necessary action to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.


Safety Tips for Winter Drivers

When the seasons begin to change and temperatures fall, icy roads can become a hazard for many drivers. According to data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement annually.” This means that drivers must exercise extra caution when traveling on pavement that’s been frosted over. To reduce your risk of being involved in a serious car accident because of the winter weather, you can follow these tips:

 Stay Inside

When weather conditions are less than favorable, it’s important to remember that you should only go out when it’s absolutely necessary. In many cases, the most severe car accidents can be avoided by just staying inside.

Be Prepared

To ensure that your vehicle drives as safely and efficiently as possible, have it regularly maintained. This includes making sure your lights, brakes, and tires are all functioning properly.

Take It Slow

The amount of traction that your car’s tires have on the pavement is significantly reduced by ice and snow. This means that driving too fast can increase your vehicle’s chances of skidding or spinning out. Don’t take the risk of speeding on an icy road — slow down.

Increase Your Following Distance

Because it takes longer for your vehicle to come to a full stop on icy roads, increase the distance between your car and the car in front of you while driving. This will decrease your chances of rear-ending someone because you couldn’t stop in time.

Apply Your Brakes Gently

Remember, your car loses traction when you’re driving it over icy, slippery roads. If you apply your brakes too quickly, you risk the chance of skidding and spinning out. 

Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident because of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to seek legal action. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we will guide you through the necessary steps to secure financial compensation, and help you move on with your life.


The Dangers of Space Heaters

With temperatures falling and holiday season just around the corner, many people are dusting off their space heaters to stay warm and cozy during the winter. However, defective space heaters can pose as a deadly fire hazard. Unfortunately, even space heaters that are correctly manufactured and fully functioning can be a significant risk.

According to a report from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi), “heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.” Each year, over 65 thousand residential fires are caused by heating equipment. The result? Millions in property damage, thousands of serious injuries, and hundreds of fatalities each year.

It is extremely important to exercise caution when using these space heaters, as there can be many underlying risks. To help minimize the risks of space heater use, here are some safety tips that you can practice in your own home.

  • Ensure that your space heater is up-to-date, and is certified with a label from a nationally recognized testing agency like Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek ETL Semko or Canadian Standards Association.
  • Before you use any kind of space heater, make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
  • Always inspect your space heater for frayed wires, cracked or broken plugs, and loose connections before using it. If the space heater is worn, damaged, or defective in any way, refrain from using it.
  • Never plug any type of space heater into a power strip — always use a wall outlet. Extension cords and power strips are not designed to handle the extra energy needed to power a space heater.
  • Do not leave your space heater running while unattended, especially around children or pets. Before leaving, make sure your space heater is switched off, unplugged, and safely stored away.
  • Allow your space heater to cool before storing it away.
  • Only use space heaters for their intended purpose. Do not use them to heat bedding, clothing, or food.
  • Place your space heater in a non-flammable area, such as a ceramic tile floor. Be sure to keep it away from curtains, bedding, rugs, papers, or other things that could easily catch on fire.
  • Always keep your smoke alarm running and functional with regular inspections.

Contact a New York Product Liability Lawyer

Unfortunately, even when following all of these tips, defective space heaters are still sold to thousands of customers every year. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. If you suffered an injury because of a defective space heater, contact an attorney to discuss your rights and legal options. Our experienced New York premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, will conduct a thorough investigation to obtain justice on your behalf.


Dangers Lurking in Older Buildings in NYC

While living in an older building can be charming, there are often hidden dangers that could cause severe injury, illness, and chronic conditions. From deteriorating infrastructure to lead paint, older homes and apartments are full of potential health hazards that property owners may not take note of during inspections.

The best way to avoid and reduce these potential hazards is to become aware of their sources. This list breaks down three potential dangers lurking within older homes.

Outdated Electrical Wiring

Wiring techniques have been vastly improved to maximize both efficiency and safety. Within older homes, however, obsolete wiring could increase the risk of fires. According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “for the past ten years, electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming an average of nearly 350 lives each year.” Issues with electrical wiring each year cause over 40 thousand fires.

Lead Paint

 According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.” It can also cause “behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.” Before 1978, the use of lead paint in homes and apartments was not regulated by the federal government. This means that families living in older homes are especially vulnerable to potential lead poisoning.

Asbestos 

Before the federal government banned the use of asbestos, it was widely used as a construction material for office buildings, train stations, apartments, homes, and more. However, asbestos has been flagged by numerous health organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for being a cancer-causing substance that can lead to long-term, life-threatening illness. The use of asbestos in homes wasn’t banned until the 1970s. However, any asbestos present within homes built before the ban was allowed to remain. Older homes are particularly susceptible to having asbestos in their construction.

Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer

Property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their guests. If you or a loved one has experienced illness, injury, or death due to a negligent property owner, you may be entitled to pursue legal action. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our knowledgeable team of attorneys will fight for the financial compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

 


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