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Construction workers face increased risk in the winter

Construction work has historically been one of the most dangerous career paths in the United States. This is particularly true in urban areas where buildings may tower many stories high. Construction workers often have to work at great heights with dangerous machinery and in questionable weather conditions.

While daily work in construction may pose a risk to construction workers, winter weather conditions can complicate an already perilous career. Learning about potential dangers that you face on the job in the winter can help keep you safe.

Surgeon mistakes kidney for tumor during back surgery

Illinois readers likely can't imagine being put under anesthesia for back surgery and waking up to find out that one of their kidneys had been mistakenly removed. However, that's exactly what happened to a Floria woman, according to a recently filed administrative complaint.

The complaint, which was filed by the Florida Department of Health, says that a 51-year-old woman was admitted to Wellington Regional Medical Center to undergo an anterior spinal fusion in 2016. However, during the procedure, a general surgeon brought in to make the initial incision encountered what he thought was a cancerous tumor in her pelvis. He removed it, and two other surgeons stepped in to complete the spinal procedure.

What fleet owners should know about distracted driving

In a AAA survey, 88 percent of respondents said that they believe distracted driving is on the rise whereas a smaller percentage said the same for aggressive, drugged and drunk driving. Truck fleet owners in Illinois should know the dangers of distracted driving so that they can come up with effective ways to prevent accidents among their drivers.

First of all, there are three types of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting encompasses all three, taking the eyes, hands and mind off the road, sometimes for as long as five seconds. This can lead to truckers drifting into other lanes or failing to respond to what's ahead of them.

How ELD requirements impact drivers and consumers

In December 2017, truck drivers in Illinois and elsewhere were required to start using electronic logging devices (ELDs). Generally speaking, truck drivers tend to not like the requirement. In fact, some have complained that it makes their jobs more dangerous and reduces their pay. The electronic devices monitor a vehicle's engine to determine how many hours it has been driven in a given day. In the past, drivers had the option of using an ELD or logging their hours by hand.

The main advantage of the ELD law is that it doesn't allow drivers to manipulate their service records. This means that they aren't allowed to spend more time on the road than the law allows. Drivers are generally on duty for up to 14 hours, and they can drive up to 11 hours consecutively during that period. Furthermore, they must stop driving for 30 minutes at some point during those 14 hours.

Many recalled cars never get repaired

Manufacturing or design defects show up in vehicles throughout Illinois all of the time. Recalls are conducted when these problems seriously affect the safety of drivers and passengers. Even though it's in the best interest of a vehicle owner to follow the recall, a report from the Consumer Federation of America shows that 25 to 30 percent of recalled vehicles never get repaired. At any given time, there are as many as 70 million vehicles with open recalls out on the road.

Recalls target many types of vehicle components, including transmissions, brakes, engines, tires and even computer control systems. One story from a rural family described a situation where a toddler was able to shift a vehicle into neutral due to a defect, resulting in the near drowning of the child. Vehicles without repairs can be a danger to everyone around them.

Making a claim for a botox injury in Illinois

There are many reasons why a person might decide to have Botox procedures or other injectables. Botox can be used for cosmetic reasons, but it has also been shown to reduce the pain associated with migraines. Other injectables may be used in lips or cheeks in order to achieve the desired aesthetic affect.

While Botox procedures are generally very safe, some people do experience adverse affects and suffer as a result. These adverse effects might be caused by allergic reactions, but they could also occur as a result of medical malpractice and improper administering of the injectable. If you have suffered as a result of a dermal injectable, it is important that you take the time to consider whether you would like to make a legal claim.

OSHA program on trench and excavation safety updated

Many construction workers in Illinois have to work in and around trenches, so they will want to know that OSHA has updated its National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation. The updates reflect the need for increased enforcement as worker injuries and fatalities have gone up in recent years. Between 2011 and 2016, 130 workers died in trenching and excavation operations, and 49 percent of those fatalities occurred between 2015 and 2016 alone.

OSHA has required its regional and area offices to provide outreach to employers wishing to comply with trench and excavation standards. This outreach period lasts for the 90 days following the Oct. 1 release of OSHA's updated NEP.

Reducing drug errors with pharmacist and patient intervention

Pharmacists are often the last line of defense when it comes to preventing possible medication mistakes that may adversely affect patients in Illinois. Yet dispensing errors could be responsible for just under 22 percent of medication oversights that may impact patients' health, according to results from one study. This doesn't mean pharmacists don't actively try to protect patients as much as possible. However, patients can be equally proactive when it comes to reducing pharmacy-related mistakes.

In addition to using software to manage patient prescriptions and detect or predict possible allergic reactions, pharmacists make an effort to minimize medication errors by manually verifying orders before they're picked up. Pharmacists are also required to match medications with corresponding images in their databases. Plus, drugs with a similar appearance or name are stored on different shelves to reduce errors in busy pharmacies.

Rise in mobile worker car crashes linked with smartphone use

The vehicle management and reimbursement platform Motus has come out with some findings that should interest mobile workers in Illinois. Its 2018 Distracted Driving Report has, among other things, linked an increase in car crashes among mobile workers to an increase in smartphone ownership.

Between 2013 and 2017, the number of smartphone-owning mobile workers went up from 55 to 77 percent while the number of car crashes they got in rose from 5.7 million to 6.4 million in the same five-year period. This marks a 12.3 percent increase in crashes. Motus also found that mobile workers travel 49 percent more on the road than any other type of employee in the U.S.

Nearly 12,000 vehicles put out of service in CVSA roadcheck

Truckers in Illinois may remember the International Roadcheck that took place from June 5 to 7. Once a year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds this event across North America, stopping trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles at random for vehicle and driver inspections. Of the 67,502 inspections conducted this year, 45,400 were the comprehensive Level I inspections.

Compared to last year, 2018 saw more inspections conducted and fewer out-of-service orders issued. While this may be an improvement, the fact remains that 11,897 vehicles and 2,664 drivers were put out of service for safety violations. Among those trucks that underwent the Level I inspection, 21.6 percent were put out of service.