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Nashua Personal Injury Law Blog

A few common hazards cause most construction accidents

Construction company owners, contractors and project managers are responsible for the safety and health of their employees. Thousands of workers suffer injuries in construction accidents nationwide each year, including New Hampshire. The list of potential hazards these workers face is endless, but some are more common and cause preventable injuries.

Falls are likely the cause of most construction site injuries, with many of them causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Construction workers spend a lot of time on elevated levels such as scaffolds, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations with which compliance is crucial. However, trips or slips that lead to same-level falls are equally dangerous, and proper housekeeping is essential.

Working with granite can cause permanent lung damage

If you earn your income in the New Hampshire granite countertop industry, your employer must explain the hazards of your job and take adequate measures to protect you from exposure to dangerous silica dust. Granite and other rocks and sand contain crystalline silica, which occurs as mineral quartz. Working with granite causes microscopic particles of crystalline silica that become airborne. Without even knowing, you can inhale these particles, and once they reach your lungs, they may attach to your lung tissue and cause inflammation.

Lung scarring will occur progressively, putting you at risk of developing silicosis. The scarring will limit the ability of your lungs to take in enough oxygen. Other illnesses that could result include kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or even lung cancer. Symptoms for which you can look include coughing, breath shortness and fatigue.

Auto accidents involving flying ice projectiles are preventable

Driving on New Hampshire highways during the cold winter months is hazardous for all. This is due to the hazards posed by ice and snow on the roads as well as the potential damage that could be caused by pieces of ice flying off other vehicles. One of many such auto accidents this year involved an employee of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

Reportedly, this man was westbound in an NH DOT pickup truck on Route 101 at about 3:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday when he noticed a large piece of ice detaching from a box truck about three car lengths ahead of him. The driver says that although he had enough time to take evasive action any such efforts would have risked his colliding with other vehicles. The victim reports that the piece of hurtling ice, measuring approximately 24x12x6 inches, smashed through his windshield and struck him in the head.

Man's best friend can cause severe personal injury

Although dogs are often called man's best friend, they can be unpredictable and attack when least expected. Along with the personal injury threat of dog bites come the long-term psychological consequences of such trauma. In New Hampshire and elsewhere, it is crucial to find out whether a dog's rabies shots are current as soon as possible after a bite. Dog bites can cause nerve or muscle damage, and bacteria in a dog's mouth can cause infections, illnesses or even death.

Rabies is the most significant threat, and although it is rare, the risk remains. It is a virus that attacks the victim's brain, and most cases are fatal if the necessary series of vaccinations are not administered timely. Some of the bacteria that dogs typically carry affect only people with compromised immune systems. One such a threat is Capnocytophaga, which can spread through scratches or bites.

Workers' compensation: Snow removal can be life-threatening

With January being the coldest month in New Hampshire, employers must take special care in protecting the health and safety of employees. Many workers' compensation claims are filed nationwide every year after weather-related workplace injuries. Not only must employers provide the necessary personal protective equipment, they must also provide adequate safety training.

One of the most hazardous winter tasks is snow removal from rooftops, decks and other structures. Various reasons exist for the many lives that are lost during snow removal activities every year. Some of the frequently cited safety violations include ill-maintained equipment and the lack of fall protection. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not have specific standards for snow removal, employers must protect workers from known hazards, which include weather-related occupational hazards such as wind, ice and snow.

Construction accidents: 9-story fall kills 41-year-old worker

Losing a loved one is always a traumatic experience, but when it happens during the holidays, it seems even worse. Such a tragedy hit the family of a 41-year-old man who lost his life in an on-the-job accident on a recent Tuesday morning. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation, just as the agency does for all construction accidents in which workers lose their lives.

According to a report by authorities, the incident occurred on a construction site in Haverhill, which is on the New Hampshire state line. Very few details were made available, except that the man fell down an elevator shaft. Reportedly, he was working on a nine-story building's roof when the accident occurred.

Lowering the chance of an accident during the holiday season

During the holiday season, there are more drivers on the road and more people in a hurry to arrive at their destinations. More accidents occur during this time of year than during other seasons. It may be in your interests to learn more about the risks of driving during this season and how you can protect yourself.

As New Hampshire readers know, intoxicated drivers are one of the most common reasons for car accidents. December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, and authorities hope that raising awareness of the issue could make the roads safer and cause drivers to make smart choices. Drunk driving and other risky behaviors are more prevalent during the holiday season.

Auto accidents: Violent crash leaves 1 person seriously injured

December is a dangerous time on the nation's roadways, including in New Hampshire. Some auto accidents are particularly violent, like a two-vehicle crash that occurred on a recent Friday afternoon. Authorities reported that debris and wreckage that were left behind included a CV joint attached to a wheel of one of the two vehicles.

Police are still investigating the early afternoon Hooksett crash. Bystanders reported seeing an airborne car flying over the median. The circumstances that led to the collision between the two vehicles, both of which had New Hampshire license plates, are yet to be determined. Reportedly, an SUV and a sedan were involved in the crash, which left the car lying on its roof.

Workers' compensation claims may follow holiday rush

Safety authorities urged employers in all retail-related businesses nationwide, including New Hampshire, to take extra precautions to keep workers safe and prevent workplace injuries. This warning came in the time leading up to Black Friday and other marketing promotions that are common at this time of the year. Workloads increase, restocking shelves becomes urgent and rushed work is always more hazardous -- as proved by workers' compensation claims usually filed after the rush of the holiday season.

Affected workers include those who pack boxes, stock shelves, sell merchandise and deliver products. Managing sales events that involve large crowds can pose deadly hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminded employers that all workers are entitled to safe work environments and suggested increased numbers of trained security officers, and crowd control using rope lines, barricades and other emergency measures to prevent trampling.

Auto accidents: Elderly voter trapped under car at polling place

When an elderly New Hampshire woman recently went to the only polling station in Windham at the local high school, she would not have expected what was to come her way. She was struck by a car while she was walking across the parking lot. Like many auto accidents, this one appears to have been caused by driver error. 

According to a police report, it was just before midday when the driver of a small sedan backed into the pedestrian. The victim became pinned underneath the car, and firefighters were called to the scene. Reportedly, the woman was only extricated after being trapped for approximately 15 minutes.

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