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Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law Blog

4 tips for safe winter riding

With winter right around the corner, many riders are making the effort to properly clean and store their motorcycles. Others, however, are prepping to continue riding for as long as Mother Nature will safely allow them to. Outside of sheer effort, however, there are numerous actions that motorcycle riders can take to ensure a safe ride even after the weather has turned nasty.

We all want to believe that we are safe, careful motor vehicle operators. From driving a car to piloting a boat to riding a motorcycle, we can often believe that our experience and reaction-time will thwart any dangerous situation. Unfortunately, factors beyond our control can render a situation impossible to navigate safely.

But what can motorcycle riders, specifically, do to keep themselves out of harm's way?

5 Common Motorcycle Accidents - And How To Avoid Them

As the summer comes to an end and we begin making our way through the fall, bikers will likely fight to squeeze in as much riding as possible. Whether it is riding to work on a sunny, Autumn day, or taking a road trip over a crisp, cool weekend, Massachusetts roads will be heavily populated with motorcycles over the next two months.

Even a seasoned rider, however, can face danger on the roads. Whether you are riding on city streets, country roads or highways, it is crucial to be mindful of your surroundings and be aware of the dangers you face.

Do I Have A Concussion?

A traumatic brain injury can occur in nearly every type of accident - from falls on a construction site to serious motor vehicle collisions. The accident doesn't even need to involve getting hit in the head. Often, the violent back and forth shaking motion of a traumatic collision can cause a severe impact of the brain against the inside of the skull.

Depending on the severity of the injury, head injuries are typically categorized as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). MTBIs are commonly referred to as "concussions," and symptoms can cover a wide gamut. Many individuals don't even realize that they are concussed - and only find out when friends and family members alert them to the symptoms they are exhibiting after an accident.

So, how do you know if you have a concussion?

Motorists must be cognizant of motorcycles at all times

Now that the summer months are here, more people are taking to the roadways on motorcycles. This means that all motorists must be cognizant of motorcycles at all times because motorcyclists can be seriously injured if they are struck by a vehicle. While it is often possible for a motorcyclist to avoid an accident that is due to another person's negligent actions, it isn't always possible.

Many motorists switch lanes when they drive. This can be because they need to pass another vehicle or because they are going to execute a turn that requires a lane change. Motorists who are going to change lanes should make sure that motorcycles or other vehicles aren't in their way. The motorists should indicate they are planning on turning by using a turn signal. When motorists don't follow these basic rules of the road, the motorist might be struck if they can't take evasive action that would prevent the motor vehicle crash.

Can benzene exposure at work lead to health issues?

Many of the materials that Americans use are made using the colorless liquid benzene. This liquid is flammable, but it is used to manufacture detergents, pesticides, plastics, rubbers, drugs, lubricants, dyes and other items. Workers who are exposed to benzene can suffer from negative health effects because of that exposure.

What industries are likely to include exposure to benzene?

Improper scaffold construction puts workers at risk

Working on a scaffold introduces challenges that might otherwise be easily avoided. Can you safely work with heavy equipment in such a confined space? Was the scaffold constructed properly? Were you provided the proper safety gear? The very fact that these questions need to be asked illustrates the danger you are facing.

Are you a construction worker? Do you often work on scaffolding? Here are some things to consider.

What are the symptoms of work-related asthma?

For most people, thoughts of toxic work exposure immediately turn to mesothelioma and asbestosis. While these are serious conditions with devastating repercussions, there are other toxins to be aware of in the workplace.

For example, the presence of cleaning chemicals, dust, mold, animals or plants in the workplace can lead to serious respiratory distress. Work-related asthma might not have the same level of publicity and media attention, but it can be a severe, life-threatening condition.

But how do you know if you have it?

20-year-old charged with voluntary homicide

A 20-year-old man is facing charges for vehicular homicide after his childhood friend was killed when the BMW they were in struck a utility pole.

The 19-year-old died at the accident scene. The 20-year-old, who was driving, suffered serious injuries, including bruised lungs, a brain bleed, a broken collarbone and a broken back. He also had a blood alcohol concentration of .22, which is almost three times the legal limit.

MA workers' compensation insurance companies want more money

Workers' compensation laws are designed to protect both employers and workers. Employers are protected from going through lawsuits while workers are supposed to promptly receive compensation to cover the costs of injuries from on-the-job accidents. In theory, this system works well. In reality, receiving the compensation you are entitled to can be a challenge.

Construction workers at increased risk of suffering TBIs

From working atop ladders and scaffolding to digging in trenches and ditches, in addition to being physically demanding, construction work is also incredibly dangerous. In fact, the construction industry is consistently ranked as being among the top 10 most dangerous professions and falls are by far the leading cause of death and injury among construction workers.

In addition to suffering broken bones and injuries to the spine and internal organs; traumatic brain injuries are also commonly suffered by construction workers who are victims of falls. Recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published statistics about the prevalence of TBIs among construction workers noting that, from 2003 to 2010, a total of 2,210 workers died after suffering TBIs-a figure that represents one-fourth of all construction worker deaths.

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