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Why construction is so dangerous

According to the law firm Scudder & Seguin, North Carolina had 48 fatalities at work last year, and 33 percent of those workers were construction workers. Those numbers match up with national numbers as well. Construction work is dangerous work.

But why is it so dangerous?

The truth is, every part of a construction worker’s job has some hazard. While many jobs may have parts which can be dangerous (delivery drivers can be held up late at night at the wrong house, for instance), almost everything at a construction site can cause harm.

The numbers involving construction deaths nationally prove this. The largest percentage of accidents involved falls. While it might be hoped that construction workers would have safety equipment in place to avoid deaths from something as simple as falls, this does not appear to be the case. After falls, transportation is the most likely way a construction worker could be injured. This makes quite a bit of sense considering the heavy duty machines required in the field. If you have ever driven passed construction workers building a road, you have seen any number of massive machines, from cranes to steamrollers to bulldozers. Should anyone on a site on a particular day not be particularly careful, it is easy to imagine what might happen.

After falls and machines, it is contacted with objects that pose the greatest risk. Though this sort of thing is often lampooned in movies, a construction worker running into a beam or having a brick fall on his or her head could, in fact, be deadly. With so many heavy objects about on a construction site, it’s again easy to imagine how one of them could fall from a height and injure someone. Just think of all the bricks, stones, steel, and wood needed to build a house. When much of that material has to be hoisted twenty or thirty feet in the air, any minor slip could be deadly.

Following that, there’s exposure to harmful substances. Again, put yourself on a construction site and look around. There would be all sorts of chemicals required for different parts of the job. Overexposure to these chemicals through a lack of caution could obviously lead to some horrible consequences.

Finally, the last major category is fighting at work. While this could happen anywhere, it seems there is something about the construction industry that makes this more likely than in more workplaces.

Looking at this list, it’s clear that there are very few parts of a construction worker’s job that don’t pose a great risk. For a job that involves being up high, using heavy machinery, installing heavy materials, and using hazardous chemicals, it’s easy to see why it is the deadliest profession in America.

For that reason, we ought to be grateful to those who build our houses and our roads. Their job is a dangerous one, but a necessary one.

Does Self-Regulation Work in Construction?

The New York metropolitan region, which includes Long Island and New Jersey, is a bustling area with lots of business going on. It is no wonder that the construction industry has a lot to keep them busy; there are construction sites everywhere all year long. This is the good news for construction workers because it means they are always in demand. The bad news is they have no assurance that they will be safe on the job.

While the number of fatalities in New York decreased slightly from 40 in 2011 to 38 in 2012, the number of injuries has increased as more worksite accidents occurred. The most common construction accident was fall from height and struck- by incidents. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health stated in its report that among the accidents that occurred in 2013, more than 65% of the construction sites involved had at least one citation for serious safety violations, indicating that a majority of these accidents were preventable.

Despite these pressing needs, the number of worksite inspectors in New York City itself was reduced, significantly cutting down on the number of worksite inspections that was done in 2012 (141,000) compared to 2009 (244,000). The city government admits that they are relying on licensed contractors to self-regulate and to report worksite problems voluntarily. It doesn’t seem to working out so well.

The Department of Building’s spokesperson states that the regulations overseeing the construction industry in the city is some of the toughest in the world, but enforcement is another issue altogether. When contractors are expected to self-regulate, it is inevitable that a lot will fall through the cracks. Safety regulations cost money, and most contractors have their eye on the bottom line and will cut corners where they can.

The impetus to keep the work going overrides safety concerns until disaster strikes. By then it is too late to save the victims from harm; the best that can be done is to seek compensation for those who survive.

If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident in New York, you may find that the law will finally start to work for you. Consult with a good New York construction accident lawyer to get the attention and compensation you deserve.

Weighing the Odds with Pradaxa

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., taking the lives of about 140,000 people annually. Of those who survive, a stroke often has a significant impact on the quality of life of these people. It is no wonder that there should be great interest in finding effective medication to prevent strokes.

Warfarin was approved for use in the U.S. in 1954 as an oral coagulant, and continues to be widely used despite the concomitant health risks. These include intracranial bleeding and extracranial hemorrhaging. Warfarin also requires frequent doctor visits to monitor blood warfarin levels and a restricted diet. Until quite recently, warfarin led the race for the number of adverse event reports (AERs)and deaths caused by a drug in the Food and Drug Administration at 1,106 events which includes 72 fatalities in 2011.

That’s nothing compared to the newer and “safer” anticoagulant drug Pradaxa (dabigatran) from Boehringer Ingelheim. Introduced into the market in 2010, it didn’t take long for the stroke prevention medication to get a sizable share of it. However, Pradaxa racked up 3,781 AERs, which included 542 fatalities in 2011. In that year, there were more than 30 million users of warfarin in the U.S., and about 2.2 million users of Pradaxa. Comparatively speaking, Pradaxa is way out there when it comes to AERs.

Exactly how much safer Pradaxa is compared to the decades-old warfarin has become a source of speculation for many health experts. It is undeniable that Pradaxa is much easier to take than warfarin because there are fewer restrictions. But barely 3 years in the market and Pradaxa is already the star of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Illinois.

Block Box Warning on Avandia since May 2007

In 1999, a new drug that was meant to benefit type 2 diabetes patients was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for prescription and use – Avandia, also known under the name Rosiglitazone. Avandia was manufactured by SmithKlineBeecham Corporation (the company is now called GlaxoSmithKline after it merged with Glaxo Wellcome). This oral drug, which decreases the level of blood sugar (glucose), is recommended for type 2 diabetics who, for medical reasons, cannot take Actos or Pioglitazone, or whose bodily system would not respond to other diabetes drugs. It is usually combined with exercise and proper diet or with other anti-diabetic medication, like sulfonylureas or metformin, though it may be taken alone. Type I diabetics should not take Avendia due to the very low, or absence of, insulin in their system.

Avandia became GlaxoSmithKline’s second most used product, being prescribed to more than six million people since its release on May 25, 1999. Multiple studies, however, were made on Avandia due to claims that it increases risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular heart ailments; there were claims that it has even caused the death of some patients. Thus, in August 2007, following a recommendation arrived at during a joint gathering of FDA’s advisory committees made up of the agency’s Drug Safety and Risk Management and the Endocrine and Metabolic Drugs, FDA added the “possibility of increased risk of heart attack” info on the drug’s black box warning label which was first requested by FDA in May 2007 (this first request only stated greater risk of congestive heart failure).

A black box warning (also called boxed warning or black label warning) is the sternest warning that the FDA can issue on a drug which is reported to cause severe and life-threatening side effects. Besides Avandia’s physician labeling and patient Medication Guide, this warning also appears in all forms of literature and advertisements (like in magazines) about the drug.

Due to further studies being made on Avandia, the FDA decided not to pull the drug out of the market yet. Continuous study and increase in reported Avandia side-effects prompted the FDA to notify the public anew (specifically, on February 3, 2011), this time, of the drug’s possible cardiovascular (and heart attack) risks. Though physicians are allowed to continue prescribing Avandia and other Avandia-containing medicines (but only to those who have been using the drug already), patients should be informed of the warnings already issued by the FDA on the drug.

Child Custody

Child custody, which is intended to ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritized even after divorce, is a critical divorce-related issue. Its mandate is that the child’s future should never be compromised. Thus, whoever the court assigns as the custodial parent becomes responsible with regard to the child’s education, medical care, and other developmental needs.

There are four main types of child custody. Sometimes the court assigns both parents as custodians to ensure their continuous participation in their child’s life. Child custody can be:

  • Legal custody – this type of custody grants custodial parents the right to decide about what’s good for their children: where the child should study and what church he or she should go to are some of the issues legal custody is meant to address. Some courts award legal custody to both parents. In the case of joint legal custody, both parents are guaranteed a say in these important issues.
  • Sole custody – if one parent is deemed unfit by the judge to continue caring for his or her child, usually due to drug dependency, alcoholism, mental incapacity, child abuse, or an unsuitable new partner, then sole custody may be the court’s choice.
  • Physical custody – this type of custody allows the custodial parent to be in the same house with his or her children. If the parents happen to live near one another, then joint physical custody may be chosen by the court instead. This is also based on the condition that both parents, despite the divorce, still continue to spend almost equal time with the child.
  • Joint custody – this type of custody entails joint legal and physical custody for both parents.

Child custody can be a contentious issue with profound effects for the lives of both the children and their parents.