Protection from work boots

Published on May 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland residents who are in the construction industry or other occupations in which they need to wear work boots should take care when choosing which ones to purchase. There are state and federal safety standards for work boots, and it is important for people to make certain the ones they are considering meet or exceed them.

While many shoe companies claim that their work boots do meet the standards, that is not always the case. It is important for workers to check the standards that are specific for their individual lines of work along with the standards set out by the state. This can help them with identifying the specific features the boots they purchase should have.

Injuries to communication tower workers

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland workers in high-risk occupations may be able to learn a lesson from a conference spearheaded by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. The February 2016 workshop brought a number of representatives from the communication tower industry together to highlight ongoing safety issues. Although factors like work-site design were revealed to impact safety, employer operating standards also played significant roles.

OSHA said that 36 workers perished in communication tower falls and other related accidents between 2011 and 2015. One factor that could have contributed to these statistics is the fact that many work sites may lack proper direction due to overuse of subcontracting. Industry safety advocates claimed the situation was so out of hand that in some cases, it was hard to determine who was in charge of a given job or whether they even had the proper insurance and credentials to do the work at hand.

Cancer diagnoses hampered by potential inaccuracies

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland patients may benefit from new technology that seeks to make up for inaccuracies in diagnostic processes. Although one in seven males suffer from prostate cancer, current techniques for diagnosing the disease commonly fail to catch it in time for effective treatment due to its lack of early symptoms. Annual prostate cancer screenings, often referred to as PSA tests, have also been known to result in false negatives in patients who actually have cancer.

Statistics say that prostate cancer claimed the lives of more than 27,000 men in the United States in 2015. To improve prognoses for suspected cancer sufferers, multiple startup firms have invested in diagnostic technologies known as liquid biopsies. Instead of using invasive tissue samples to hunt for cancer markers, these tools rely on the fact that cancer cells often release small quantities into the bloodstream.

Car crash injures 12 in Maryland

Published on Apr 8, 2016 at 5:31 pm in General Blogs.

At least 12 people were injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles in Montgomery County on April 3. Four of the injured were children.

According to authorities, the incident took place on the northbound side of Interstate 270, between Routes 121 and 109 in the evening hours. The accident, which involved at least five vehicles, left one person trapped in a car and who had to be extricated by rescue workers. One woman suffered serious injuries. Seven other people, including the four children, were taken to various hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Curbing insurance fraud in Maryland

Published on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm in General Blogs.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau workers’ compensation fraud is almost $7.2 million per year. Therefore, insurance companies are looking to take steps to prevent fraud before it happens. Two tactics that insurance companies may use in the future are social media and surveillance of a claimant. While there may be higher upfront costs related to monitoring someone who may be committing fraud, it could cut down on costs later on.

Looking for signs of a fraudulent insurance claim can make it easier to determine who may be attempting to commit a crime and catch that person in the act. One sign of fraud are claims being made on Monday morning for injuries that allegedly occurred the previous week. If there are no witnesses to the injury or conflicting reports of what caused it emerge, that could also increase the odds that a claim is fraudulent.

Woman sues hospital over wrong site surgery

Published on Mar 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm in General Blogs.

Many Maryland patients have been the unfortunate recipients of wrong-site surgeries and other types of surgical errors over the years. A recent case in New England has focused attention on this important issue.

A woman went into a hospital for the removal of a cancer-stricken rib in May 2015. At some point after she was put under anesthetic and prepared for surgery the medical personnel treating her became confused or misdirected in some fashion, and they removed the wrong rib. Although there is evidence that they realized their mistake quickly and tried to bring the woman back for further surgery immediately, the contention of the injured woman was that they were not forthcoming with information about what had occurred and lied to her in an attempt to conceal the error.

The woman has filed a civil suit against the doctors and the hospital. She alleges permanent and debilitating injuries resulting from the error. The plaintiff’s representative pointed out that although a surgeon with expertise in this field reviewed the details of the case and found major irregularities and gaps in proper care, much of their complaint stems from the hospital’s apparent attempt to cover up the accident.

OSHA regulations regarding recordable injuries

Published on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm in Workers Compensation.

Employers in Maryland face potentially severe penalties if they run afoul of workplace safety regulations, and checking records for accuracy is often among the first steps taken by OSHA inspectors. Employers hoping to avoid fines or other sanctions must keep track of workplace injuries and illnesses if they are considered recordable under OSHA regulations, but employers are sometimes unclear about the line of demarcation.

Sometimes, OSHA guidelines make it very clear that a workplace injury or illness is recordable. Employers must keep records when workers are killed, forced to take time off work or injured badly enough to be reassigned. Injuries must also be recorded when workers lose consciousness for any period of time or require medical treatment beyond what would be considered first aid. Employers must also keep records when a physician or other medical professional diagnoses a serious injury or condition even if none of these conditions apply.

Keeping workers safe from hazardous energy

Published on Feb 1, 2016 at 3:21 pm in General Blogs.

Hazardous energy is present in many workplace environments in Maryland and across the country. Several million workers routinely deal with hazardous energy, and when one is injured an average of 24 workdays are lost while the employee recovers. In addition, hazardous energy-related accidents account for roughly 10 percent of all serious accidents in many industries.

Hazardous energy comes from chemical, thermal, pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical and electrical sources generated from equipment and machines. Employees can be severely injured or killed when the machines they are maintaining or repairing suddenly and unexpectedly release an uncontrolled buildup of hazardous energy.

AAA study estimates drowsy driving is serious problem

Published on Nov 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm in General Blogs.

Drowsy driving is known to be a problem. Official federal crash statistics estimate that about 2.5 percent of all fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver. But those estimates are not considered very accurate, as determining if a driver was sleepy before a crash is difficult.

In fatal crashes, the driver cannot answer any questions concerning his or her condition prior to the crash, and for drivers who survive a motor vehicle accident, they may not realize they were drowsy or may be to reticent to admit to a police officer that they fell asleep at the wheel. 

Doctors Reconsider Value of Cardiac Stents in the Wake of Claims Against Mark Midei, M.D.

Published on Aug 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm in General Blogs.

In today’s Baltimore Sun, reporter Tricia Bishoplooks at the use of stents and the risks they bring. According to the article, until recently, use of cardiac stents to open blocked arteries has been all the rage and was seen as a relatively safe procedure when compared to open heart coronary bypass surgery. Since the 1990s, stents have been increasingly used and have generated more than $1 billion of revenue for Maryland’s hospitals.

In the wake of close to 600 claims against Mark Midei, M.D.- the once preeminent interventional cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson, Maryland — for unnecessary stenting of patients with little or no artery blockage, the health care community is now taking a hard look at the risks and benefits of cardiac stents and is now trending away from using them in favor of medications or bypass surgery. According to statistics from the state Health Services Cost Review Commission, stenting procedures in Maryland will drop by 25% this year (from 14,255 to 10,650).



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