Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

‘Zoom Zombies’ Behind the Wheel

So much has changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all been forced to use our phones and computers more, whether for purchasing goods online, virtually visiting friends and relatives, or virtually meeting with business associates and/or clients. Social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions have given rise to Zoom becoming one of the most popular apps.

Could “our dependence on Zoom and other video chat software…be turning us into bad drivers?” (USAToday.com) Increased screen usage and reliance on technology is turning some drivers into “Zoom Zombies”, causing distracted zoning-out.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned that “risky driving and fatal crashes have risen sharply” in the last year, despite Americans driving less. (USAToday.com)

“A new study by Root Insurance found 54 percent of the 1,819 American adult motorists surveyed said they have had trouble concentrating on the road after videoconferences.” (NBCNews.com) This survey was taken between March 12th and March 17th, and involved drivers aged 18 and above. See the online report here.

Russ Rader, an official with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said, “There’s the risk of cognitive distraction, looking at the road while your thoughts are elsewhere. That zoning out may mean you don’t notice a dangerous situation soon enough to react.” (NBCNews.com)

According to the Root Insurance report, South Carolina has the most distracted drivers out of the 29 states surveyed, with 21.91 distracted driver events per 100 miles. These events can be avoided.

How can you prevent distracted driving?

  • When you get in the driver’s seat, commit to focus fully on driving, and to avoid distractions.
  • Never attempt to multi-task while driving. Ask a passenger for help, or pull over to perform other tasks, like changing a CD or updating directions on the GPS.
  • Silence or store your cell phone out of reach so that you’re not tempted to look at it or use it while driving.
  • Adjust seats, mirrors, headrest, seat belt, etc. before getting on the road.
  • As a passenger, discourage distracted driving, and help when needed.

(DefensiveDriving.org)

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210406005760/en/Beware-of-the-Zoom-Zombie-54-of-Americans-Who-Drive-After-Video-Chatting-Report-Trouble-Concentrating

Categories
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Occupational Hearing Loss

Most workplace dangers are obvious. One that is not quit as apparent is damaging noise levels. “Some of the most prevalent workplace hazards aren’t seen–they’re heard.” (EHSToday.com)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most commonly reported workplace-related injury is hearing loss. 22 million Americans are being exposed to harmful noise levels at their place of work per The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (CDC.gov)

What are the causes of occupational hearing loss (OHL)?

  • Loud noise – “The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit for occupational noise exposure is 85 decibels….Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous.” (CDC.gov) A good way to know that you may in danger of OHL is if someone has to raise his/her voice to talk with you from an arm’s length.
  • Ototoxic Chemicals – “Ototoxic chemicals can cause OHL, make the ear more susceptible to the damaging effects of hazardous noise, or both. For example, a person taking certain ototoxic pharmaceuticals may lose hearing, become more susceptible to noise, or both.” (CDC.gov)

Top 10 jobs that can cause hearing loss:

  1. Textile machine setters, operators, and tenders

> Average decibel level: 89.9 dBA (0.1% lower than the OSHA limit)

Employees bleach, dye, cut, knit, or wind textiles, using loud equipment.

  1. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

> Average decibel level: 90.0 dBA (right at the OSHA limit)

Employees work in movie theaters, concert and performing art venues, and spectator sporting events, all of which can be very loud.

  1. Control and valve installers and repairers

> Average decibel level: 90.3 dBA (0.3% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with “mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as hydraulic doors, electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors. Hydraulic systems can often produce loud noises, from the mechanisms themselves and from doors loudly slamming shut.”

  1. Miscellaneous agricultural workers

> Average decibel level: 90.9 dBA (1.0% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees (including equipment operators, crop, nursery and greenhouse laborers, animal workers) use noisy equipment like tractors, combines, chainsaws, and grain dryers

  1. Forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

> Average decibel level: 91.0 dBA (1.1% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with machines that extrude, draw, forge, and roll metals and plastics, and are often employed in large industrial settings, like iron and steel mills, machine shops, and motor vehicle part manufacturing plants. These places often have loud machinery running.

  1. Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers

> Average decibel level: 91.1 dBA (1.2% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees make, alter, and repair garments. Large industrial sewing machines produce noise around 90 dBA.

  1. Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish processing workers

> Average decibel level: 91.1 dBA (1.2% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees work with noisy machinery and equipment all day.

  1. Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders

> Average decibel level: 92.5 dBA (2.8% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees use saws, drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines (which can all be very loud) to cut, shape, and craft wood.

  1. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

> Average decibel level: 92.5 dBA (2.8% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees often use equipment that is very loud such as lawnmowers, tractors, and chainsaws.

  1. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

> Average decibel level: 98.4 dBA (9.3% higher than the OSHA limit)

Employees are within earshot of sirens, horns, diesel motors, radios, shouting, power tools, and alarms on a regular basis.

“No job faces more consistently noisy working conditions than emergency medical technicians and paramedics. These workers are first responders to medical emergencies, and they perform medical care and transport patients to medical facilities.”

(MSN.com)

Preventing OHL:

  • Avoid loud environments as much as possible.
  • Wear industrial earplugs, earmuffs, or noise-cancelling headphones/earplugs. Make sure to choose equipment that doesn’t go too far down into the ear canal, as this can cause damage to hearing as well.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can damage cells throughout your entire body, including your ear canal.
  • Have your hearing checked on a regular basis.
  • “Reduce or stop exposure to chemicals that may damage your hearing: wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection; wear a respirator or other protective equipment, as appropriate; read and follow all chemical safety instructions.” (CDC.gov)
  • Download the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Sound Level Meter App . “This is a tool available to the public to download on mobile iOS devices that measures sound levels in the workplace and provides noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss.” (CDC.gov)

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING INJURED WORKERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The Law Offices of David L. Hood have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, Charleston and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we’ve represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.ehstoday.com/ppe/hearing-protection/media-gallery/21917796/preventing-hearing-loss-noise-infographics-photo-gallery/slideshow?slide=1

Categories
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Pharmacy Malpractice

Pharmacists: Overworked and Understaffed

Covid-19 has made an already tough situation even tougher. Pharmacists at chain stores are now being pushed more than ever to do more with less. “They’re working faster, filling more orders and juggling a wider range of tasks with fewer staff members at a pace that many say is unsustainable and jeopardizes patient safety.” (NBCNews.com)

In the past decade, this had already become a huge issue that needed to be resolved. Now, add Covid-19 testing and vaccinations to the mix, and new concerns are being raised “about what will happen if they aren’t given enough additional support for yet another responsibility.” (NBCNews.com)

Marilyn Jerominski, the pharmacy manager at a 24-hour Walgreens says she began working as a pharmacist 13 years ago. At that time, things were very different. “There were more staff members and more time to counsel patients about their medications.” Now, she says there is so much stress, she is often exhausted and overwhelmed, worried about making a mistake that will put customers’ health on the line.

Jerominski is not alone. Recent research by NBC News on 31 retail pharmacists and technicians reported that a good portion of them are working 12-hour shifts, and are too busy to stop for bathroom breaks, or to eat. Many report crying in their cars after work or “lying awake at night worrying about mistakes they might have made while rushing. They described an industry of health care professionals at the breaking point.”

Jerominski and other pharmacists say they are in dire need of more help.

Many large pharmacy chains, like CVS and Walgreens “give pharmacists a range of metrics to meet and monitors the time they spend on various tasks, from calls to patients to prescriptions filled and vaccinations given per week.” About 10 years ago, when profit margins started to drop for those chains, pharmacists began to be pushed that much more.

South Carolina pharmacists weigh-in on being overworked and understaffed through letters to the SC Board of Pharmacy:

“I had two misfills in three years with the previous staffing and now I make 10-12 per year (that are caught).” (Advisory.com)

“The mistakes I have seen occur in this environment are both frightening and understandable when we are under the gun to perform the impossible. I’ve had a technician mix two strengths of a critical blood pressure medication.” (NYTimes.com)

“We are being asked to do things that we know at a gut level are dangerous. If we won’t or can’t do them, our employers will find someone else who will, and they will likely try to pay them less for the same work.” (NYTimes.com)

“Thank the Lord I have not had any life-threatening misfills, but I have had a number of ‘minor’ misfills mostly due to having to be responsible for so many duties at once and constantly being pulled away from verification to multitask.” (NYTimes.com)

In response to letters, and phone calls from pharmacists regarding inadequate work conditions, the SC Board of Pharmacy wrote a statement to “promote the health and safety of patients, and to ensure compliance with the South Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act relating to operational standards, specifically S.C. Code Ann. § 40-43-86 (B)(4) which relates to adequate staffing of licensed personnel in the pharmacies.” You can find this statement here. (llr.sc.gov)

Protecting Yourself from Pharmacist Errors:

  • Speak with the pharmacist if you are getting a new prescription. Ask about side effects, and make sure the new drug is safe in combination with other medicines you are currently taking.
  • Open the bag to be sure your name is on the prescription bottle, and that the correct medicine name and strength are on the bottle. Also, check for the pill description on the bottle.
  • Open the bottle. Be sure the pills inside look the same as your previous prescriptions of that same drug. If it’s a new medicine, make sure the pills look the same as what’s described on the bottle.
  • Read the instructions on the bottle and on the leaflet you receive with the prescription.
  • If you notice any errors, do not take any of the medication. Report errors to the pharmacist immediately.

(NYTimes.com)

Mistakes can also be reported to state pharmacy boards. For South Carolina patients, that would be the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING PHARMACY MALPRACTICE VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Prescription malpractice can cause serious health problems and even result in death for many innocent patients. However, if the matter is handled expertly, those responsible for the damages can be held accountable. The Law Offices of David L. Hood and his co-counsel have experience in handling pharmacy malpractice cases. With an understanding of the system, they utilize their network of medical experts and pharmacists to figure out the cause of the mistake and obtain (if possible) an expert opinion so a claim can be filed against those at fault.

If you have suffered at the hand of someone else’s negligence and incompetence, let The Law Offices of David L. Hood do whatever it takes to help you and your family get justice. We will fight until you get the compensation that you deserve.

If you or a loved-one has been a victim of pharmacy malpractice in South Carolina, contact us for a free initial consultation. If you choose us to fight for your claim, we will work with you on a contingent-fee basis, meaning, you won’t owe us a fee unless we get a recovery for you! You can call us now at (843) 491-6025 or contact us at any of our offices in South Carolina here.

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer TBI

Golf Cart Injuries on the Rise

Golf carts were invented in 1932 “to afford unwell, older, or handicapped golfers the ability to travel the course while simultaneously reducing the burden of carrying equipment and to speed progression of play.” (ScienceDirect.com)

Today, golf carts are a popular mode of transportation off the golf course as well, especially in retirement communities, beach communities, college campuses and residential neighborhoods.

Due to the increased use of golf carts, their increased power and speed, their design and little regulation, golf cart-related injuries have increased over the last fourteen years. “The zippy means of transportation – no longer limited to golf courses – carries “considerable risk of injury and morbidity” to drivers and passengers of all ages…” (SafetyandHealthMagazine.com)

In a National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NIESS) study, spanning the years 2007 to 2017, over 156,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the United States due to golf cart-related injuries. Over that 11-year period, “the number of golf cart-related injuries increased by approximately 14.7%…from an estimated 14,599 cases…in 2007, to an estimated 16,752 cases…in 2017…” (ScienceDirect.com)

In the Palmetto State, in just the last few years, there have been several deaths from golf cart accidents:

In 2017, a man fell out of a golf cart on Folly Beach, hit his head on the pavement, and died.

In 2019, a Greenville County woman crashed a golf cart, resulting in a heart attack and death.

In July of 2020, Melanie Popjes was a passenger in a golf cart on Fripp Island. She was holding her infant daughter in her lap. Popjes fell off the golf cart, with the baby cradled in her arms. The infant was safe, because Mrs. Popjes had prevented her daughter from hitting the pavement. Unfortunately, Mrs. Popjes lost her life.

Melanie Popjes mother, Dian McDermott, is calling for stricter enforcement of current golf cart regulations, and for further regulation, including a seat belt requirement and a requirement for car seats for children under a certain age and weight. (PostandCourier.com)

Do you know the current golf cart regulations in South Carolina?

To read the regulations, see Section 56-2-105 of the South Carolina Code of Laws (Golf cart permit and the operation of a golf cart).

“Despite the high rate of injuries, there have been no meaningful changes in golf cart design or legislation to reduce the overall burden of these injuries.” (ScienceDirect.com) So, for now it’s left up to us, golf-cart drivers and passengers, to keep ourselves and others safe.

These Golf Cart Safety Tips can help:

  • Keep arms and legs in vehicle at all times.
  • Always use seat belts. If not installed, have them installed.
  • Abide by all normal traffic rules.
  • Do not drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Know and use hand signals.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Do not drive in extreme weather.
  • Perform safety checks at least twice a year. Golf carts need maintenance just like your car or truck.
  • Have headlights and taillights installed.
  • Don’t let inexperienced drivers drive.
  • Avoid carrying too much weight. Carry only the number of people the golf cart is designed to seat.
  • Check your surroundings, being aware of blind spots.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Avoid driving on bumpy or uneven terrains.

(GolfCarts.org)

For more golf cart safety tips:

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING GOLF CART ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart-related accident due to someone else’s negligence, let the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after a catastrophic injury. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to trial.

Our team and co-counsel has years of experience representing accident victims and their families throughout South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Other online resources used in writing this article:

https://www.postandcourier.com/columnists/parenting-has-golf-carting-with-kids-gotten-out-of-hand-in-charleston-and-mount-pleasant/article_18b8baba-e5d4-11e9-8020-8b8db111b19e.html

Categories
Motor Vehicle Accidents

South Carolina – The Most Dangerous Place to Drive

1.35 million people are killed every year in traffic accidents around the world. In the United States, there were 36,560 deaths resulting from car accidents in 2018. (Reviews.com) Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 through 54. (CDC.gov)

Today’s automobiles are smarter and safer than ever, due to advanced safety technology in the last couple of decades. However, because of increasing driver error and carelessness, traffic fatalities have only decreased by 1% in the last three years.

“According to CNBC, ‘Experts suggest driving hazards such as texting while driving and higher speed limits are offsetting the benefits of safety systems like automatic emergency braking and increased seat belt usage.’” (AutoInsurance.org)

A 2020 AutoInsurance.org study analyzing “the worst states for traffic-related fatalities, the lives lost in each state, and each’s best and worst categories,” reported that South Carolina had the most traffic deaths per 100 million miles driven, of any state in the US for three consecutive years, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Here are the Palmetto State’s traffic death rates for those three years:

2016 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.65 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2017 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

2018 – Deaths per 100 million miles: 1.86 (ranked 1st place in the US)

Every one of these fatalities could have been prevented. “It’s easy to blame drunk drivers, lax laws, or dangerous roads…but just one mistake made by YOU can” cause a loss of life. (AutoInsurance.org)

“Model safe driving for your family and others on the road around you. Do everything in your power to keep our roads safe and save lives.” (AutoInsurance.org)

For driving safety tips, please go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – SERVING CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you have suffered a collision in South Carolina, the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood will help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.

Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.

You can find our contact information on the page here and schedule your free consultation session.

Categories
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Fatal Accident – South Carolina Man Trapped in Machine at Work

Early Sunday, a man died after being trapped in a machine at work. An investigation is underway.

54-year-old Anthony Dean Lemmons worked at Innovative Fibers, a manufacturing business, in Spartanburg, SC. Officials said he died about an hour after becoming trapped in a machine. “First responders from the facility and local emergency personnel were immediately notified and were on the scene,” the company said. “Production at the plant was stopped and is scheduled to resume at a later date.” (TheState.com)

Innovative Fibers is helping S.C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the investigation.

Are you concerned about health and safety on your job?

“Federal law entitles you to a safe workplace. Your employer must keep your workplace free of known health and safety hazards. You have the right to speak up about hazards without fear of retaliation. You also have the right to:

  • Receive workplace safety and health training in a language you understand
  • Work on machines that are safe
  • Receive required safety equipment, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
  • Be protected from toxic chemicals
  • Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector
  • Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • See results of tests taken to find workplace hazards” (OSHA.gov)

This link can be used for information on how to contact OSHA, for any workplace issues related to businesses in South Carolina.

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING INJURED WORKERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The Law Offices of David L. Hood have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, Charleston and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we’ve represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

For answers to some frequently asked questions on Workers’ Compensation cases, here are links to a couple of videos:

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Staying Safe During the 2020 Holidays

2020 has definitely been a year we will never forgot! We’re all ready for this pandemic to be over with, so we can get back to normal. With Christmas around the corner, we need to keep safety in mind, not only as far as COVID-19 goes, but also general safety measures for this time of year.

Holiday Safety in a Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends gathering in person with members of your own household only and celebrating only virtually with those outside of your home.

If you do get together with others outside of your household, here are suggestions from the CDC:

Traveling

The safest option for traveling is driving your own car.

Whether traveling by car or public transportation, wear a mask in all public settings.

Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household by social distancing.

Keep hands clean by washing with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

Hosting or Attending a Gathering

Limit number of attendees as much as possible to allow for social distancing.

Gather outdoors, rather than indoors.

Require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

If you gather indoors, increase ventilation as much as possible, by opening windows and doors.

Limit contact with commonly touched items, such as serving utensils. A good suggestion is to have one person wear a mask and serve all the food; that way, the serving utensils are not being handled by multiple people.

Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces as often as possible.

“Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their household for 14 days before the gathering.”

Everyone at the gathering should keep hands washed or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.

(CDC.gov)

(NYTimes.com)

Other Safety Measures for the Holidays

Travel: Prepare your car for winter weather. Have an emergency preparedness kit in the car with you. Avoid drowsy driving. Leave early, planning for heavy traffic. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Make sure you’re driving sober.

Decorating: Keep potentially poisonous plants away from children and pets. Make sure to keep water in a live Christmas tree. “Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways.”(NSC.org) Avoid putting breakable ornaments and ornaments with small parts on the lower branches within reach of small children. Use indoor lights indoors only, and outdoor lights outdoors only. Choose a safe ladder for hanging lights. Do not use lights that have broken sockets, frayed wires, or loose connections. Never nail or tack wires when hanging lights. Keep plugs off the ground, away from puddles and snow. Turn off all lights and decorations when retiring for bed, or when leaving the house.

Candles and Fireplaces: Place candles where they cannot be knocked or blown over, and out of the reach of children. Use flameless candles near flammable objects. Don’t burn wrapping paper, trees or wreaths in the fireplace. Always use a screen in front of the fireplace when burning a fire. Have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.

Food Safety: Wash hands frequently when handling food. Keep raw meat away from fresh produce. “Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cook meats to avoid cross-contamination.” Refrigerate leftover food within two hours of being served. Use refrigerated leftovers withing three to four days.

Gift-Giving: Choose toys in the appropriate age range for safety. Select toys without small parts for children under the age of three. “Be cautious about toys that have button batteries or magnets, which can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.” When giving scooters or other riding toys, give safety gear (proper-fitting helmet, elbow and knee pads) as well.

For more toy safety and information on recalls, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

COVID-friendly holiday activities going on around South Carolina:

Upstate Holiday Lights at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway https://greenvillepickens.com/upstate-holiday-light-show/

Holiday Lights on the River (Columbia)

https://www.icrc.net/event/holiday-lights-river-35

The Great Christmas Light Show (North Myrtle Beach)

https://parks.nmb.us/433/The-Great-Christmas-Light-Show

Holiday Festival of Lights (James Island)

https://ccprc.com/1975/Holiday-Festival-of-Lights

Christmas in Hopelands (Aiken)

https://www.visitaikensc.com/calendar/event/christmas_in_hopelands_2019

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD: HERE TO FIGHT FOR INJURY VICTIMS IN GEORGETOWN AND HORRY COUNTIES AND THROUGHOUT SOUTH CAROLINA

Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.

Other online resources used for this article:  https://safer-america.com/holiday-safety-tips/

Categories
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Rising Injury Rates at Automated Amazon Warehouses

These days, a lot of us are staying away from shopping malls and department stores as much as possible to try to stay well. COVID-19 has caused Americans to do more online shopping than ever before. As of June 2020, Statista ranks Amazon the top U.S. company ranked by retail e-commerce sales, with sales estimated to reach to 269.41 billion U.S. dollars for the full year 2020.

Robots play a big part in Amazon’s success. In December of 2019, Amazon had “more than 200,000 mobile robots working inside its warehouse network…. This robot army has helped the company fulfill its ever-increasing promises of speedy deliveries to Amazon Prime customers.” (Vox.com)

When Amazon started using robots in 2014, the company claimed the automation would help reduce injuries to workers. Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting has obtained Amazon records that show the exact opposite. Amazon warehouses that use robots “actually have higher injury rates than warehouses without automation.” (TheVerge.com)

These “robots are apparently so efficient that quotas have increased substantially, requiring workers to do repetitive motions over long shift that can eventually lead to injuries.” For example, “workers at robotic fulfillment centers were expected to pick up and scan roughly 400 items an hour, compared with the standard rate of 100 items per hour at other facilities.” (CNBC.com) In other words, humans can’t keep up with the robots without hurting themselves.

Amazon internal reports show that between 2016 and 2019, in Amazon fulfillment centers that ship small and medium-sized items, the rate of serious injuries was 50% higher at the warehouses with robots, compared to those without. (RevealNews.org)

Despite measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “such as an extra rest break or rotating workers to other jobs during the day,” Amazon has not widely implemented the measures. Therefore, injury rates have continued to rise.

One of many problems keeping injuries at a high rate is low safety staffing at robotic warehouses, especially during peak seasons. In November of 2019, a spokesperson told Will Evans, author of How Amazon Hid Its Safety Crisis, RevealNews.org, “We ensure we have adequate leadership and safety staff on hand during these peak times.” Yet an August 2019 report showed robotic warehouse safety staff as “critically low”, and in October 2019 another report again warned of staffing problems at robotic warehouses.

Having access to Amazon’s internal records, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has created a chart “to show injury rates across more than 150 Amazon fulfillment centers from 2016 through 2019.” To see the number of injuries at an Amazon warehouse near you, go to RevealNews.org.

Workplace injuries for Amazon fulfillment centers here in South Carolina (data is excluded if there were less than 200.000 hours worked during a given year):

(per 100 workers)
North Charleston, SC (CHS1)(2016) 3.2(2017) —(2018) —(2019) —
Spartanburg, SC (GSP1)(2016) 2.6(2017) 3.7(2018) 5.3(2019) 7.0
West Columbia, SC (CAE1)(2016) 4.8(2017) 4.1(2018) 3.1(2019) 6.0
West Columbia, SC (CAE3)(2016) —(2017) 6.7(2018) 4.0(2019) 8.2

THE LAW OFFICES OF DAVID L. HOOD – REPRESENTING INJURED WORKERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The Law Offices of David L. Hood and co-counsel have been fighting for the rights of injured workers in Charleston, N. Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Greenville, Hilton Head, Rock Hill and all across South Carolina for over 25 years. We have a dedicated team that will strive to take care of your claim professionally and treat you with respect. Over the years we and our co-counsel have represented hundreds of injured workers and their families, working hard to get them the medical treatment and compensation they deserve.

To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation. If you choose to work with us, we will handle your case on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we make a recovery for you. To get in touch with us, you can call our offices at (843) 491-6025 or email us here.

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Another Recall on Volvo Air Bags

After metal fragments from an exploding air bag killed a driver, Volvo Cars USA is recalling as many as 54,124 additional vehicles due to an air bag defect. This newest recall is on an air bag inflator made by auto parts supplier ZF/TRW, which has its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. (Bloomberg.com).

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said this incident is the only known death worldwide caused by this specific air bag. “It is reviewing data with Volvo about other vehicles equipped with the inflators and will decide whether to take further action.” (TheWashingtonPost)

This recall covers Volvo S60 and S80 cars, model years 2001 through 2003, “that were sold or registered in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Volvo says they will contact owners of these vehicles and will replace the “inflators with a modern propellant and inflator [at no cost]. Parts are expected to be available by March.” (Reuters.com)

The Takata airbag recall, the largest auto recall in history, began in 2015. According to the NHTSA, as of October 29, 2019, this recall had affected around 70 million airbags.

Many drivers who own vehicles containing these defective airbags either haven’t received the recall notices or just haven’t taken the risk seriously. In October of 2019, the NHTSA estimated that “more than 200,000 South Carolina cars are being driven with defective airbags made by the Takata Corp.” (PostandCourier.com)

How to find out if your vehicle is affected by this recall, or any other recall:

  • Go to checktoprotect.org, and type in your vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Call your dealership.
  • Sign up for future recall alerts on NHTSA’s website.

What to do if your vehicle is affected by a recall:

Call the nearest dealership for your vehicle. “Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or in rare cases repurchasing the vehicle.” (NHTSA)

CONTACT DAVID L. HOOD IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT BY A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective product, schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Categories
Bodily Injury Lawyer

Metformin Recall Expanded

Metformin is prescribed by doctors for the management of type 2 diabetes. It is sold under several different brand names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza, and Riomet. (EverydayHealth.com)

Marksans Pharma Limited of India has expanded its recall from June 5, 2020 to include 76 additional lots of unexpired Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets in 500 mg and 750 mg packages, sold under the name Time-Cap Labs, Inc.

Although there have been no adverse effects reported by patients taking the medication, the company recalled the additional lots after testing showed Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) “content in some lots exceeded the acceptable daily intake limit.” (TheState.com) Marksans Pharma Limited pulled the lots “out of an abundance of caution.” The actual recall, along with specifics on the 76 additional lots that are now being recalled can be found on the FDA’s website.

NMDA

According to The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, NDMA “is very harmful to the liver of animals and humans…Although there are no reports of NMDA causing cancer in humans, it is reasonable to expect that exposure to NDMA by eating, drinking, or breathing could cause cancer in humans.” Tests done on rats and mice showed when exposed to low levels of NMDA for periods of more than several weeks, liver and lung cancer occurred, as well as noncancerous liver damage.

As of October 16, 2020, eight drug companies: Amneal, Apotex, Bayshore, Granules, Lupin, Marksans, Sun Pharmaceuticals, and Teva have recalled their metformin-ER, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you are currently taking metformin, do not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first. Doing so could cause your blood sugar to dip or spike, which could be dangerous. Instead, check the prescription bottle to find the exact type of metformin prescribed. Then check the FDA list of all metformin recalls to date to see if yours is on the recall list. If your medication is on the recall list, contact the doctor who prescribed it and ask what you need to do. If your medication is not on the recall list, continue to check the list of recalled metformin on the FDA’s website to make sure your medication is not recalled. If you’re not sure whether or not the metformin you’re taking has been recalled, call the physician who prescribed it.

CONTACT DAVID L. HOOD IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT BY A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled or defective product, schedule your free consultation by calling the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form.

We know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of product defect-related injuries and the untold pain and suffering they cause. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family so you can focus on healing. After a free case evaluation, if we believe we can help you and your family, Attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put our years of experience to work for you!

*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.

Other online resources used for this article:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/health/fda-recall-diabetes-medication-metformin-cancer-trnd/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1ndqS1GQ-VkFVAP1h0bOgP3A1B2xT6R8EIcBaYfQZ4UM1Ek8qSW17KeQI