Posted On: May 31, 2011

Maryland Farmer Work Safety : Labor Dept. Says Farming Jobs Among Most Dangerous, Prone to Accidents

When people think of hazardous occupations, a certain few come to mind, such as fire fighters and police officers. However anyone in Maryland who does farming and agricultural work already knows what a government report revealed to be true: Farming work is hazardous and can cause injury and death. What might surprise some is national statistics for fatal farming accidents reveal that farming work is more dangerous than firefighting or police work combined.

U.S. Department of Labor data show that the national rate of fatal occupational injuries for farmers and ranchers in 2009 was 38.5 per 100,000 full-time workers -- as compared to 13.1 for police officers and 4.4 for firefighters. City dwellers and other people who don't live near working farms may not realize how dangerous farming work can be. Labor Department economist Jim Rice told Market Watch that "…you probably hear less about people dying when tractors roll over on them. For those who do work on farms, it's still a dangerous occupation."

Maryland farmers, ranchers, and others in the agriculture industry work with heavy equipment and vehicles. Like construction workers, these hard-working Maryland farmers put in long hours doing heavy labor--particularly now that the warm weather has arrived. If you live and drive in Maryland, you may already have noticed farm vehicles on the rural roadways --which pose traffic accident risks for both the farmers and other motorists.

As Maryland farm equipment accident attorneys, we are well aware of the risks of injury and fatality that come with farming work. We also know that serious traffic accidents can happen when hurried Md. motorists come upon a tractor or other piece of agricultural equipment in the road, or livestock in the road. See links below to more Md. accident injury attorney articles about sharing Maryland's back roads with tractors and other farming vehicles.

Risky Business: Jobs You Never Knew Were So Dangerous
Market Watch via Yahoo! Finance Feb. 14, 2011

Related Maryland Injury Attorney articles:

Car Accidents with Farm Equipment on Public Roads in Maryland: When Lifestyles and Vehicles Collide

Maryland Car Accidents with Livestock and Other Animals in the Road

Maryland Farm Vehicle and Auto Accident Prevention: Do State Regulations Go Far Enough?

Posted On: May 27, 2011

Maryland Drivers Among Worst in U.S. for Knowledge of State Driving Laws

As experienced Baltimore County car accident injury lawyers who've served the people of Maryland for decades, we're well aware of the dangers of driving in the Old Line State. From Baltimore City streets, to our beloved Chesapeake Bay Bridge, to our highways and back roads -- all are travelled by dangerous drivers, all fraught with driving hazards. If you live and work here in Maryland, like us, you know driving can be a daily challenge.

Our clients in and around greater Baltimore, Md. have been telling us for years about the incredible antics of local drivers. And we've seen our fair share of incredibly bad drivers -- the speeders, weavers, tailgaters, lane changers, stop sign runners, pass-on-the-right siders, texters and cell phone chatters, angry/distracted/impaired drivers -- you name it. The kind of Maryland drivers who can cause serious and fatal auto accidents.

Now a new study proves what we Baltimore injury attorneys and our clients already knew to be true: Maryland drivers are not at the top of the class when it comes to knowledge of road rules.

In an article indelicately titled, "Maryland drivers among dumbest in U.S." (they said it, not us!), the Baltimore Business Journal reports on the findings of a new GMAC Insurance study. The study surveyed licensed drivers 16 to 65 years old in 50 states and Washington, DC, about their knowledge of their states' basic driving rules and regulations. Maryland ranked 49th -- skidding down from 20th place in 2010. The report surmises that 1 in 5 U.S. drivers would fail their state's written driver's license test. For Maryland, that number is one-third of drivers. ouch.

The study also found that the most dangerous driving exists in the Northeast, which shouldn't surprise anyone who's driven from Baltimore to Boston. That's not to say all Maryland drivers are traffic accidents waiting to happen. But the study results aren't reassuring. But hey, to make us all feel a little better -- our neighbors in the nation's capital, Washington, DC, came in last. The smartest drivers? Kansas. But we're not there. This is Baltimore, folks. Drive defensively!

How smart are you when it comes to knowledge of Maryland's state driving laws and safety regulations? See the Maryland DMV and Driver's License Handbook.

Sources:

Maryland drivers among dumbest in U.S.
Baltimore Business Journal May 26, 2011

GMAC Insurance Study: Nearly 1 in 5 American Drivers Unfit for the Road
GMAC Press Release May 26, 2011

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Articles:

Baltimore, Maryland Auto Accident Liability : Civil Lawsuits vs. Criminal Cases

Baltimore County Democrat Pushing Maryland Bill to Toughen Distracted Driving Law

Maryland Vehicular Homicide Bill : Drivers Who Cause Fatal Auto Accidents Should Get Tougher Penalties, Grieving Families Say

Posted On: May 17, 2011

Protecting Baltimore, Maryland Dock Workers from Accident and Injury : OSHA Updates General Working Conditions for Shipyard Employment

This month, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated regulations protecting shipyard workers from work-related injuries. The new ruling reflects advancements in maritime industry technologies and practices. OSHA reports that its employment standards for shipyard workers had not been significantly updated since 1972.

As we can attest, Maryland waterfront work is dangerous business. There are many ways that Baltimore's hard-working longshoremen can get hurt or killed, including slip and fall injuries, crane and forklift accidents, being hit by falling cargo, and drowning. The amended OSHA standards for waterfront workers in Baltimore, Md., and ports around the country address the following safety concerns:

  • Adequate lighting for work spaces

  • Checking on employees at the end of their shifts

  • Control of hazardous energy

  • Motor vehicle safety equipment, operation, and maintenance

  • Accident prevention signs and tags

  • Medical services, first aid, and sanitation

The new final rule on General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment goes into effect on August 1, 2011. OSHA reports the amended safety standards could potentially save hundreds of dock worker lives every year, by putting safety measures in place that can prevent fatal work accidents.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney article:

Construction Worker & Garbage Collector Among 10 Worst Jobs for 2010 (And Maryland -- Stevedores / Dock Workers Made the List, Too)

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) resources:

US Department of Labor issues final rule to protect shipyard workers: Rule reflects advances in industry practices and technology (press release)

General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment (website)

Regulatory Text (PDF)

Posted On: May 11, 2011

Maryland Ford F-150 Driver Safety Alerts : Pickup Truck Airbags and Gas Tanks Under Investigation

The Ford F-150 pickup truck and its companions in the Ford F series have been dubbed by auto critics as the "best selling vehicles in the USA" for more than three decades. With its imposing grill and beefy demeanor, the Ford F-150 is a favorite choice of farmers, construction workers, and other drivers who enjoy a powerful pickup that can haul a good-sized load. But popular does not mean perfect, as evidenced by recent Ford F-150 truck safety concerns in the news.

If you're a Maryland driver of a Ford F-150 pickup truck -- be aware of two recent automotive safety investigations that may include your vehicle. Last month, an expanded recall went out for Ford F-150 pickup trucks (model years 2004 to 2006) because of reports the air bags could suddenly deploy without a traffic accident having taken place.

Now news reports state that NHTSA -- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- is looking into more than 200 reports from consumers that their Ford F-150 gas tanks have fallen off. The problem, NHTSA asserts, may be that the steel straps holding the Ford F-150 gas tank in place could rust and break -- causing the potential for gas leakage and fire. Model years 1997 - 2001 are being investigated. Thus far no one has been injured or killed in a truck accident resulting from the Ford F-150 gas tank straps issue.

As experienced Baltimore County, Maryland truck accident injury lawyers, we pay attention to automotive product safety recalls and investigations such as those surrounding the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

No Maryland motorist wants to think about driving their car or truck on the Baltimore Beltway or across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and having their gas tank fall off and drag behind them in a trail of sparks. If you own or drive a Ford F-150 in Maryland, consult your Ford dealer regarding your vehicle and safety recalls or service bulletins. (See link below to Ford.com page where you can search for safety notices related to your vehicle by VIN.)

Officials investigate fuel tank problem on F-150s
ABC2News.com May 9, 2011

Ford F-150 air bag recall expanded to 1.2 million trucks
Consumer Reports April 15, 2011

Questions and Intrigue After Recall of Ford F-150
The New York Times Feb. 24, 2011

Related Web Resource:

Ford, Lincoln & Mercury Recall Notices (vehicle owners may search by VIN)

Related Maryland Injury Attorney article:

Maryland Toyota Driver Safety Alerts: Gas Pedal Recall Extended to Additional Vehicles