Posted On: January 15, 2013

Dangerous Jobs in Maryland : OSHA Site Specific Inspections Target High-Risk, Non-Construction Workplaces

The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced its plan to inspect workplaces in industries with increased hazards for worker illness, injury, and death.

OSHA announced in a press release that the Site-Specific Targeting 2012 plan aims inspections at high-hazard, non-construction site workplaces with 20 or more workers. The plan is the result of data collected from a survey of 80,000 establishments in high-hazard industries. Industries surveyed included farming, automotive, trucking, packing and crating, manufacturing, grocery, lumber, department stores, as well as hospitals and psychiatric and nursing facilities.

Baltimore, Maryland Worker's Compensation lawyers like us know that construction work can be very dangerous. A fair number of our work injury cases result from construction workers who suffer injuries from slip and fall accidents, being struck by machinery or objects, and construction vehicle accidents. However worker hazards exist in other non-construction industries target by OSHA – both nationally and regionally, here in the Mid-Atlantic.

OSHA's Local Emphasis Programs target region-specific industries where workers may be at higher risk for injury and death. Maryland falls within OSHA Region III. Among the region specific industries and types of injuries targeted under this program are the oil and gas industry, cement work, construction falls, department store industry, sheet metal and scrap metal industries, the health care industry, and ship building/boat repair.

Note: Maryland is among the U.S. states and territories that operate their own OSHA-approved job safety and health programs and cover state and local government workers as well as private sector workers. The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Program (MOSH) is part of the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry. Maryland OSHA is headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland and has field offices in Easton and Hagerstown, Md.

If you are injured in the course of your work for a Maryland employer, please contact an experienced Maryland work injury attorney to discuss your case. These cases can quickly turn against well-meaning employees, who may let loyalty to a company get in the way of doing what's best for themselves and their families. Remember: Insurance companies and company attorneys don't care how loyal you are to your employer or how many years of work you put into your job.

See our related articles below for more insight into the Maryland Worker's Compensation system and dangerous jobs in Maryland.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Articles:

Top Question Asked by Injured Workers Filing Maryland Workers' Compensation Claims : "When Will I Get Paid?"

Maryland Work Injury and Death Statistics Shed Light on Most Hazardous Occupations (Jan. 2012)

Sources:

OSHA issues 2012 inspection plan to reduce injuries and illnesses at high-hazard workplaces
OSHA News Release Jan. 8, 2013

Site-Specific Targeting 2012 (SST-12) (PDF)
OSHA Notice Jan. 4, 2013

OSHA : Local Emphasis Programs

OSHA : Maryland Plan

Posted On: January 7, 2013

Maryland Drivers – Are You Asleep at the Wheel? 4 Percent of Drowsy Driving Survey Respondents Said "Yes"

Federal regulations require drivers of large commercial trucks, including tractor trailers, to get a certain amount of sleep between shifts, to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel and causing serious truck accidents. No one wants to think that the 18-wheeler roaring up behind them on the Baltimore Beltway might be piloted by a driver who is about to fall asleep.

But what about all the other motorists with whom we share Maryland's back roads and highways?

A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals something alarming: 1 in 24 drivers admit to driving drowsy, including actually nodding off behind the wheel. ABC News reports that "…based on a survey of nearly 150,000 drivers in 19 states and D.C. … sleepiness aggravated by shift work and snoring can be as risky as alcohol, slowing reaction times and impairing decision-making behind the wheel."

(Note: "Shift work" refers to jobs that demand workers change normal sleep patterns, such as security guards, factory workers, and others who work overnight or late night shifts. Snoring has also been found to inhibit a good night's sleep, which could contribute to the problem of drowsy driving.)

As Baltimore auto accident injury lawyers, we've seen what can happen when a drunk or impaired driver looses control of their vehicle. Maryland was one of the states polled in the CDC study – and 4 percent of Md. survey respondents admitted to drowsy driving. That's worse than our neighbors in Washington, DC, where 2 percent of those surveyed said they drove in a sleep deprived mode.

ABC News reports that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a full 2 percent of motor vehicle accidents in the US involve drowsy driving. What's more, a separate study revealed drivers may suffer from a condition known as "microsleep" – falling asleep behind the wheel for seconds at a time, possibly multiple times while driving.

Public health and traffic safety advocates fear that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Liberty Mutual Research Institute estimates that a quarter million US drivers drive drowsy every day. New estimates reveal that drowsy driving is the second leading cause of fatal motor vehicle crashes, second only to drunk driving. NHTSA estimates more than 6,000 people are killed every year due to drowsy drivers.

While we can't control the behaviors of others behind the wheel, Maryland motorists can do a few things to stay safe on the road:

> Plan long trips in advance and build in rest time. Avoid "driving all night" to "make good time." A rest break could save your life and those of other innocent motorists around you.

> If you have miles to go before you sleep, consider putting them off and sleeping instead.

> Report any drivers you observe swerving into other lanes or otherwise driving erratically to Maryland police by dialing dial #77 for non-emergency situations and 911 for true emergencies.

> The saying "Friends don't let friends drink and drive" can be adapted and applied here. "Friends don't let friends drive drowsy."

Wake up Maryland drivers! Awareness can go a long way to addressing this public health and traffic safety concern in Maryland and around the US.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Article:

Working Overtime : Drowsy Driving a Serious Risk for Truckers and Other Maryland Motorists (Nov. 2011)

Sources:

1 in 24 in US Drives Drowsy, CDC Says
ABC News Jan. 5, 2013

'In the Blink of an Eye': Dozing While Driving
ABC News Jan. 3, 2013

Drowsy Driving — 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009–2010
CDC Weekly January 4, 2013 / 61(51);1033-1037