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November 2016 Archives

OSHA's position on mandatory drug tests after work accidents

Many New Jersey employers in New Jersey test for drug and alcohol intoxication after employees are injured in work accidents. Though the mandatory drug and alcohol testing policy is common, employers may be risking steep fines by keeping it in place. Earlier in 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule that effectively banned the policy of routine post-accident drug tests.

Autonomous trucks could prevent thousands of accidents each year

Semi-tractor trailers are a common sight on New Jersey highways, and reducing the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles is a major priority for lawmakers, the logistics industry and road safety advocates alike. Autonomous vehicle technology offers the possibility of an accident-free future, and the American Transportation Research Institute released a report on Nov. 15 detailing what needs to be done to clear the way for self-driving trucks.

How to prevent injuries on an excavation site

Those who are asked to work on trenching or excavation sites in New Jersey or elsewhere face many dangers. Cave-ins are the most common type of accident, and they lead to dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries each year. To stay safe on the job, it is important to never enter a trench that is not protected. Trenches that are more than 5 feet deep must have a protective system unless it is cut into stable rock.

Not all workplace injuries qualify for workers' comp benefits

Rising insurance costs and shrinking margins are a concern for many employers in New Jersey and around the country, and these fears may sometimes prompt them to contest the workers' compensation claims filed by their sick or injured employees. One recent such case involved a clerk who was denied financial benefits from the state workers' compensation program even though he injured his wrist while working for the City of Chicago.

New Jersey truck drivers still face marijuana testing

On Nov. 8, voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine opted to make recreational marijuana legal. They joined residents of Colorado and Washington who had voted in favor of making recreational marijuana legal in 2012. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation says that truck drivers cannot use the substance and drive. This will be true as long as the drug is a Schedule I substance under federal law.

Nursing home employees are at risk for work injuries

Workers in some New Jersey industries might be interested in figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data indicate a slight decrease in the rate of employee injuries overall between 2014 and 2015. They show that jobs in hospitals, in nursing homes and in the construction industry had the highest rates of illness and injury among employees in 2015.

Nearly 3 million Samsung washing machines recalled

New Jersey residents with Samsung washing machines may want to check whether their machines are involved in a November recall. Samsung US has recalled 2.8 million of them over injury concerns. The top-loading washing machines were manufactured beginning in March 2011. Consumers who would like to view a full list of the recalled washing machine models can go to the company's website.

5 industries with the most injuries in the private sector

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified five industries where injuries on the job are at their highest rate of occurring. In a report released on Oct. 27, the agency said that almost 3 million people working in the private sector had been injured or become ill because of workplace accidents or conditions in 2015. However, overall, workplace injury and illness rates are falling. The report only examined nonfatal injuries. New Jersey workers in certain occupations may want to take extra safety precautions.