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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety is a major concern in construction workers' accidents

A safe work environment is as essential for everyone here in Pennsylvania as it is for those in the rest of the country. Construction workers face a myriad of dangers, and safety is a major concern in limiting the potential for construction workers' accidents. For example, without the proper fortification and additional safety precautions, a trench could easily become a death trap.

A man working in a trench at a private development recently lost his life. For reasons under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the trench collapsed and buried the man up to his neck in dirt and clay. Three of the man's co-workers attempted to dig him out, but they had to evacuate due to safety concerns.

Products liability news: Sargento cuts the fat from its operation

Twice during the month of February, Sargento Foods, Inc., one of the country's largest cheesemakers, issued recalls for certain varieties of its cheeses sold here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. The recalls were necessary due to the threat of listeria contamination from one of its suppliers. Now, perhaps in an effort to avoid further potential products liability issues, the company has cut off ties with the supplier it believes caused the issue.

The recall required the removal of several of the company's cheeses from store shelves across the country, including here in Pennsylvania. All of the cheeses affected by the recall were packaged at the same facility as the longhorn colby cheese that will no longer be supplied to the company by Deutsche Kase Haus. The listeria contamination originated at that company.

Baby rattles recalled due to choking hazard

For decades, rattles have been one of the go-to first toys a baby receives. Not only do rattles teach babies how to hold an object, but the sounds a rattle makes can be both soothing to the baby and good for the baby's development. The last thing parents want to hear is that their baby's rattle poses a threat to their safety, or a choking hazard.

This is the case recently with the popular rattle called the Oball. Manufactured by Kids II, the rattle is ball-shaped and has finger holes that make it easy for a baby to grasp. The hazard comes from three clear plastic discs around the ball, which contain orange beads. The discs can break and release the small beads.

3 face criminal charges for nursing home neglect

As the population of the country ages, more attention needs to be given to the quality of care provided to the elderly. Pennsylvania families entrust the safety and care of their aging loved ones to nursing homes, but sometimes, that trust is misplaced. Nursing home neglect is a serious problem since many nursing home residents are unable to care for themselves and rely on the staff to be compassionate, caring and diligent.

This is why a recent report of three nursing home workers who face criminal charges for neglect of an elderly woman could inspire outrage. The three failed to check on the woman for approximately 11 hours one night, and when she was finally looked in on, she had suffered somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 ant bites. An investigation into the incident revealed that the three workers lied about checking on the woman during the night of Sept. 3, 2016 into the morning hours of Sept. 4, 2016.

Commercial construction workers face many risks on the job

As a commercial construction worker, you know that no two days at the job site are ever the same. Unfortunately, you also know that you face many risks on a regular basis. Even though you, your coworkers, and your employer can take many steps to lessen the likelihood of an accident, you never know what the future could bring.

Here are some of the primary risks facing commercial construction workers today:

Buyer beware: Used cars could have auto defects subject to recall

When Pennsylvania residents shop for a used car, they more than likely expect that a vehicle said to be "inspected" or "certified" will be safe. Unfortunately, that might not be the case. The Federal Trade Commission does not require used car dealers to make repairs to auto defects that are subject to recall. Consumers could drive off the lot with a vehicle that might seriously injure or kill them, their passengers or someone else on the road.

This fact prompted a lawsuit against the FTC for allowing vehicles on the road that require repairs based on recalls for airbags, faulty ignition switches and braking issues, along with those that need repairs for power steering and alternator issues. Any one of these defects could cause an accident and/or injuries. Even so, the FTC made a deal with two auto dealerships and General Motors allowing vehicles to be labeled certified or inspected as long as the consumer is told that the vehicle is subject to recalls that were not repaired.

Smokeless tobacco recall could lead to products liability claims

Anti-tobacco advocates warn users of smokeless tobacco that it could be dangerous. Those advocates might be right after a unit of Altria -- U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company -- issued a recall for several of its products sold across the country, including here in Pennsylvania. It is not yet known whether users of the products connected with the recall will file any products liability claims.

The company received complaints that sharp metal pieces were found in some of its products. The reports so far come from six states. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company provides products for brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal. More than 40 brands of smokeless tobacco are affected by the recall. All of the affected products were produced in one facility.

Construction workers' accidents are a possibility in trench work

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides safety guidelines for nearly every possible hazard in nearly every industry. When it comes to construction workers' accidents here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere in the country, the number of things that could go wrong ranges from falls from heights to being crushed in a trench collapse. Certain safety measures are required for anyone working in a trench, where the risk of serious injuries or death is a daily possibility.

Not only is there a risk of the trench collapsing if it is not properly shored up, but objects could fall into the trench and cause serious injuries or death as well. For example, a construction worker recently died in a trench at a housing construction project in another state. First reports regarding the incident said that the trench in which the man was working collapsed.

Identifying nursing home neglect

Many Pennsylvania residents have family members who are no longer able to care for themselves. In such cases, relatives usually search for a nursing home that will provide their elderly loved ones with the care and compassion they need. However, many of these individuals are surprised when they discover that their loved one became a victim of nursing home neglect.

Some people are shocked when they discover that neglect and abuse occurred, and often, it has been going on for some time. Family members might spare their aging loved ones at least some pain by identifying the neglect and/or abuse as quickly as possible. Not all nursing homes are bad, but better to be safe than sorry.

Manufacturers are responsible for more than auto defects

Companies manufacture more than just car, trucks and SUVs -- or their parts -- that turn out to have problems. Auto defects tend to make the news far more often, but motorcycle manufacturers also make mistakes that lead to dangerous defects. All motor vehicle manufactures have a duty to issue a public report regarding a defect and to notify the appropriate parties, including vehicle owners, whether they are here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and vehicle manufacturers ordinarily initiate recalls. A public notice must be disseminated indicating the nature of the defect, the vehicles and population affected and what event caused the need for the recall, along with how the defect will be remedied and a schedule for the recall. Manufacturers are required to make every effort to notify those affected by the recall.

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