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January 2015 Archives

The Patient Safety Movement

At the conclusion of the Patient Safety Summit earlier this month, a wide range of political and safety advocates spoke up in support of the goal to eliminate all preventable medical errors by the year 2020. Recent estimates have suggested that more than 400,000 people die each year as a result of such errors, so reducing them to zero is a laudable goal. But is it a realistic one?

Are You A Good Driver? Do You Want To Find Out?

In various surveys conducted over the years, the percentage of drivers who think they are better than average is roughly 80 percent. Since it is not possible for 80 percent to be better than average, it is clear that many people are not able to accurately judge their driving ability. A phenomenon known as illusory superiority actually makes most people poor judges of their own abilities and virtues in a wide range of endeavors. If you are a bad driver, would the people in your life tell you? How would you know? Could you do more to drive safely and protect yourself and your loved ones? A new opportunity to obtain impartial feedback about your driving ability may be available soon.

Avoiding Medical Errors As A Patient

Most people are under the impression that preventing medical errors is a problem for the medical industry. Doctors, nurses, emergency medical personnel and hospitals should take whatever steps are necessary to reduce or eliminate the potential for errors. That is true, but it is little comfort to the many patients and family members who are victimized by medical negligence every year. There are steps that patients and their families can take to reduce the potential for harm.

What To Do After A Car Accident

There is no shortage of online guides about what to do after you have been in a car accident. Remember that, whatever you read, safety must be your first consideration immediately following an accident. Avoiding further harm and getting medical attention for yourself and anyone else involved must be the top priority. After the scene is secure and medical care has been handled, there are steps you can take to improve your situation. A car accident can be a costly and life-altering incident. The goal is to make sure you end up in the best possible position after your crash.

Massive Fines And Prison Sentences In Asbestos Situation

The owners and executives of a New Jersey salvage company are facing heavy fines and potential jail time for their roles in a project involving asbestos. The salvage company agreed to purchase the Liberty Fibers plant. The facility contained salvageable metals, but it also contained asbestos. The site fell under the government's Superfund program because it contained deadly materials. The salvage company improperly disposed of the asbestos on site and knowingly exposed workers to the deadly asbestos fibers.

Auto Safety In The Spotlight

Technology has played a large role in reducing the number of people who die each year in car accidents. Cars equipped with air bags, anti lock brakes, and other safety features represent huge advances over cars from a few decades ago. Some technology works without any action by the driver or passengers. Other measures, such as seat belts, child safety seats and booster seats require drivers and passengers to participate in keeping themselves safe. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, a new form of technology may be joining the list in keeping cars safer.

Asbestos Now, Asbestos Later

The legal battle surrounding Garlock Sealing Technologies and its asbestos-containing products has taken a new turn. The company, currently in bankruptcy, has recently struck a deal with future asbestos claimants. The deal agrees to divide $358 million over the next 40 years among those who can demonstrate, in the future, that they were exposed to asbestos from Garlock's gasket technology. That agreement has sparked controversy among the people with existing claims against the company.

Defective Automobiles And The NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. Among the responsibilities of the NHTSA is the duty to investigate safety defects in vehicles and compel auto manufacturers to recall vehicles that have dangerous defects or that do not comply with federal safety standards. The process by which defects are identified and analyzed and the process of having vehicles recalled have been criticized in recent years following a number of high-profile missteps. The new head administrator of the NHTSA identified improving these systems as his top priority.

Warnings Issued After Workers Exposed To Asbestos

Asbestos is a known health hazard that is tightly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA requires specific measures to protect workers from exposure to asbestos fibers in the course of their employment. Six Illinois companies were recently cited for failure to abide by these regulations. Workers were not properly protected while doing work that may have exposed them to asbestos.

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