Tag Archives: drivers

Unseen Dangers of Workplace Nobody Will Tell You About (Guest Post)

It would not be wrong to say that every workplace has some dangers lurking for the employees. These often go unnoticed by the employees,  sometimes causing much damage and irreparable injury.  It could be a result of carelessness on the part of the management, lack of required security for workers or simply ignorance about the existence of the danger a particular activity or device holds. This post looks into those potential dangers and discusses workplace hazards we need to be careful and alert about. 

Workers in the Hospitality and Services Industry 

All those working in hotel kitchens and whipping up delicious dishes would probably never have thought about constant dangers they are exposing themselves to. The heat and fumes that they are constantly functioning in are extremely damaging to the health of the lungs. The hot pans and bulky vessels are other sources of burns and injuries that workers in the kitchen often work with and take little care. Poor lighting in kitchens, uncared for inflammable substances are other dangers lurking around in the kitchen. 

The owner of the place must ensure proper lighting, storage, ventilation and functioning appliances in proper condition for the employees.   On the other hand, the relatively innocent looking fryers and pans could also be sources of danger. While there should be a warning board displayed in every restaurant kitchen for newbies, that isn’t the case always. And so nobody will tell you that you never put anything frozen in a fryer, the oil will bubble up and burn your hands. Similarly you must always use gloves to handle pans and pots, even those that have handles. Also a slightly unwelded or loose handle can cause the pan and its contents to fall on you. Sharp objects in the kitchen exist in abundance and you must always be careful when handling knives, scissors, peelers and other sharp objects. 

Workers in the Construction Industry 

Construction workers have one of the most high risk jobs. They are constantly exposed to all sorts of danger at work. Four workers falling to their death on Christmas Eve in Toronto was a complete jolter and again brings into focus the nonchalant, lackluster attitude some employers have towards the safety of their workers. 

While working around a backhoe, being electrocuted, cut by machines and crushed between boulders and vehicles are the obvious dangers workers are encountering at all times, there is another latent kind of danger that is of late becoming increasingly common in the construction industry. It is this phenomenon called “independent contractors”. A lot of desperate, migrant workers function as cheap labor and pump in their blood and sweat (literally) into these industries. The scarey fact here is, that employers are completely exploiting these “independent contractors” as they are not properly covered within the employment benefits.  The employers as well as the insurers can get around not paying them benefits and worker’s insurance coverage. 

States must take into account these desperate workers and make laws that help them to cover expenses and financial blows experienced due to an injury at the workplace. These workers can also seek legal counsel from aggressive and dedicated personal injury lawyers who will fight for their rights and litigate to secure them the best possible settlement in the given circumstances. 

Besides these, construction workers are exposed to a number of other things that can be highly dangerous to them. Contaminated building products lead to a lot of damage in the worker’s bodies but one building product that few people know is very harmful for workers is asbestos. Painters, demolition workers, roofers, masons and bricklayers are all exposed to asbestos in some form or the other. There has been an increased incidence of peritoneal cancers and lung cancers in asbestos exposed workers. Studies have revealed that employers are using much higher concentration of asbestos than recommended,  which is immensely harmful for the employees.  Respirator protection, eye protection, and safe gloves are required for these workers.

When Working as Drivers

Motorbike delivery services, truck drivers, taxi-drivers, chauffers may get into the job thinking it is relatively risk-free. After a few days into the job they will know it’s not. You are expected to meet deadlines when you are in the delivery service and travelling on a bike, you will be speeding for your job. A fall or an accident can never be too far and you are always at risk.

Those jobs that involve loading and unloading can give you serious spine and back injuries. Many drivers also become a victim of violence and assault while on the road, which most of them do not expect and are not prepared for.  Prolonged sitting on the job  can lead to a lot of health problems like backaches and bad posture. Handling of constant communication tools even while on the road is dangerous though not deemed so by the owner of the vehicle or the driver. If you are in this profession, avoid using your cell phone as much as possible. Moreover, your job can involve engines, brakes, doors malfunctioning anytime, which can again lead to serious accidents.Regular servicing and maintenance of the vehicle is a must to make the automobile/truck as safe as possible for the drivers.

When You are a Farmer or a Rancher

While many believe farming as one of the most safe and satisfying occupations, the truth is slightly deviated from that. Satisfying, yes, probably for most, however, there are a lot of dangers lurking in farming as well. Constant exposure to various types of chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides can lead to breathing problems as well as allergies. Ask a farmer and you will believe me.  In addition, you are also dealing with some pretty big animals (who have horns and teeth) on your ranch. They are well behaved and somewhat tame, but if any of these animals get out of control, they can severely injure you – causing fractures, deep cuts, or spinal injuries.  Hence, it is not surprising to know that the death rate percentage among farmers and ranchers as high as 21.3 per cent, which makes it  actually counted as one of the most dangerous occupations in U.S.A.


Most of us spend the largest chunk of our lives at the workplace whether it is a farm, car or office. Each place and each job comes with some inherent risks and potential dangers. Some of these dangers are known to us and we know how to tackle them. But there are other physical and emotional dangers associated with the job as well, which we may not be aware of and that is what makes them all the more risky. If you have discovered any such unknown danger at the workplace, letting others know will help save many from injuries, fatigue and fatalities.

Author’s Bio: 

Attorney Mike Hulen is a personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Hulen & Leutwyler, LLC in Colorado. Hulen has more than 30 years of legal experience in helping the people to rebuild their lives after being injured in accidents.  Whether you are looking for a strong representation in your personal injury case or need immediate help, call us at 888-717-7891.


How quickly the summer school break goes by.  It seems the schools just ended another year, and now it’s almost time to begin a new one.  There is much anticipation in the air, especially for students that will experience school for the first time, or moving up to middle school, or high school.  This is our reminder to you that our future generations are going to be either walking, on a bus, in a carpool, or riding their bikes to school.  It is our responsibility as drivers to slow down and pay close attention.

Our second reminder: be sure your kids have received all their shots that are required to go to school.  Free clinics are offering these shots, so now’s the time to take care of it.  This is as important, or more so, than all the school supplies they will be needing. 

Many states have laws that forbid drivers using cell phones in a school zone.  This is a good law, and one that persons shouldn’t mind abiding by.  Save that conversation for later, after you have stopped your car and gotten out of it.  We need to remind our teens that texting and driving don’t mix at any time, and more so when there are chances of little ones crossing the streets or getting off the school bus. 

Schools must put a stop to school bus bullying or physical encounters on buses.  Schools should have constant communication systems between the bus drivers and the main office.  In case of an incident, school officials or law enforcement should step in immediately.  We have seen incidents that have been recorded on cell phones.  The person doing the recording should be calling for help, as well.  They may be afraid of a confrontation with the bully or bullies, but school administration officials should have a zero tolerance for this type of behavior. 

Parents, go with your little ones for the first few times if they will be riding a bus.  Be sure they understand when to get off safely and never to walk in front or directly behind the bus; rather, let the bus pull away first.  If they are walking, please accompany them for a while, and if you can, find an older child that you know and trust to walk with them.  Be sure they understand to obey the school crossing guard, who is there for their safety, and only cross streets at the corner. 

Another tip for parents: don’t overload your child’s backpack.  Their little backs can only carry so much, so balance the books, pens, crayons, etc. to lighten their load as much as possible. 

For those drivers who go to work each day, leave the house a little early, to allow time to stop for school children or a school bus.  It’s better to get to work on time, if possible, so take those extra minutes to head out and pay attention to little pedestrians. 

Many of us grew up or raised our children in much more innocent times.  Our children are most precious; if you live in a neighborhood that is not completely safe, please don’t send your child out alone.  Be sure they go to school in a group.  All kids should be taught never to talk to strangers or get in a vehicle with someone they don’t know.   

These tips are reminders for all of us – drivers, parents, teenagers, teachers, bus drivers, and school administrators –  to do our best to make this a very safe year for our children.  We should commit to seeing that they are kept safe and secure at all times.





















I don’t intend to hang a big, black cloud over the race that is scheduled to start in about one hour, the “Superbowl of Racing,” the Daytona 500.  Race fans look forward to another season of spectacular driving, and talented drivers.  Yesterday’s accident, during the NASCAR Nationwide, marred the victory for veteran driver Tony Stewart, as two cars collided, sending one of the car’s motor and some of its tires through a hole in the fence, caused by the impact, or over the fence, injuring approximately 28 persons.  Fourteen were taken to a nearby hospital and the other fourteen were treated at the track. 

Through the years, NASCAR’s focus has been on safety – not only of the drivers, but also that of the pit crews, tracks, and fans, and of course, safer cars.  Maintaining safety for the cars and drivers is a challenge for both NASCAR and the owners and designers, because cars are becoming faster and faster.  Yesterday’s freak accident may deter some fans from attending, but I am betting most of them will go back for today’s race. 

The accident involved twelve cars, but none of the drivers were injured.  Stewart, when interviewed, stated, “We’ve always known since racing started, this is a dangerous sport, but it’s hard.  We assume that risk, but it’s hard when fans get caught up in it….I could see it all in my mirror, and it didn’t look good from where I was at.” 

One neat thing for female fans, is that Danica Patrick won the pole position for today’s race.  It will be interesting to see where she finishes today.  She is a very tiny person, 5’2”, and around 100 pounds, but she has proven to be as tough as the guys.  Many of the drivers will attest to it.  Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards both took their daughters to meet her last week, at the Stewart-Haas garage. 

If you plan to attend any NASCAR events, Texas America Safety Company has NASCAR hardhats, which might prove to make you a little safer, and also fun to wear at work.  For sure, you could also use some quality hearing protection earplugs.  It gets noisy out there. 

Let’s send our thoughts and prayers out to those fans who were injured yesterday, that fans, drivers, and crews have a very safe day today and throughout the racing season.


My apologies for waiting until the end of National School Bus Safety Week to get this article published!  But the safety of our children that ride school buses is an important matter throughout each school year.  The theme of this year’s observance is “Be Aware – Know the Danger Zone!”  Did you know that an area 10 feet around the bus is a distance that students, bus drivers, and other motorists should be aware of?  The annual campaign aims to educate the public on school bus safety issues.  According to House Resolution 498, from July 18, 2006, here are excerpts from the latest version of the bill that is currently available on Gov.Track: 

“There are approximately 480,000 yellow school buses that carry 25 million children to and from school every weekday; Whereas America’s 480,000 school buses comprise the largest mass transportation fleet in the country – 2.5 times the size of all other forms of mass transportation (transit, intercity buses, commercial airlines, and rail, combined -; Whereas during the school year, these buses make more than 50 million passenger trips daily carrying the Nation’s future – our children.

Whereas school bus transportation is eight times safer than traveling in a passenger vehicle; and is the safest form of ground transportation available.  School buses meet higher construction, equipment and inspection standards than any other vehicle, and school bus drivers meet higher qualification, training, and testing standards than any other drivers.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, an average of 820 students are killed annually during school transportation hours, but less than 2 per cent of them are school bus passengers.  Despite the industry’s best efforts, accidents still happen; An average of seven school-age passengers are killed annually in school bus crashes, and an average of 19 children are killed each year getting on and off the bus.  Most of those killed are children aged five to seven, and most often they are killed in the area immediately surrounding the bus. (The Danger Zone.)

School Bus Safety Week is celebrated in more than 40 states and sponsored by the NHTSA, created to remind all students of the best ways to get on and off the bus.  This SBSW dates back to 1966, and also recognizes the hard work and dedication of school transportation personnel, especially the many drivers who ensure a safe journey each and every day.” 

It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus, loading or unloading students.  The bus has flashing red lights, and an arm that swings out to warn motorists to stop at a safe distance behind the bus, allowing the children to cross the road if necessary.  Drivers must be courteous and let the bus driver to do their job safely.  They are the first person that the children see who represents their school district every morning.  They are the last person the students see as they leave to go home.  With the large number of students who ride school buses every day, they should know that they will get to and from school safety. 

In many states, when a vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus with red lights activated, troopers who are following (or may be riding on the bus) will radio ahead to other troopers who will pull over the offending motorist and issue a ticket that could cost up to $1,000. (Texas) 

Remember that this is about keeping children safe; you should always stop for a school bus regardless of your chances of getting caught.  It is certainly not worth the risk to save a few minutes of your time.



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us to be aware of the risks that teen drivers face every time they get behind the wheel.  Drivers ages 15 to 20 years old, are especially vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways.  Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.  According to NHTSA, mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.  Also, teens are at far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population, even though they cannot legally purchase or publicly possess alcohol in any state. 

It is parents’ responsibility to protect their teens.  They should first set the example of safe driving while their children are small.  If they text while driving or drive aggressively, chances are, the youngster may adopt their habits.  Because it’s the law, seat belt use begins with babies, who are safely restrained in their car seats.  It’s only logical that they should be in the habit of buckling up since they have been doing so all their lives; however, the fact is that teens buckle up less frequently than adults.  In 2009, the majority of young people 16 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were unbuckled – 56 per cent. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that they will not rest until they stop distracted driving.  Their main effort is to work with private and public entities as well as advocacy groups to tackle distracted driving.  Please teach your teens to put their cell phones down and pay attention to the task at hand – driving! 

Here are five ways to get drivers to stop texting: 

1.      The direct approach.  Tell the driver that it makes you nervous to ride with someone texting and driving.  Hopefully, they will put down the phone.

2.      The subtle approach.  If you are uncomfortable telling a driver to quit texting, try offering to text for him/her.  Also, point out things the driver may have not seen, but barely missed, such as a pedestrian or other car.

3.      The “Wow, look at that bad driver!” approach.  Point out drivers who wander over into the next lane, or drive too slowly, run a stop sign, or stop at a green light.

4.      The group approach.  If your entire group feels the driver is a hazard, make a plan together.  Either take away the driver’s keys, or agree not to ride with that person.  When several people boycott a driver, he or she will get the message.

5.      The life-saving approach.  If someone continues to text and drive or mocks you for worrying about it, don’t ride with that person.  Tell them your parents won’t let you ride with anyone who texts and drives. 

There’s a current advertisement for a car that senses different driving situations (sleepy driver, other driver distractions, etc.).  This is a great safety feature; however, frightening, that we would depend on a vehicle to pay attention to the things we should watching for.  Our suggestions are for all drivers – not just teens.  There are many other causes of car crashes caused by distracted driving, such as loud music, drowsy driving, nighttime driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Cars can be dangerous machines if the steering wheel falls into the wrong hands. 

Finally, think about how many other drivers are taking your life into their hands by either talking or texting on their cell phones while meeting or approaching you.  Repeating the message from the Department Of Transportation: put that phone down or turn it off!  Get your teens into the habit of waiting to retrieve their messages when they arrive safely at their destination.

Source: NHTSA, DOT, KidsHealth.org






There are so many technological advances being made by automakers, that someday, everyone will be able to drive safer cars.  After seeing a car that parks itself, it seems that they can almost run on automatic pilot!  Until these safety features become standard in all vehicles, however, we will still have to do the driving.  Consider the following innovations that have been made, such as: 

  • Blind Spot Monitoring.  This is always something that bugs me, because there just seems to be too many ways of not seeing someone in the lane you are trying to enter.  This type of monitoring uses sonar to keep tabs on the blind spots on both sides of the car.  Versions of this technology are already available on some makes of cars.
  • Lane Departure Warning.  It’s too bad all cars don’t already have this technology, as this can be very helpful when a driver becomes drowsy or otherwise distracted.  When the car reaches a certain speed, and wanders across lanes, the certified speed system activates an audible alert.
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera.  There are many backup and parking assist cameras available, but this particular type of system allows you to park safely by allowing you to have a view that virtually lets you seem to look down on the car from above the roof.
  • Smart Keys.  My car has smart keys, and they let me lock or unlock the car from pretty far away, without having to fumble around to find them.  There’s a new “smart” ignition key that allows a parent to program the key for their child.  Parents can set the maximum vehicle speed, activate a persistent seat belt reminder, and set the level for radio volume.  (By the way, this is an American-made car.) It would also be wonderful if it had a Breathalyzer, so the car couldn’t start if Junior had been drinking.  One German automaker has developed the Alco key, requiring the driver to blow into the key before driving the car.  If a Red LED light comes on, the engine will not start.
  • Another feature the same automaker has created is the Collision Warning System, which contains radar technology that performs a wide-angle search to detect objects in front and around your car, such as pedestrians or cyclists.  A red warning light displays on the windscreen.  If there is an increased risk, a panic brake is activated.  If the driver fails to brake and a collision is imminent, the brakes are activated automatically. 

The one thing I would love to see is a system that warns a person if they leave a little passenger in a car seat.  We have had too many innocent children that have lost their lives by being left in a locked car.  If cars can ding when you leave the keys in them, or you don’t have your seat belt fastened, why can’t there be some type of alarm connected to the back seatbelts that secure a car seat, or small child?  Hopefully, car manufacturers are already ahead of me on this, but please, consider this safety feature as a priority.  We have GPS systems, hands-free phone systems, stability control, air bags, and fuel efficient systems that have been developed for our safety, however, many of the new safety features that are now being built into vehicles are available only on the expensive models.  It is hoped that one day, all these sophisticated features are on every car when it leaves the manufacturer. 

And remember, even if you have all the fancy stuff, you still have to be alert behind the wheel.  Please don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, and wait on those phone calls until you get safely to your destination. 


Source: Cars.com