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Providence Serious Injury Law Blog

Caregivers often need help with their duties

A severe spinal cord injury usually means that the victim will need help with daily tasks. This is especially true in the early days after the accident. Many people don't realize that one person facing this type of injury is going to impact the entire family. Often, one family member will have to take on the caregiver role.

There are many things that often occur when a person takes on a caregiver role. They might need to come up with a plan that enables them to care for their loved one without putting themselves on the back burner.

How to work on a construction site in cold weather

The winter months in Rhode Island have the potential to bring extremely cold weather to the area, thus making it a challenge to maintain your safety.

As someone who works outdoors all year long, such as on construction sites, it's critical to adjust your approach to your job during the winter season. Neglecting to do so puts you at risk of many cold-related illnesses, ranging from hypothermia to frostbite.

Don’t let your doctor miss a serious medical condition

You know your body better than anyone else. So, if you suspect that something is wrong, it's critical to find a doctor who will do whatever it takes to provide an accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan.

Here are four serious medical conditions that are often misdiagnosed:

  • Heart attack: If you're not treated properly for a heart attack, there's a good chance it will result in death. And if it doesn't, it can cause permanent damage to your heart that shortens your lifespan. A heart attack shares symptoms with other less serious ailments, such as indigestion, so it's easy for your doctor to put you off.
  • Cancer: Cancer cells have the potential to spread without treatment. This is why it's critical to receive a fast, accurate diagnosis. When this happens, you can start treatment immediately, which improves the likelihood of beating the disease. But if you're misdiagnosed, this isn't possible. Instead, you give the cancer the opportunity to spread to other parts of your body, which reduces the likelihood of making a full recovery.
  • Pulmonary embolism: This serious ailment has the potential to slip under the radar, as it occurs when a blood clot reaches the lungs (or originally forms there). It takes thorough testing for your doctor to accurately diagnose pulmonary embolism, which is why it's often overlooked. Also, it shares symptoms with the common cold, such as wheezing, coughing and chest pain.
  • Stroke: A late stroke diagnosis increases the risk of long-term effects on your health and well-being. Common symptoms include poor coordination, confusion and weakness. When a stroke comes on slowly, it's more likely for your doctor to dismiss symptoms as something less serious.

Scaffolding use can result in a workplace accident

Depending on your profession, using scaffolding to complete your job may be second nature. You know how to set it up, tear it down and climb it safely. But what you may not realize is that there is trouble lurking around every corner.

If you require the use of scaffolding in the workplace, it's critical to understand the steps you can take to maintain your safety. Here are five things you must do:

  • Inspect scaffolding before use: Don't assume that your scaffolding is free of damage and defects. Instead, you or a co-worker should closely inspect it for anything that could cause an accident, such as rusting or missing pieces.
  • Don't exceed the load rating: Know the manufacturer's recommended load rating and stick to it, no matter what. If you exceed this limit, the scaffolding is more likely to buckle under too much pressure.
  • Always use safety rails: Even the most experienced workers can make mistakes. The use of safety rails helps keep you on the platform, as opposed to falling off the side.
  • Keep the scaffolding platform free of debris: For example, it's never a good idea to place too many tools on the platform, as doing so increases the likelihood of a slip-and-fall accident.
  • Check your safety gear: Are you wearing non-slip shoes with plenty of tread? How about a hard hat? The right gear can be the difference between suffering an injury in an accident and avoiding one altogether.

Minimization of safety-critical issues at road construction sites

Road construction workers face several dangers on each shift. Not only are they working around heavy machinery, but they also have motor vehicles speeding past them throughout their work time. Constant vigilance is necessary since an accident can occur at any time.

Because the hazards are so significant, employers in this industry must have safety plans that put the workers first while balancing out the need to keep traffic flowing. The protocol should cover every aspect of safety, even the most straightforward rules.

Understanding sepsis and why it can occur during labor

Giving birth can present many complications, and every delivery is unique. Some complications simply cannot be predicted by medical professionals. However, your health history, as well as factors such as your weight, age and blood pressure, could give clues about potential risks. It is the job of doctors and nurses to make the entire process of pregnancy and birth as low-risk as possible.

If complications arise during your delivery, this can put you at a higher risk of developing an infection. Infections can occur when equipment is inserted into the body that has not been fully sterilized. Sepsis can occur when bacteria enters your body.

Emergency room errors: Things you need to know

If you visit an emergency room for any reason, you expect to receive fast and efficient treatment that stabilizes your health and puts you on the road to recovery. However, despite your intentions, you never know if a medical professional could make an error that results in additional health concerns.

Here are some of the most common emergency room errors:

  • Misdiagnosis: This is something everyone must watch out for, as a misdiagnosis can result in a serious health setback or even death. For example, if you present with signs of a heart attack and are wrongfully diagnosed with indigestion, the end result could be fatal.
  • Ignoring important symptoms: Do your part in preventing this by sharing all of your symptoms with your medical team. Furthermore, don't downplay anything, as you want your doctor to know exactly what you're dealing with.
  • Medication errors: This encompasses many things, such as prescribing the wrong medication or giving too much or not enough. Before taking any medication, double check with your nurse to ensure that it's the right one.

Working in extreme heat is unsafe

With warmer weather here to stay for the foreseeable future, workers in Rhode Island must take extra caution when working outdoors. For example, if you work in the construction industry, you may find yourself in direct sunlight for a better portion of your day.

Heat stroke has the potential to cause serious injury, such as brain damage, as well as death. Here are some of the most common signs:

  • Dizziness
  • Throbbing headache
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Mental confusion and disorientation

Ladder accidents are common on construction sites

Construction workers use a variety of tools and equipment to get the job done in a timely and effective manner. Unfortunately, the majority of these tools and equipment can result in serious injury or death if an accident occurs.

Ladder accidents are extremely common, despite the fact that there are a variety of ways to avoid trouble. Here are seven top safety tips to follow:

  • Never use a damaged or defective ladder: The only way to know if a ladder is damaged or defective is to inspect it before use. Get into the habit of doing this before you take your first step.
  • Let others know you're using a ladder: When your coworkers know what you're doing, they're more likely to pay attention to your ladder placement and when you're ascending and descending.
  • Be careful when setting the ladder: Firm, level ground is an absolute must. Placing a ladder on a slope, for instance, increases the risk of tipping as you climb higher.
  • Don't place a ladder near heavy traffic: When possible, avoid placing your ladder in an area where there are a lot of people walking or vehicles driving. It only takes one bump to knock you to the ground.
  • Maintain three points of contact: Neglecting to do this increases the likelihood of losing your balance. Keep one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on the ladder.
  • Don't carry a heavy load: Carrying a heavy load up or down a ladder makes it difficult to maintain your balance. A slight lean to either side could pull you off the ladder.
  • Don't use a ladder in bad weather: For example, rain is common during the spring months. Moisture on your ladder makes it difficult to maintain traction. Wearing the right shoes can help, but this is no guarantee of your safety.

Unsafe work conditions exist: Are you being cautious?

Regardless of your employer or industry, you may notice unsafe working conditions from time to time. This holds true even if your company and its workers are devoted to providing a safe environment for all.

By understanding the most common types of unsafe working conditions, you can exercise caution with the idea of preventing an accident.

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