How to Ensure Construction Site Safety

Jun 17, 2017 by

It can be said that construction sites are some of the most hazardous places. When you think about the fact that workers are constantly in those places, you realize how they can be at serious risk of accidents, injuries, and even deaths.

But according to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, those who have been hurt in construction accidents may be able to get compensation. In other words, construction companies and other employers should make the effort of ensuring construction site safety, even if a construction site can be inherently hazardous, because they may be held accountable. There are several ways they can do to make sure that everybody is safe while working.

Giving appropriate gears to workers

Before anything else, it is important to give your workers the protections they need, so they can work efficiently without thinking about the risk of accidents and minimize the damage when accidents do occur.

These gears may come in many forms, depending on the situation. They can be hard hats, goggles, gloves, jackets, boots, and many others.

Maintaining equipment to avoid defects and malfunctions

Employers should make sure that the tools, equipment, and heavy machines operated by their workers are without defects and malfunctions. This can be done by proper cleaning, inspecting, repairing, and overall maintaining of these devices.

A single defect and malfunction is enough to cause injury and death, so it must be avoided at all costs.

Marking hazardous equipment and areas

Sometimes, a warning sign is the only thing that separates safety and disaster. Employers and supervisors should make sure that they are setting up cones, markers, and warning signs on things where they are truly needed.

Usually, these things are chemical sites, dangerous equipment and machines, exposed powerlines, natural hazards, and slipping, tripping, and falling hazards.

Organizing the workplace

A disorganized construction site is a lot more dangerous than an orderly one. Falling objects, scattered debris and tools, and unattended holes are just some of the potentially hazardous materials in a disorganized site.

Having everything in their proper places help avoid accidents, because the workers are familiar with their surroundings, avoiding silly accidents such as slipping on a hammer left on the floor.

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Investing in a USCIS–identified Target Employment Area

Mar 7, 2017 by

In 1990, the United States Congress created the EB-5 Visa Program to boost the U.S. nation’s economy through job creation by allowing wealthy foreign nationals to seek lawful permanent residency in exchange for capital investment. The program, also called the Immigrant Investor Program, requires a minimum $1,000,000 investment into a qualified U.S. business, which would create or save 10 U.S. jobs. An EB-5 investment of $500,000 is also allowed if the business is located in a Target Employment Area (TEA). An area is considered a TEA if, at the time of the investment, the area is a rural area with a population of less than 20,000 people or it is suffering from high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average.

Regardless of the form of investment made, an investor’s main visa commitment is the creation of at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs. At the end of his/her two-year conditional residency, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will evaluate his/her business and determine if he/she has invested the full amount of capital, and created the required number of jobs. Fulfillment of the terms of the visa will allow an investor to apply for the removal of the conditions on his/her visa and enjoy unrestricted access to the U.S.

While investors may freely choose to which type of investment they want to put in their money, many of those who have already obtained permanent residency through this endeavor advise on making the investment in a Regional Center for the following reasons:

  • Investing in an EB-5 Regional Center costs lower;
  • Ensuring that the “create 10 jobs” requirement is met becomes the responsibility of the EB-5 Regional Center;
  • By choosing a more stable and well run Regional Center, meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement becomes more certain and faster; and,
  • Allows the investor to do something else, such as practice his or her real profession.

The EB-5 Program sets no minimum requirements for age, education, employment experience or English proficiency plus, once a potential investor’s proposal gets approved, he/she, with his/her spouse and unmarried children below 21 years old will receive a conditional Green Card, making them conditional permanent residents in the U.S. Despite the conditions, the investor and his/her family can enjoy many privileges, like getting employed, attending schools, and have residence anywhere.

Many applications for an EB-5 visa or for the removal of the conditions on the visa are denied the first time they are reviewed because of a lack of sufficient evidence to support a beneficiary’s application. For this reason, any Russian-speaking business immigration attorney would advise that an investor consult with an immigration attorney with whom he/she can work with and trust.

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Some Facts about Long-term Disability

Sep 25, 2016 by

If an employed individual unexpectedly suffers from a disabling injury or a lengthy illness, his/her source of immediate, but temporary finances, is his/her employer-provided short term disability benefits; payment of this usually lasts from one to four months. During this time, it is expected that he/she has received his/her policy’s maximum coverage amount, has reached the time limit specified in his/her policy, or has recovered. If, however, his/her disabling condition continues despite having reached the time limit of his/her policy, then his/her long-term disability benefits will kick in.

Long-term disability (LTD) insurance starts paying after the short-term disability insurance ends. With the exception of a few large companies, but long-term disability insurance is not always provided by employers; this makes it necessary for employees to buy this type of coverage on their own.

A long-term disability insurance policy costs more than a short-term disability insurance policy. Despite its higher cost, it is definitely worth it, considering the fact that it pays an amount that is higher than a short-term policy plus it covers periods from a couple of years to age 65 (there are some policies, depending on its type, which will cover the policy holder until he/she recovers or for the rest of his/her life).

LTD policies are classified as either “group” plans, which are employer-sponsored, or individual plans, which are bought by employees on their own. If an employee has access to his/her employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance, then he/she may be able to convert a group long-term disability policy into a private long-term disability policy.

Qualifying for LTD benefits, by the way, depends if a claimant’s disability falls within the definition of disability that is stated in his/her policy. To start with, “disability” falls under two categories: the “own-occ” or own occupation policy; and, the “any-occ” or any occupation policy.

The “own-occ” policy refers to a person’s inability to perform the duties of his/her own job, while the “any-occ” policy means his/her inability perform any job that fits his/her education and experience. An “own-occ” policy usually switches to an “any-occ” policy after 24 months. If, after 24 months of receiving benefits, an insurer finds that a beneficiary’s condition has improved, then his/her disability benefits may be terminated.

Prior to receiving LTD benefits, there is an elimination or waiting period (just like in short-term disability benefits). The waiting period in short-term policies is 0 to 14 days; in long-term policies, this waiting period lasts from 30 to 720 days, though a 90-day waiting period is most common.

In its website, the Hankey Law Office explains that when a disability impairs a person’s ability to work, he/she may be in need of immediate financial support. Although he/she can apply for long-term disability on his/her own, having a long term disability attorney to help him/her can be advantageous in recovering the benefits he/she may be entitled to receive without delay or other issues.

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Negligence: The Major Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

May 24, 2016 by

Motorcycles are excellent means of transportation, but as it continues to become famous to so many more individuals, it cannot be denied that the number of those whose lives are placed in danger also increases.

Due to the lack in body protection, the possibility of sustaining serious injuries is very high among motorcycle riders. Compared to a car or any other motor vehicle which is built with a frame that would shield a driver from the force of impact in the event of collision, or which is equipped with modern safety devices, such as seat belts and airbags, the only source of protection for a motorcycle rider are his or her padded pants and jacket, and helmet which should comply with the standard of safety set by the U.S. Department of Transportation for more guaranteed protection.

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 112,000 motorcycle accidents; 93,000 of these accidents resulted to serious injuries, while 4,957 were fatal. The leading cause of fatal motorcycle accident is head-on collision and the faster the speed of the other motor vehicle and/or the motorcycle, the higher the possibility of a fatal accident; failure to wear the DOT-recommended head gear, on the other hand, is the leading contributory factor to rider death. Many non-fatal accidents, meanwhile, result to amputated limb/s, head or neck injury, brain injury, or spinal cord injury, some of which lead to permanent disability.

The one sad reality about motorcycle accidents is the fact that majority of these are actually due to the negligence or carelessness of others. According to the website of Ali Mokarram, physical and emotional pains, as well as financial problems due to the cost of medical treatment and lost wages are among the devastating effects suffered by an innocent motorcycle riders who are injured in accidents.

Acts of negligence or carelessness, as explained by the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, can be committed through so many ways. Some of these include: motorcycle defects, which is the fault of the manufacturer; road defects, which may be blamed on the contractors or the local government; drunk driving; reckless driving; distracted driving; overspeeding; aggressive driving; or, driving too fast despite poor road condition.

Negligent acts can be dispelled through simple diligence, making these totally preventable acts. Due to this, motorcycle riders are allowed under the tort law to pursue legal actions against the liable party to seek compensation for whatever present and future damages their injuries may result to.

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Semi-Trailers: Threats on the Road in Any Part of the U.S.

May 23, 2016 by

About two million registered semi-trailers share roads and highways with smaller vehicles in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, every year, close to half a million of these trucks get involved accidents which result to 130,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths.

Despite the huge numbers in accidents, injuries and deaths, semi-trailers, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, cannot be dispensed with due to the major contribution these have in the nation’s economy. However, this does not stop federal government agencies, namely, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA), from passing laws and strictly implementing them to make sure that truck accidents are minimized, if not totally eliminated.

Two very important laws passed by these agencies are the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and the rule on the Hours of Service.

  • The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, which establishes uniform testing and licensing standards for operators of commercial motor vehicles. Due to the enormous size and weight of semi- trailers, the government strictly requires that drivers possess the necessary knowledge and skills in the safe operation of these vehicles. Thus, before being issued a commercial driver’s license, a person will first need to undergo special training and pass a series of tests.
  • The Hours of Service (HOS) mandate, which was issued by the FMCSA, governs the working hours of those operating a commercial motor vehicle. HOS sets the maximum number of daily and weekly hours that a truck driver can spend driving; it also determines how long a driver should rest between driving shifts. This mandates aims to make sure that no driver of semi-trailer is feeling fatigued or sleepy whenever they hit the road. To track the number of hours a driver spends on the road, he or she could use either an ordinary log book or an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR).

Despite these two mandates, accident keep on occurring, putting still more lives in danger. As pointed out in the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, many truck drivers, as well as trucking companies, fail greatly in their major task of keeping their vehicles from getting involved in accidents. While some truck violate the HOS mandate, drive while intoxicated or drive too fast for certain road conditions, some trucking companies, on their part, hire even unqualified drivers, fail to further train drivers or never discipline their drivers who commit serious traffic violations. And, as the number of large trucks continues to increase, so does the number of severe accidents.

A Dallas personal injury attorney would probably point out that the number of trucks on the road has suddenly increased due to the recent oil boom, fatal accidents have also increased, from 303 in 2001 to 389 in 2012.

No truck accident victim should be left to suffer financially in addition to the painful injuries that he or she has unjustly sustained. But with the cost of medical treatment, lost wages and lost future earnings, financial burden is most likely another factor that will make his or her life more painful. Due to this, the law grants him or her the legal right to seek justice and compensation which will cover all present and future damages that result from his or her injury.

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Bring Your Best and Most Beautiful Face to the Surface

May 19, 2016 by

It takes about 30 days for your skin to renew itself and unless you cleanse your skin of dead skin cells, these can build up and cause your face to look dull, scaly, blemished and flat. It is good that there are medical spas with licensed doctors and skin care professionals who are dedicated to providing services that will help improve the appearance of your skin and body. Some of these skin care clinics, like the med spa at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery for instance, offer a comprehensive individualized treatment that will address patients’ specific concerns and needs since they know that patients’ skin condition and exposure to the various elements that can cause skin wear and tear differ from one person to another.

One specific service offered by med spas is Facial, which helps bring out your best and most beautiful face to the surface. A facial, which is usually a 30-60 minute treatment, cleanses, exfoliates and nourishes your skin, giving you a younger look and feel. Currently, facial is one of the best methods available when it comes to skin care.

Exfoliation, in particular, is one of the carefully crafted processes in facial treatment, such as microdermabrasion and chemical peel, which provides lots of benefits to med spa patients. This process, which involves the removal of dead skin cells on the epidermis, the skin’s outermost surface, ensures the following:

  • Improves skin texture (it particularly revives dry, rough and dull skin)
  • Fights signs of aging
  • Helps prevent breakouts, pimples, acne, whiteheads and blackheads by keeping skin pores clean and unclogged
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Removes dead skin cells, allowing your other skin care products to penetrate deeper into your skin

Because exfoliating the skin allows new skin cells to regenerate faster, it is considered to be one of the vital steps in a good skin care program. The website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery however, advises those thinking of having facials skin treatment to entrust the procedure only to facials specialists for a truly refreshing and rewarding spa service.

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If You Think Car Insurance Benefits are Easy to Claim, Think Again

May 15, 2016 by

Carrying car liability insurance is just one of the ways drivers can show that they have the capability to compensate those who they may injure in accidents wherein they are at fault. In the states of New Hampshire and Virginia, drivers are allowed to choose any state-approved way of showing financial responsibility as an alternative to carrying auto insurance.

Carrying car liability insurance was first made compulsory in 1925, with Massachusetts and Connecticut as the first two states to impose it on their drivers. Having auto insurance was made compulsory for three reasons: first, because there were signs which said that cars will crash (probably due to mechanical defect or driver negligence); second, as cars crash, someone is more likely to get injured, besides properties getting damaged; and, third, which is also the most important reason, to help drivers who are at fault in accidents cover cost of damages to victims and never default on making compensatory payments. Now called the Financial Responsibility law, this mandate is directed to anyone who wants to have driving privileges in the U.S.

Payment of compensation depends on the type of liability system that is recognized in the state where the accident occurred. In “tort” or “fault” states the victim is compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider; in “no-fault” states, however, both drivers are compensated by their own insurance providers regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

It is but natural for drivers who diligently pay their insurance premiums to expect financial protection from their insurance provider in the event of a car accident. According to the website of law firm Ravid and Associates, however, so many claimants end up having disputes with insurance companies when it comes to payment of compensation or amount of compensation that needs to be paid.

This very same concern is pointed out in the website of the Des Moines car accident lawyers at LaMarca Law Group, P.C., which says that receiving adequate compensation from an insurance company often becomes a needless hassle. This is because there are insurance firms which attempt to engage in a number of deceptive behaviors in order to prevent accident victims and/or drivers from receiving the financial benefits that are due them. Some tactics employed by firms, include:

  • Pressuring victims and/or drivers to take a quick, but unfair settlement
  • Offering victims and/or drivers inadequate compensation
  • Attempting to deny victims and/or drivers compensation altogether

The last thing an accident victim needs to be involved with, as the Sampson Law Firm website says, is haggling with an insurance company that is refusing to honor its obligation to compensate (the victim).

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