Do you work the late shift? Alternative shift workers face several hazards. If your work hours occur when most people are asleep and you sleep when most people are awake, you might suffer from the effects Shift Work Disorder, which is characterized by disturbances in sleep patterns, including insomnia, non-restorative sleep, and excessive sleepiness.
People who suffer from SWD (sometimes called Shift Work Sleep Disorder) might feel fatigued at work, especially if they are working extended work hours, which is common in shift work. Other symptoms include impaired cognitive abilities, anxiousness and irritability, unintentionally falling asleep on the job, reduced job performance, and increased incidence of on-the-job injuries.
Who is at Risk?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of the workforce works shifts other than the standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. These alternative shift …
Many of the hazards posed by swimming pools are well known, such as drowning and other submersion injuries. However, some safety risks associated with pools are less obvious. For example, there are health hazards associated with dirty or inadequately maintained pool water.
If the water in a pool is not properly treated with chemicals, it can lead to swimmers’ contracting Recreational Water Illnesses. RWIs encompass a wide array of infections that can affect almost any part of the human body, including the skin, ears and eyes, as well as gastrointestinal and respiratory systems.
RWIs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are caused by chemicals and germs found in swimming water. They are contracted by being in contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, and interactive fountains. They can even be …
Doing laundry is an uneventful, if not mundane, household chore for most Americans. Or at least that’s what one Irving family thought when Faisal Nuree’s wife put a mattress pad in her washing machine. Just minutes later she heard a loud boom.
It turns out their washing machine had exploded with such force that it pushed away from the wall and the top had blown off, becoming a potentially deadly projectile.
Doing a simple load of laundry shouldn’t be dangerous.
Only after the incident did the Nuree family learn that their washer was one of 2.8 million Samsung washing machines recalled. Nuree said he didn’t know his washer was unsafe and never received notice of the recall from the manufacturer.
And the Nuree family isn’t the only one to have their Samsung top-loading washing machine explode. There has been a …
When the police ask you to take a Breathalyzer test, it’s usually already too late. The damage — sometimes property damage, sometimes injury or loss of life — has already been done. But what if there were a way you could tell if you were impaired before you got behind the wheel? Well, there’s an app for that.
DRUID is one of a recent (and ever-growing) crop of phone-based applications that allow drivers to measure their level of impairment before they turn the key.
How It Works
DRUID, which was specifically formulated to measure impairment from marijuana, asks users to complete a series of cognitive and physical tasks while sober to establish a baseline performance score. Reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, balance and time estimation are measured while the user’s attention is divided.
This score is then compared to …
In April, two California companies launched dockless scooter systems in Austin. The City Council limited the two companies – LimeBike and Bird – to 500 scooters each, until the city determines the feasibility of dockless scooter systems.
In theory, riders use a scooter and leave it next to a bike rack or some other out-of-the-way area; but by mid-April, the city had impounded 55 scooters that were blocking sidewalks, roads, or public areas. By mid-May, the city was scrambling to regulate scooters and published 10 pages of rules and six pages of licensing requirements.
Scooter Laws in Texas
The Austin Department of Transportation’s new rules address several safety concerns. The rules apply to scooters and bikeshare bicycles.
Companies operating either of those devices in Austin are now required to:
- By Aug. 1, outfit all units with technology that tells the
If you’re one of the more than 400,000 licensed motorcyclists in Texas, warmer weather means hitting the open road on your favorite two-wheeled vehicle. But if your bike’s been sitting in a garage for a while, make sure you inspect it before taking that first spring ride.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that riders complete an annual T-CLOCS inspection, which stands for tires/wheels/brakes, controls, lights/electrics, oil/fluids, chassis, and stands. Here’s what that entails:
- Tires – Check the tread depth, and look for signs of wear, cracks, embedded objects, or bulges. Check the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure, and test your air pressure when the tires are cold. Inflate if necessary.
- Wheels – Look for any bent, broken, loose, or missing spokes. Inspect the cast for cracks and dents and make sure rims are true (spin the wheel against a
In January, the National Safety Council announced that in 2016, 161,374 people died from accidental injuries. That was the first year in recorded history that accidental injury was the third leading cause of death.
The NSC analysis of fatality data found accident-related fatalities increased 10 percent in 2016, compared to the previous year. In the same time period, vehicle crash deaths increased 6.8 percent. Crashes killed 40,327 people, and unintentional opioid overdoses claimed 37,814 lives.
Fatal accidents are usually preventable. But inattention, judgment errors, and outright negligence continue to cause fatal accidents year after year. In the press release about its analysis, NSC president and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said, “Our complacency results in 442 deaths each day.”
Traffic Crash Fatality Trends
Overall, U.S. motorists are safer now than they were years ago. In 1996, the crash fatality rate was …
The NCAA men’s basketball playoffs – otherwise known as March Madness – will end in San Antonio this year, with the four-day Final Four event. The city anticipates around 93,000 visitors will attend the events and games between March 30 and April 2.
All of the events that weekend will be downtown, so traffic congestion is likely to be heavy. If you’re planning to attend Final Four events, keep the following safety tips in mind.
Use alternative transportation
If you plan on drinking alcohol, or if you’d rather not deal with the hassle of finding a parking spot, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. For $5, adults can buy a round-trip bus ticket from Madla Station, Blossom Athletic Center, or Crossroads Park & Ride (discounted tickets are available for students with a valid ID, children, and seniors). There’s also …
It’s cold and flu season, which means many Americans are heading to the store to stock-up on over-the-counter medicines. OTC medicines can help minimize symptoms of illness, but they can seriously interfere with your ability to drive.
Before you take any medication, read the label carefully. Some medications are known to cause marked drowsiness, and even those that aren’t associated with drowsiness could interact poorly with prescription medications.
Cold and Allergy Medicines That Cause Drowsiness
Antihistamines are widely used to treat symptoms of colds and allergies. But some of these medicines can be dangerous for drivers. When purchasing OTC antihistamines, consider the following:
- Diphenhydramine – This active ingredient in Benadryl helps relieve symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, and watery eyes. But diphenhydramine is also the active ingredient in some OTC sleep medications, so taking it before driving
When marriages turn sour, some people turn to digital surveillance to monitor their spouse’s behavior. According to an NPR report, some family law attorneys say that digital spying has become so common, it’s changing how they handle divorce cases.
People are using GPS monitors, software, and other devices to monitor not only the physical location of their current or ex spouse, but also their online activity. One partner may be trying to gather evidence that could help them prevail in a divorce. But in at least one case, a woman’s ex-husband was using a GPS device to track her movements long after they had split. Prosecutors couldn’t charge the ex-husband with a crime, as he and his wife had joint ownership of the car.
Lack of Clarity
Employers may legally use digital surveillance to track employees’ online activity, and …