Updated Rules Governing Lead in Drinking Water

Since 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead and copper rule has governed our nation’s efforts to reduce lead in drinking water. This rule has often been criticized as overly complicated, under-enforced, and insufficiently strong to protect Americans’ health. However, as of just recently, the federal government provided a revised 409-page version of the lead and copper rule that provides new protections and closes previously available loopholes. The Good Under the new revisions, water utilities are required to test for lead at schools and child-care facilities every five years, and must do the same at secondary schools upon request. In addition,…

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Washington Gas Fined $750,000 Following Deadly Flower Branch Apartments Explosion

  On August 10, 2016, an explosion rocked the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland, killing seven people and injuring dozens more.  Following a lengthy investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the cause of the explosion was likely due to a disconnected vent line and the failure of a mercury service regulator, equipment that controls the pressure of natural gas entering a building. In 2003, Washington Gas sought a rate increase to launch its mercury service regulator replacement program.  It estimated that more than 66,000 mercury service regulators, each 40-60 years old, would be replaced with…

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What Happens When You Get Hurt Inside a Hospital?

Hospital-acquired infections represent one of the greatest sources of danger in today’s health care system, but many other hazards place patients at risk. Surprisingly, personal injury issues associated with small business premises often occur within hospitals and clinics. Hospital-based negligence can involve everything from uneven walkways to puddles. When such injuries occur, the personal injury process sometimes looks different than a typical medical malpractice lawsuit, as we explain below: Premises Liability Versus Medical Malpractice Don’t assume that you’re automatically eligible for medical malpractice damages simply because you were injured while visiting a hospital. You may be surprised to discover that…

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The Three Most Common Workplace Injuries According to OSHA

Workplace injuries occur more frequently than you might think. In fact, many thousands of workplace injuries happen each year. While the most workplace injuries occur in construction, these injuries can affect anyone in any industry. Here are the three most common workplace injuries according to the statistics. Slips, Trips, and Falls Slips, trips, and falls account for the majority of workplace injuries. Slips, trips, and falls most often occur due to unsafe work conditions. Wet floors that are not marked properly, objects in walkways, and not using fall protection are the most common reasons for slips, trips, and falls. While…

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The Dangers of Trampoline Parks

Backyard trampolines received a lot of negative press a few years back, but until recently, most people have been willing to look the other way for their larger and potentially more dangerous counterpart: trampoline parks. These parks offer an exciting experience for thrill seekers of all ages. Unfortunately, they’re also incredibly dangerous. Below, we examine some of the biggest threats underlying the recent increase in trampoline park injuries. Common Trampoline Park Injuries While both at-home trampolines and trampoline parks can prompt sprains and fractures, research suggests that sprains are more likely to occur at trampoline parks — as are dislocated…

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Dangers of Snow Shoveling — And How to Protect Yourself

Like it or not, winter is still here. The snow may look beautiful, but it’s sure annoying when you’re in a hurry to leave home. It’s also dangerous; in 2015, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 158,000 people visited emergency rooms or clinics due to injuries related to manual snow removal. Don’t be another statistic; follow these simple tips to stay safe: Invest in a Snow Blower The simplest solution to the hassles and dangerous of shoveling? A quality snow blower. This is a particularly valuable investment if you suffer arthritis or have previously injured your back….

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The Subtle Dangers of Low-Level Falls

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen off a curb or stumbled while descending the final step on a flight of stairs, you’ve probably laughed it off as ‘not a big deal.’ But while low-level falls don’t always result in severe injuries, they can be surprisingly dangerous — particularly among seniors or those with pre-existing injuries. Unfortunately, low-level falls are becoming increasingly common. Recent analysis of data from the National Trauma Data Bank suggests that the rate of fatal falls among elderly adults increased by 55 percent between 1993 and 2003. Based on this research, experts believe that 30 percent of…

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Are You Vulnerable to Lead Exposure? What to Know Before Working With Contractors

It is currently common knowledge that lead exposure can cause severe health problems — particularly for young children. But while lead-based paint has long been banned in new construction, it remains a considerable risk in millions of homes built before lead was widely recognized as a threat. In pristine condition, lead-based paint does not necessarily harm homeowners — but that all changes when general contractors enter the picture. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones as you proceed with home renovation projects: Lead-Safe Certification Issued in 2008 and recently reaffirmed, the EPA’s Renovation, Repair…

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How Dangerous Is Poor Air Quality in Hospitals?

For hospitals and other healthcare facilities, maintaining a high indoor air quality (IAQ) is a must for patient safety. Most hospitals install high-caliber ventilation and air filtration systems designed to clean the air and maintain healthy humidity levels. On occasion, however, these systems may either fail or prove inadequate, endangering patients, visitors and healthcare workers in the process. What are some of the potential dangers when a hospital has poor air quality? Here’s a partial list: Airborne pathogens. Disease germs and harmful microbes that float in the air pose the greatest health risk by far in poorly ventilated hospitals. Not…

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Getting Ready for Swimming Pool Season? A Few Things to Know Before Pool Season. . . .

As we approach Memorial Day, many thoughts turn to our favorite summer activities. Playing in the pool and lounging by the pool are extremely popular among children and adults. However, when improper attention is paid to the people in the pool or to the pool itself, serious accidents or tragedy can occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2005-2014, an average of 3,536 deaths by drowning each year occurred. Often those injured are young children who are still learning how to swim. A pool which has poorly trained staff, dangerous equipment, or not well-maintained conditions…

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