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Tulsa Oklahoma Legal Blog

Follow these tips to stay safe while working in the Oklahoma heat

The temperatures in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the summer are hot. Sizzling. Oppressive.

The average high temperature in June is 87.5 degrees and rises to 93.1 in July and August. By September, the average falls to a cool, by comparison, 83.9 degrees.

The southern states have a high crane accident rate

Now that summer is almost here, several construction projects will start emerging all around Oklahoma. Drivers might get annoyed by the amount of traffic this causes, but building contractors are eager to put their skills to good use during one of the busiest times of the year.

This also means that construction workers should start refreshing themselves on their safety training. Recent reports suggest that the southern states have a high accident rate when it comes to crane operations. Workers should be aware of the risks and what they can do after an injury on the job.

Oklahoma governor signs bill to protect nursing home residents

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law a bill that, in most instances, ban antipsychotic drugs from being given to residents of nursing homes – an action that drew the applause from AARP Oklahoma.

The law will go into effect on Nov. 1.

Laws give you the right to question the safety of your workplace

As an employee, you have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and laws give residents of Oklahoma and across the United States the ability and rights to be fully informed about hazards in the workplace, especially if you are subjected to chemical exposure.

Here's what you should know about your rights under OSHA laws where toxins are present. Your rights include the right to:

  1. Be trained by your employer about how to protect yourself from chemicals you are exposed to throughout the course of your work day. Employers are required to communicate, in writing, detailed hazard information.
  2. Ask your employer about various hazards on the job, including chemical usage and radiation levels, and ask the procedure you should follow if you are exposed to any toxins on the job. Employers also must let you know when you begin your job where medical and exposure records are kept so you are aware of the job hazards.
  3. Watch as toxic materials and chemicals are monitored and measured.
  4. Ask your company to correct any hazards that are found, even if they aren't violating any specific OSHA standards.
  5. File an OSHA complaint if it is found OSHA standards have been violated or there are other serious workplace hazards present.
  6. Request an OSHA inspection and take part in it.
  7. Learn the results of the OSHA inspection.
  8. Take part in any hearings or meetings in which your employer will express objections to OSHA citations.
  9. File a complaint for discrimination if you believe you have been punished for questioning your rights or refusing to work if you fear an imminent danger on the job.

Oklahoma Supreme Court reverses law about personal injury cases

An Oklahoma state law that limited damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit has been rejected by the state's Supreme Court.

The justices ruled that a statute that limited noneconomic awards to $350,000 was unconstitutional because it treated injured survivors, in terms of awards, differently from those who don't survive.

Know the workers' compensation benefits you're entitled to get

In Oklahoma, workers' compensation provides medical and financial benefits for workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Workers' compensation allows for payments for medical care and to help make up for lost wages when you are injured on the job.

Workers' compensation allows for payments for both temporary and permanent total disabilities. Just what is the difference in terms of benefits?

How to stay safe on your bike this summer

A bicycle is a great way to get out and get active this summer. It's a fun, low-impact injury that also gives you another mode of transportation and a way to explore the wide open spaces of Oklahoma. It's a great hobby.

That doesn't mean it's perfectly safe. If you're going to ride near cars, you have to be conscious of the risks you face. One mistake by a driver could put you in the hospital. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:

  • Use lights whenever you ride at night, at dawn or at dusk. The best lights are those with a blinker setting.
  • Wear bright clothes every time you go out. Whether you ride at night or during the day, consider reflective tape or reflective clothing, as well.
  • Practice defensive riding. Assume that drivers are going to make mistakes. Stay alert at all times.
  • Don't listen to music or wear headphones when you ride. Many people love to do it, but it is distracting and it makes defensive riding harder.
  • If you come to an intersection, slow down and watch for cars that may run the stop sign or drivers who are turning.
  • Know where to ride in the road. Don't go up on the sidewalk or ride against traffic.
  • If you are crossing in front of a stopped car, always try to make eye contact with the driver first.
  • Learn the hand signals and use them whenever you turn.

Which Oklahoma counties are the most dangerous to drive in?

Oklahoma isn’t known for having the best driving standards in the nation. The state consistently ranks high when it comes to the nation’s car accident rates and how many broken bridges and roads there are.

While each county of the state has their fair share of driving issues, some areas are more problematic than others. Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office published a report that highlights which counties had the highest crash and fatality rates. These statistics can help give you a sense of where the most hazardous parts of the state to drive through are and what precautions you should take.

Tulsa man dies in construction site accident

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating a construction accident that resulted in the death of a 36-year-old Tulsa man.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reported that the worker was using a front-end loader at the time of the incident. He was working at a construction site located near the Cimmaron River on Highway 48 in Creek County. At the time of the accident, he was trying to move a boulder to clear the way for the project and backed off the road.

Are you ready for your first motorcycle ride of spring?

One sign of spring around Tulsa is the return of motorcyclists to the highways. It was a long winter, and riding enthusiasts are eager to get out onto the roads and roar away on their two-wheelers.

Unfortunately, the return of warmer, milder weather often brings an unwelcome uptick in the number of motorcycle collisions. Because not as many motorcyclists ride during the winter months, motorists get used to not seeing many bikers. That can make them complacent and ignore safety concepts that could put motorcyclists in harm's way.

  • If you're itching to head out on the highway, keep the following in mind:
  • Get a tune-up. You can avoid getting stranded on the side of the road by doing some preventive maintenance on the bike that has likely gathered a bit of dust over the past few months. Don't forget to check the tires!
  • Take a slow and short first ride. Even though you're itching to get back out there, your first ride of the season should be shorter than normal to allow your body and reflexes to once again get used to riding your motorcycle.
  • Watch out for bad roads. Harsh weather conditions so common in winter can erode highways and leave streets with deep potholes.
  • Maintain high visibility. Consider ditching the leather clothing for some colorful new riding gear that makes you stand out to drivers on the roads. Remember that if drivers can't see you, they can't avoid hitting you.
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