Monday, 24 May 2010

California Postal Workers Most Likely to Be Bitten by Dogs

Postal workers in the Orange County-Long Beach area are at a much higher risk of suffering dog bites. In 2006, there were 3,184 incidents of dog bites involving postal workers around the country. Out of those incidents, the Orange County-Long Beach Area accounted for 96 dog bites, the highest number for any area.

These are not the only areas in California that seem to be especially hazardous to postal workers. Sacramento ranked at number three on the list of postal worker dog bites with 82 incidents, followed by Los Angeles with 77. Houston ranked close behind Orange County-Long Beach, with 94 dog bites.

The number of dog bites involving postal workers, has dropped over the past few years. This has been largely due to the fact that postal companies have focused hard on training their employees to avoid dog bites. Dog bite lawyers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties don't see the kind of widespread dog bite incidents involving postal workers that they used to a couple of decades ago.

Dog experts and postal authorities insist that homeowners take the following steps to ensure that postal workers and other visitors of your premises avoid dog bites:

  • Keep the dog out of sight of the letter carrier.
  • If you receive plenty of mail, confine the dog indoors during delivery times. Make sure that there are no screen doors that can be easily opened by a child, allowing the dog to escape.
  • Keep the dog busy or preoccupied while the mail being delivered. A bone or treat could do the trick.
  • If you're outside with the dog and the mailman arrives, look for the following signs of aggression in your dog - loud and constant barking, pulling at his chain, tail between the legs, and stiff body posture. Even yawning could indicate that the dog is uncomfortable in the presence of the letter carrier, and could be bracing for an attack.

The most important thing that dog owners could do to prevent the risk of an attack is to abandon the assumption that their dog will not bite. There is no way to predict 100% that your dog will never be involved in an attack. In fact, Los Angeles dog bite attorneys often notice that this kind of attitude often contributes to many dog bites.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Federal Aviation Administration Looking at More Incidences of Pilot Error on the Runway

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on investigations into two separate incidents in the last couple of months, in which pilots in twin engine planes failed to turn on their second engines before getting ready for takeoff. These investigations are likely to figure in discussions that the National Transportation Safety Board is having with airline safety officials, pilot unions and others at an aviation safety conference this week. The conference is focusing especially hard on cockpit distractions and unprofessional attitude of pilots.

Both of these factors are being linked to each of the two incidents which occurred over the past few months. The first incident involved in American Eagle Embraer plane. The pilot apparently became distracted while he was talking to air traffic controllers, and failed to turn on the second engine. What's worse, the pilot did not even realize that he had failed to turn the engine on, and assumed that it was a mechanical malfunction. It is only later that airline mechanics informed the pilot that he had never turned the second engine on. That incident occurred at Los Angeles International Airport.

The second incident occurred at Dulles International Airport in March, and involved a Trans States Airlines Embraer jet. In this instance, the pilots forgot to turn the second engine on, and didn't realize it until the plane was ready to take off and in full throttle. Trans States Airlines says it is investigating the incident.

Pilots typically turn only one engine on while taxiing in order to save fuel. However, the second engine should be turned on when the plane taxis around to the active runway. Checklists are meant to make sure that the second engine is turned on before the plane begins to accelerate. Obviously, these errors were very serious, and the fact that both were caused by distraction or lack of attention is a cause for concern.

One thing California plane crash lawyers, airline representatives and federal agency officials seem to agree on is that there is very little technology can do to make pilots more professional or more attentive to their jobs. The NTSB is advocating the establishment of a self regulating code of conduct that will encourage airline pilots as well as air traffic controllers to take greater responsibility for their actions.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

CPSC Recalls Toy Dart Guns Due to Aspiration Hazards, Two Deaths Confirmed

Most defective product incidents that end in fatalities involve little children aged five or below. If the product is dangerous enough to cause death in older children, it must be taken seriously both by consumer safety groups and by Las Vegas personal injury lawyers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is alerting Americans to a recall of toy dart gun sets that were sold exclusively at Family Dollar Stores across the country.

The Auto Fire toy gun sets come with a yellow/orange toy gun, or a blue/orange toy gun and include several small darts and a target. The darts measure just over 1 inch in length, and come with a small suction cup at one end, which measures about half an inch in diameter. If a child places the small, soft darts in his mouth, it can be easily inhaled, causing an aspiration hazard. The agency has received reports of two confirmed deaths. One of the deaths involved a nine-year-old boy in Chicago, and the other involved a 10-year-old boy in Wisconsin.

The guns were imported by Henry Gordy International Inc. of New Jersey. The company has refused to initiate a recall, and so, Family Dollar Stores Inc. in cooperation with the CPSC is implementing the recall of more than 1.8 million toy dart gun sets. The agency is urging consumers to look for the toy gun sets in their homes, and discard them immediately. Family Dollar Stores is promising refunds to consumers who return the sets to the store.

According to the CPSC, aspiration or choking is one of the leading causes of toy-related deaths in children under 15 years. The fact that both confirmed deaths have involved children aged nine and 10, is definitely a cause for alarm. It indicates that the dangers to little children from these toy dart sets could be much worse. Typically, aspiration and asphyxiation are major hazards when there are little children involved. Children below the age of three are more likely to place things in the mouth, and swallow these. That is why toys that come with small detachable parts are strictly not recommended for children below the age of three.

Las Vegas personal injury attorneys would encourage parents who have both younger as well as older children in the home, to be especially careful. Toys meant for older children could end up finding their way into the hands of little kids below the age of three. In fact, Nevada dangerous toy lawyers have come across several instances where little children got hold of their older siblings’ toys, creating a potentially hazardous situation.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Glaxo to Pay $60 Million in Avandia Product Liability Lawsuits

Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline will pay $60 million to settle product liability lawsuits arising out of its anti-type II diabetes drug Avandia. The lawsuits alleged that Glaxo had knowledge of the risks of developing heart disease from use of Avandia, but failed to make that information public.

This is the first part of several settlements that the company is expected to pay out. The company currently faces 4,000 lawsuits, all related to medical injuries arising from Avandia use. This settlement applies to 700 lawsuits. In July, Glaxo Smith Kline is expected to face its first trial related to the Avandia injuries.

The Food and Drug Administration is also reviewing Avandia's safety risks, and is expected to present its report to an advisory committee in July this year. Several studies have pointed to the high risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart disease, from the use of Avandia. These studies have compared Avandia to its nearest competitor Actos, and found that Avandia does not offer users more benefits compared to Actos, and could actually come with more health risks.

Glaxo insists that these studies are not conclusive, and says that more studies must be conducted by qualified scientists before any conclusions about Avandia’s safety can be drawn. Earlier this year, the company suffered a setback in its Avandia defense when two US lawmakers released a report that criticized Glaxo's handling of safety issues surrounding Avandia.

The development of cardiovascular disease has been the number one Avandia-related health risk that California pharmaceutical products liability lawyers have been concerned about, but is far from the only issue related to the use of the anti-diabetes drug. Last year, a study pointed to a high risk of bone fractures and the development of osteoporosis in people who use Avandia. Glaxo denied those findings too.

The drug has also been linked to rare, but confirmed, reports of eye complications. Several patients have reported the development of a condition called macular edema, in which bleeding blood vessels can lead to blurred vision, inability to differentiate between colors, and ultimately, loss of eyesight.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Emergency Physician Group Advises Wearing Helmets This Summer

A helmet is often the only thing standing between a bicyclist/motorcyclist and serious injury, or death. There will be more numbers of motorcyclists and bicyclists hitting the roads as summer begins in Southern California. Unfortunately, as Los Angeles personal injury lawyers see, for many of these motorcyclist/bicyclists, safety will be the furthest thing from their minds.

The American College of Emergency Physicians is cautioning Americans to wear helmets if they plan to motorcycle or ride during the summer. These doctors see firsthand the dangers that come from not wearing a helmet. A helmet can protect the user from suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury. Even if a brain injury does result when a motorcyclist or bicyclist is wearing a helmet, the severity or degree of the injury is much lower than it would have been had the bicyclist/motorcyclist not been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that bicycle helmets are up to 90% effective in preventing brain injuries. In fact, if all children between four and 15 wore helmets while riding their bikes, there could be up to 45,000 fewer brain injuries in the United States.

When it comes to buying a good helmet to wear while motorcycling or bicycling, it is important to not just go out and buy the first helmet you see. If you're buying a bicycle helmet, look up the Consumer Product Safety Commission website and buy a bicycle helmet that meets or exceeds CPSC standards. If you're looking to buy a motorcycle helmet, it's the Department of Transportation that sets the minimum safety standards for motorcycle helmets.

The American College of Emergency Physicians is advising not only motorcyclists and bicyclists, but also others with a great risk of head injuries from summertime activities to wear helmets. For instance, all terrain vehicle riders must also wear helmets to avoid the risk of brain injuries. Skateboarders and rollerbladers must also wear helmets to protect against head injuries. There have been various studies documenting the benefits of wearing helmets while performing high-speed or contact sports.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Increase in mobile web use - what to see, you vs.them.

Today, the LA Times mobile feature displayed a story about the rise in mobile we browsing. This is the whole story...

CNN Money has a pair of charts, showing the smart-phone jolt seen by Web analytics. Smart-phone browsers increased 193% in February versus a year prior, according to Google’s AdMob.

This is not surprising given the number of web enabled devices out there. Even in home use, people use mobile devices to surf the web while sitting on the couch watching TV. Some sites look great - here is the image of the website of Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel Perlman  on a iPhone. The site looks great, but keep in mind it is not a specific mobile site - it is the same url meant for typical browsers, the coding and design allow it to look suitable.

As an note - I  first read this story on a an iPhone, then want to further investigate. So using my laptop, I first went to the LA times home page, then found the mobile section, and navigated to the stories section (a very clean, minimal list of articles). That is where I found the above.  However, I then searched for the article on CNN and could not find it. I haven't searched too much because something more interesting occurred - I could not get back to the mobile page at the LA Times, the same navigation re-directed me to the LA Times home page.  Coincidentally one reason I wanted to go back was to bookmark the page on  my notebook (it already is bookmarked on my iPhone). I thought the format was efficient and it would be nice to read it on my laptop.

Does the LA Times do this as to require non-mobile visitors to view the main site for advertising reasons or is it a bug?  Not sure. But I thought it was interesting and decide to add it as a note to this post.  In fact, I changed the title of the post after writing this bottom half - I would have expanded the title given room: Mobile web browsing  - designing a site to be seen - what users want and want businesses want.