Articles Posted in Safety Tips

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In Arkansas, bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. A bus driver is allowed, however, to use a cell phone if the school bus is off the road safely and the parking brake is engaged. When our children are in the care of school personnel, it is reasonable to expect that he or she would be practicing safe driving habits.

According to recent news reports, an investigation was launched regarding a video produced by a student showing a Lake Hamilton school bus driver texting while behind the wheel driving. I read that the superintendent said that the situation was being dealt with as a confidential personnel matter and he would not disclose whether the driver was going to be disciplined for her act of poor judgment.

There are reports in other states of bus drivers texting while driving. In Connecticut, a school bus driver was caught texting while driving. The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver sent and received 1,068 text messages while she was operating her school bus in a one-month period. A Florida student used her cell phone to capture video of the school bus driver texting while driving. At the end of the student’s video, it shows the driver making a sudden move to grab the steering wheel as the bus appeared to drift into another lane of travel.

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Do you know of someone who is or has been bullied at school? The psychological effects are sometimes lifelong. School bullying statistics show that an alarming one in four children are bullied regularly in the United States. With advanced technology, texting and computers are also used to bully and harass kids. We have all seen in the news and read in the newspaper of someone who took their own life as a result of being bullied. No child should have to suffer through this type of abuse. You can make a difference by talking with your kids and making sure they understand what bullying is and that it is wrong. Talk with your children and help them to understand how damaging bullying is and encourage them to be nice to the children who are being bullied. Your child could make a difference in that’s child life. Monitor your child’s text messages and Facebook accounts. If you see that a child is being bullied, step in and be proactive in making it stop. Don’t assume that someone else will take care of it. If you know this is happening to a child, be the hero and make it stop.

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Recent reports in the news media have shown that livestock on farms near oil and gas drilling operations have been falling sick and dying. Many scientist and residents suspect chemicals used in drilling and fracking operations are poisoning animals through the air, water or soil.

Earlier this year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca, N.Y., veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first and only peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals.

The report listed 24 case studies of farmers in six shale gas states whose livestock experienced neurological, reproductive and acute gastrointestinal problems after being exposed to fracking chemicals in the water or air. The article, published in “New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health,” describes how animals died over the course of several years.

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The hormone damaging chemical BPA, or bisphenol-A, can no longer be used to make baby bottles and sippy cups. The mandate of the Food and Drug Administration will have limited impact, because manufacturers have already stopped using BPA in these beverage containers. However, the FDA did not ban BPA use in other products.

BPA is still found in other plastic products. These products include water bottles, metal can linings and thermal cash register receipt. Some studies have linked BPA to cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems. A current study ties BPA found in kids’ tooth fillings to a slightly higher risk of children developing behavioral problems such as depression and anxiety. According to medical experts, BPA leaches from food and beverage packaging and trace amounts have been found in the urine of at least 90% of Americans.

Some food manufacturers have voluntarily removed BPA from the linings of cans, especially those containing infant formula. However, the FDA and industry actions are not strong enough. Dangerous products continue to be sold in Arkansas and the rest of the county. Lawyers and persons injured by dangerous products need to use Arkansas product liability laws to hold companies that put profits over the health of their customers accountable. The Arkansas Products Liability Statute can be found here.

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One million Infantino Slingrider and Wendy Bellissimo infant slings have been recalled in the United States. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, three infants died in 2009.

This recall comes soon after the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety alert warning parents that babies under 4 months old should not ride in sling carriers because of the suffocation risk.

According to some reports, the soft fabric of some infant slings that surround an infant’s neck can be dangerous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there have been 14 infant deaths related to sling-type baby carriers. It is recommended that a baby’s face not be covered so it is visible while in the sling.

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The Center for Lifelong Learning at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is offering a series of four motorcycle safety courses Nov. 7 as part of the Center’s fall schedule of personal enrichment courses.

Courses will be led by certified Goldwing Road Riders Association Leadership Training Instructors and Rider Education Instructors. According to the seminar information,

the training is designed to encourage safe and enjoyable motorcycling for all riders. The seminar information quotes the instructor as saying:

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The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has fined Chesapeake Energy Corp. after well drilling fluids were spilled.

The ADEQ issued the order fining the natural gas driller $8,400 for the Sept. 8 incident. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality says there was evidence a layer of drilling mud had been deposited in the tributary and that agency representatives were not allowed to inspect the site when they arrived at the site.

This incident exemplifies the new problems that are associated with the scale of drilling taking place in the Fayetteville Shale areas in Arkansas. Problems ranging from pollution causing personal injury or property damage to drilling site injuries to industrial and truck accidents have increased due to the drilling activity. If you have suffered property damage or a personal injury, please contact an Arkansas lawyer to discuss what can be done to compensate you for your damages.

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Sixty Arkansas hospitals have applied to receive funding for trauma care that will come from a tobacco tax. As our previous post regarding the Arkansas Trauma system points out, the system is designed to save the lives of Arkansas accident victims. The following is a list of hospitals that have applied to date:

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Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, Memphis, Tenn.

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A natural gas line break and explosion occurred at an Arkansas apartment complex. A construction company was dredging a pond at the complex when a backhoe hit a gas line. This incident caused an explosion and fire. Fortunately, there were no personal injuries reported due to the gas explosion.

Officials are investigating whether the company contacted Arkansas One Call to before work was started to determine the location of utility line. Arkansas law requires that a call be made before work begins.

Natural gas explosions often cause serious injury and even death. These explosions are often the result of negligence. If you or a family member have suffered from a natural gas explosion please contact an injury attorney as soon as possible. It is necessary to investigate these accidents quickly to determine the cause.