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January 2011 Archives

Two Illinois Grain Operators Cited For Willfully Violating OSHA Labor Laws Resulting in Workers' Deaths

The U.S. Department of Labor has fined two Illinois grain operators nearly $1.4 million following the deaths of three workers, including two teenagers, who were killed when they suffocated after being engulfed by grain.

Family of girls killed in accident with trooper receives $8M

The Illinois Court of Claims has awarded $8 million to the parents of two Collinsville sisters who were killed in an auto accident caused by an Illinois state trooper. Judge Peter J. Birnbaum's opinion in the wrongful death case stated that when the trooper drove his vehicle "at a speed of 126 mph he operated his vehicle in a manner that endangered life and/or property of the public." A news story from myfoxchicago.com indicates that the trooper was e-mailing and talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident.

OSHA Investigating after Heavy Equipment falls on Workers

Two workers at the Good Samaritan hospital in Downers Grove were injured last week when a 3,000 pound piece of equipment fell on them. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating what caused the equipment to fall. One of the workers was treated and released and the other remains in fair condition at the hospital, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

NTSB Study Shows Benefits of Airbags and Shoulder Harnesses In General Aviation Aircraft

The National Transportation Safety Board has adopted a study confirming the safety benefits of shoulder harnesses in general aviation accidents and concluding that airbags can provide additional protection for occupants of such aircraft.

Study Questions use of Nitric Oxide for Premature Infants

A recent study released by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center finds that administering nitric oxide gas to infants born prior to 34 weeks may not provide a health benefit in most cases. Babies born pre-term are regularly given nitrous oxide gas in an effort to improve survival rates and avoid disabilities and related complications such as lung problems or neurological damage.

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues New Rule to Reduce Rollover Ejections

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a new safety rule aimed at reducing the number of occupants ejected from vehicles in rollover crashes. Under the new rule, vehicle manufacturers must develop a countermeasure for cars and light trucks which prevents the equivalent of an unbelted adult from moving more than 4 inches past the side window opening in the event of a crash. To meet the standard manufacturers are expected to improve the strength, size and effectiveness of existing side-impact air bags.

Proposal in Wisconsin Would Make it Harder to Recover Damages

New Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has introduced a proposal which would make it more difficult for parties injured by defective products to recover damages in court. It would require that a plaintiff be able to prove exactly which part of the supply chain, the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, was responsible for the defect which caused the injury.

NTSB to Report on Airbags and Shoulder Belts for General Aviation Planes

The National Transportation Safety Board is set to meet today to release a report on the effectiveness of airbags in mitigating injuries in survivable general aviation accidents. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the report will examine 138 accidents in planes equipped with airbags and look specifically at several accidents in which an airbag may have been an important factor in ensuring the safety of the pilot or passengers.

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