Sleep Apnea and Your Company

If you are the owner of a company in which your employees are frequently at risk for injury, you likely have their safety at the forefront of your mind constantly. A safe workplace is a happy workplace. Additionally, workplace injuries can cause a lot of disruptions to your workflow.

They can lower team morale and lead to a drop in productivity due to the loss of a crucial team member. Not to mention that workplace injuries may cost you and your company thousands of dollars in worker’s compensation benefits.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that as a company owner, you’d like to reduce the number of workplace injuries as much as possible. Doing so will allow you to keep workflow steady and constant, and will also allow you to avoid any loss of money due to worker’s compensation.

One of the easiest ways that you keep your employees safe is to address the issue of obstructive sleep apnea. Keep learning more about why you should address this health concern for a more safe and secure workplace.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition in which the throat muscles block the airway during sleep — resulting in a breath that repeatedly stops and starts during the course of the night.

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health concerns, many of which can increase the risk of workplace injury. One of those is fatigue during the day. Individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea often wake up in the middle of the night, and as such, are sleepy during the day. If your employees operate machinery during their shifts, this can be especially dangerous.

Another risk is cardiovascular problems. When the body is undergoing obstructive sleep apnea, blood pressure increases — which can lead to hypertension, a risk factor in developing heart disease. High blood pressure could lead to workers having to take time off due to surgery, or may even lead to a heart attack at work.

What Can I Do?

As a company owner, you’re likely asking yourself — what can I do? Fortunately, you have options. Companies who specialize in worker safety provide a variety of solutions to dealing with obstructive sleep apnea among your employees. Some of these solutions include:

Cutting edge technology to test for obstructive sleep apnea in the comfort of an individual’s own home, and the deployment of a CPAP machine for employees to wear while sleeping to help stop obstructive sleep apnea

Benefits of Treating Sleep Apnea

Treating your employees for sleep apnea can bring your company a variety of benefits. One such benefit is a decreased amount of workplace injuries — which keep money in your pocket. Another is lower accident rates (due to your employees getting more sleep on a consistent basis), as well as better job performance, and significantly lower healthcare costs.

Consider reaching out to a worker safety company like WorkSTEPS, Inc. to learn how your company can create the safest environment for your employees possible through sleep apnea solutions.

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The Busy Business of Personal Injury

The personal injury business is a messy, competitive industry. While I am not involved as a lawyer nor have I been the victim of a negligent personal injury, I study and research the industry often. I mostly study personal injury law firms because I find the dynamics to be interesting. How difficult it must be to work in a field in which all of your clients have been injured; as a compassionate person (as many personal injury lawyers are), you do not want people to be hurt or injured. But as a business proposition, a personal injury lawyer kind of needs people to be injured or wrongfully hurt.

This is just one reason why the industry is interesting to me. Another reason that it fascinates me is that practicing personal injury law provides lawyers with the ability to fight for justice while still making a good amount of money. From my experience, most lawyers practice law because they want to make the world a better place — even if through just one case or client at a time.

However, a law degree is expensive — and requires an expensive bachelor’s degree from an undergraduate college. Many, many law school students have hundreds of thousands of student loans by the time they graduate and become practicing attorneys. And most new lawyers predict they will offset this debt through a high-paying job soon after graduation. But as an article in Forbes discusses, the reality for most new law school graduates is different than the reality they were promised: law school tuition is increasing while the number of high-paying jobs for new graduates is rapidly decreasing.

As a result, the few industries that have still retained the potential for high-paying jobs are increasingly competitive as more and more new law school graduates seek to stake a claim. But there are only so many personal injury accidents every year, so the clientele base is finite. Lawyers in the personal injury business combat this in two ways:

  • Retaining as many clients as possible — not letting clients decide against litigating or letting clients go to other firms
  • Attracting and earning new clients, developing personal injury mass torts

Of course, there are other methods to increase the profits of a personal injury law firm. But these approaches are the standard in the personal injury world.

Client retention

Client retention and conversion is a difficult aspect of personal injury law; so much so, entire businesses like the legal conversion experts at Intake Conversion Experts have been built around the central premise of helping personal injury law firms retain clients through administrative support, bilingual intake services, follow-up calls, and other client contact methods.

Essentially, these businesses are staffed with people experienced in personal injury law but instead of practicing law, they work on the business/marketing side of things. They are contracted out by law firms to assist with overflow or retention.

Client conversion

As I mentioned before, the second way that personal injury law firms remain competitive is through taking people who have been unfairly injured by another and bringing them to the firm as clients in personal injury law. The difficulties to client conversion include hesitation to incur legal fees and overall dissatisfaction with lawyers. These concerns can be addressed through excellent legal work and a commitment to clients’ well-being.

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What is Tornado Alley?

The term “Tornado Alley” was first used by a United States Air Force meteorologist and an Air Force captain as the title of a research project. Nowadays, the term is mostly used by the media and through other news outlets. We’ve all heard of Tornado Alley, but what exactly does it mean? We all know that it describes a region that is susceptible to tornado damage, but what specifically makes up this region, and why is this region affected? Even the National Weather Service has yet to issue a specific region that defines Tornado Alley. To get a more specific grasp on this region, and because of my interest in meteorology, I decided to do a little research.

One useful article by Smith Kendall says that Tornado Alley includes the area in the south-central United States where there is a higher frequency of tornados. Specifically, it explains that Tornado Alley runs from central Texas to northern Iowa, and from central Kansas and Nebraska to western Ohio. Given these bounds, it is no surprise that Texas, because it is such a large state, reports the most tornados of any state. The smaller states of Kansas and Oklahoma have the most reported tornados per unit area of measurement.

Regarding meteorology, the article explained that Tornado Alley is ideally situated for the formation of supercell thunderstorms. Supercells are types of thunderstorms that have a rotating small-scale current of rising air. This current of air is often found in a cloud. Because of this rotating air, supercells are sometimes called rotating thunderstorms. Basically, if you look up in the sky and see a large or small thunderstorm cloud spinning, there is a good chance that it is a supercell. Supercells can be very severe, and they have the propensity to ultimately create tornados.

In essence, it seems that Tornado Alley, while it does not have any set criteria for defining the region, is characterized by the increased frequency of tornados that form in the region. One study found that about a quarter of all significant cyclones occur in this area. What is it about Tornado Alley that leads to all of these tornadoes? Well, in my research I found that in this region, warm, humid air from the equator clashes with the cold, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains. This creates an ideal environment for supercell formation, and therefore ultimately tornado formation.

Given these ideal temperatures and air conditions, it is no surprise that because of Tornado Alley, the United States has more tornados than any other nation. The nation with the next highest tornado frequency is Canada.

The next time you hear the phrase Tornado Alley, you should now have a better understanding what the phrase is referring to. While there is no set definition, the area is largely defined by the weather conditions that create supercells, and ultimately tornados. Next time you’re in Tornado Alley, watch out for spinning clouds!

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How to Stay Safe if you are Buying a Bike

So, how dangerous are motorcycles, really? We’ve all had that dream to ride across the U.S. with the wind blowing through our hair. We’re riding into the sunset, and it’s like a scene out of Easy Rider. We’re rocking a leather jacket, the engine is revving, somehow there’s a soundtrack playing behind. But we’ve also all heard something along the same lines: motorcycles are dangerous, motorcyclists are constantly getting run over, motorcycles just aren’t safe. Stick with the car. And those words scare a lot of us out of trying to live that motorcycling dream. Well, how worried should we be? Are the worriers right that motorcycles are so dangerous? Or is the fear overrated? Unfortunately, it seems the worriers have it right. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 72.34 motorcycle deaths per 100,000 registered motorcyclists. That’s a massive jump from the numbers for cars, which are just 13.10 per 100,000 drivers. That means riding a motorcycle is 35 times are dangerous as driving a car. But, let’s say, you’re determined to buy a bike anyway. The sunset is calling to you. You need that wind blowing through your hair. Well, what steps can you take to lower your chances of an accident? First and foremost, just pay attention. A lot of this has to do with motorcyclists just not paying attention. In fact, a study done in 1981, called the Hurt Report, found that motorcyclists were at fault for two-thirds of all incidents that involved a single vehicle, and that was mostly because they weren’t paying attention. Another stunning statistic from the same study, almost half of the fatal motorcycle accidents involved alcohol. Compare that to the measly 2% of accidents where the weather was to blame. Another study, MAIDS, found that in 69% of accidents, no evasive maneuvers were used. The next major point is to just wear a helmet. According to the MAIDS report, that would have reduced the chance of injury by almost 70%. So, sorry, no wind blowing through your hair folks. The main point is, be aware of yourself and others. And just be responsible. The most common reasons for motorcycle accidents are:

  • Reckless and careless driving by either you or another
  • Mechanical malfunction
  • Road defects
  • And, once again, drunk driving

So, if you stay sober, keep your bike in good working order, and drive safely, you’ve definitely improved your chances of making all the way across your cross-country road trip. One final point: make sure you get some good insurance. Obviously, because you’re left out in the open with so little protection, when accidents do happen, they tend to be pretty bad. So, get the best coverage you can, even if it costs as much as your bike. If you have all that covered, all I can say is, stay safe and enjoy the ride.

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Accidents Resulting to Broken Bones

According to the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, accidents are bound to happen. Every year, people suffer through serious physical and financial stress caused by a serious injury, like fractured skull or broken bones. Personal injury specifically refers to any situation in which another party’s recklessness or negligence directly causes an accident. These preventable accidents can leave innocent victims and their families to face a multitude of challenges.

Broken bone or bone fracture is a break or a crack in a bone. This happens whenever a direct force that is stronger than the bone can withstand is exerted against it. While the most common sites for bone fractures are the hips, arms and legs, there are also cases wherein fractures can occur to the skull and ribs, making the injury life-threatening. 

Besides pain, swelling, bruising, deformity and inability to use the affected limb (arm or leg), bone fractures can also cause other complications, including blood loss, stunted growth of the bone, and injuries to organs, tissues and other structures surrounding the injured part. 

Medline Plus identifies the following as the common causes of broken bones:

  • Fall from a height
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Direct blow
  • Child abuse
  • Repetitive forces, such as those caused by running, can cause stress fractures of the foot, ankle, tibia, or hip

Osteoporosis and certain types of cancer that cause the bones to fracture more easily, present risks too as these can make minor accidents, such as a fall accident, end up with serious results. Thus, while some fractures will only require a plaster cast or the surgical insertion of plates or metal rods which will hold the bone pieces together, complicated fractures usually require surgery and surgical traction.   

Among the many types of motor vehicles, bone fracture, or fracture to the skull or ribs, is most common among motorcycle riders. This is due to the lack of body protection of riders. This risk to accidents and injuries motorcycle riders are exposed to is often caused by drivers of passenger vehicles who deny motorcyclists their right of way. Most often too, drivers never check for possible approaching motorcycles before making a turn, before backing up in parking lots or before opening their car door. 

As explained by Milwaukee injury lawyers, broken bones can occur for a number of reasons. While these injuries may seem common, they can have serious and long-lasting effects. Broken bones can lead to complications and permanent problems, often leaving victims stressed and frustrated. It is important to know, however, that victims of accidents, which leave them with a serious bone fracture, may be in the position to fight for compensation from the party that caused the accident.


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Effects of Alcohol on Drunk Drivers

Effects of Alcohol on Drunk Drivers

Driving while under the influence of alcohol may result into fines reaching thousands of dollars, license suspensions and revocations of up to ten years, and jail times that may vary depending on the gravity of the offense and how many times it has been committed. Convictions will also mean that these drivers will have limited employment opportunities. This greatly affects those who work on driving services, such as delivery and trucking.

These consequences are truly life-changing, and they are not going to change anytime soon, because jurisdictions and states are fully aware of how drunk driving can be extremely dangerous.

Physical Abilities

Driving requires physical and mental abilities, but these abilities are compromised because of alcohol. The most obvious physical defect is the limited body control. Those who are under the influence will not be able to fully control their heads, arms, hands, and feet – all of which play a significant role in driving.

Getting too much alcohol in the body may also make them drowsy and fall asleep while on the wheel. Even if they don’t fall asleep, the alcohol and drowsiness may give them eye problems, such as blurry vision and closing of eyes.

Mental Abilities

The mind is just as important as the body when it comes to safe driving. Drunk drivers may not be able to understand traffic lights and warning signs. Failing to stop on traffic lights may result to right-of-way issues and collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. Failing to comprehend warning signs may make them unaware of dangerous situations ahead, like abrupt turns, construction sites, and suddenly-crossing animals.

Without the proper mental capability, drunk drivers will also fail to judge the position of other vehicles and people around them. They may not adjust to turning or weaving vehicles or yield to pedestrians even if these pedestrians have the right-of-way.

What You Can Do

To prevent drunk driving, you can designate a driver that can take you home, try other modes of transport like buses, or even use ridesharing services such as Uber.

According to the website of this Forest Acres DUI Lawyer, DUI charges can be defended. This is understandable, considering the great consequences that DUI convictions may bring. But to avoid wasting time on courts, it is still better to avoid drunk driving altogether. In fact, it is not just the court you will be avoiding, but also the hospital and your insurance office.

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FLSA Claims: Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?

FLSA Claims: Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Claim for Unpaid Wages?

The proper payment of wages is generally governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. While individual states have their own set of regulations regarding the payment of wages, most of these laws were set in place to reinforce the policies mandated by the federal government through the FLSA.

One of the many things that the FLSA ensures is an employee’s right to claim for wages that have been denied to them by their employer. Aside from being entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, majority of employees working in America are also entitled to receive an additional 1.5 times more than their regular rate for overtime work. Any violation of these policies can be reported and acted upon by filing a claim for unpaid wages.

With the help of an experienced FLSA claim attorney, employees can petition to receive their unpaid wages on top of additional compensation for legal expenses and penalties incurred by the employer for a number of different circumstances. Common FLSA violations include an employer’s failure to pay minimum wage or additional overtime wages for “off-the-clock” work. Employers are also expected to compensate employees for paid vacation time they didn’t get to take, as well as for time spent travelling a different work-related venue during regular hours.

Seeking the help of an employment law attorney is important in this process because the policies on minimum wage and overtime pay involve certain exemptions. An employment lawyer can help individual to review and assess their cases before taking all the necessary steps. It’s typical for an attorney to give his or her opinion on whether a claim is worth pursuing. They can also provide a rough estimate of how much an individual might receive in damages, allowing potential clients to weigh between the cost and benefit of filing a FLSA claim.

When deciding to take on a lawyer’s help for your FLSA claim, take the time to consider all the options provided to you after your first legal consultation. Certain factors like legal expenses and the stress that going through such a process might bring should be part of the considerations you weigh before making a decision.

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“Insupportability,” An Acceptable Reason for Divorce under Texas Law

Lawsuits based on divorce and divorce-related issues, which include child custody, visitation rights, child support, spousal support (or alimony), and division of property, assets and debts are most emotional and argumentative if settled in a courtroom. This type of divorce, called Contested divorce, ends up in court primarily because the spouses cannot come to terms which will settle all issues that need to be settled; thus, they leave to a judge the decision making while destroying each other through their respective lawyers in order to win the judge’s favor (which is very unlikely to happen, though).

States differ with regard to the basic requirement in filing for divorce. In 17 states ( California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin), the “no-fault” divorce law is observed. This means that citing any action by his/her partner, even infidelity, is immaterial.

The other 33 states, however, are known as “fault” states since these require that those who file for divorce to identify the specific ground/s upon which the divorce is being sought (despite observing the “fault” divorce law, these 33 states now also recognize the “no fault” law, thus a spouse may file for divorce by citing simply the ground of irreconcilable differences).

In Texas, for instance, if a spouse files a petition for divorce under the “fault” divorce law, he/she may cite adultery or cruelty (of his/her spouse) of a nature that renders living together unsupportable. If the divorce is filed under the “no fault” provision for divorce, however, then the petitioner may simply indicate “insupportability.”

Insupportability, as explained by Austin divorce attorneys of Kirker Davis LLP, is defined as discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Under Texas law, the Court may grant a divorce on grounds of insupportability alone, without having the need to cite any other reason.

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Workplace Wellness Programs For Your Small Business

Focus on workplace wellness is a growing initiative among large businesses. These programs are not only gaining in popularity but also increasing in scope. The 2014 National Study of Employers conducted by the Family and Work Institute revealed that 6 out of 10 employers are offering some kind of wellness program compared to 51 percent in 2008. According to the website of WorkSTEPS, small businesses can also benefit from workplace wellness.

For small businesses, the challenge in implementing wellness programs would be budget. In order to run a comprehensive program, you would need to set aside a considerable amount which small businesses may not have the luxury of. The good news is that there are low budget wellness programs that you can implement in your small business. There is a plethora of options that you can consider without breaking your bank. Here are some of the available options:

Online wellness programs

There are different software programs that offer employees with an affordable way to maintain their fitness. Weavers, for example, allow employees to download an exercise timer into their computers. These are desk exercises that come with supporting videos.

Stress Management

Workplace wellness is not just about physical but also mental. For a minimal fee, there are some websites that offer mobile and Web applications that help reduce stress, improve sleep, and offer counseling.

Monitoring Equipment

Another low-cost workplace wellness is monitoring equipment. Pedometers and calorie counters can help employees monitor body fat, calorie intake, and weight loss.

Incentive Programs

You can work with local wellness-related businesses for possible discounts on their wellness offerings such as yoga exercises, health clubs, and karate dojos. The program does not have to be too complicated. You can keep it simple and straightforward.

Policy Initiatives

Workplace wellness can be integrated into your corporate policy to encourage your employees to practice a healthy lifestyle.

Extended Breaks

Sitting in their workstations for a long period can also have negative effects on employees. Encourage workers to go on mini-breaks in order to keep their juices flowing.

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When Will You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer

When involved in a car accident, there are many questions that can pop up which can overwhelm you. When your injuries are considered serious and the damages significant enough for a personal injury claim, then hiring an injury lawyer would be necessary. Lawyers will be the one who will represent you before the defendant and the court. They play a valuable role because of their knowledge of pertinent laws and legal procedures that are applicable to your case.

Generally all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which the Hankey Law Office website describes as an arrangement where the lawyer will only get paid once the claim is won or settled. This means you don’t have to spend a lot of money to file and pursue a claim, and the payment to your personal injury lawyer will only be given once the case is over. Hiring legal professionals for your personal injury claim would protect you from time restrictions (or statute of limitations) and have the best tools to content any defenses that the other party may use. Furthermore, a lawyer would be more equipped to represent and fight you should the case go to court once a settlement is not reached.

A lot of things are needed in a personal injury claim, and if you hire a lawyer you will not be burdened with the legwork that comes with it. Regardless of whether the personal injury case is going to a settlement or a court, gathering and documenting evidence such as medical records, police and eye-witness reports, and many others can be effectively done by your lawyer and presented clearly during settlement or on court.

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