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ARCHIVES: July 2018

How to Handle a Car Accident Involving Children

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss how to handle accidents invovling children. A car accident can be a scary and traumatic experience especially if your children were in the car with you. Speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving are all common causes of car accidents from fender benders to serious wrecks. Unfortunately, car crashes happen more often than we would like to think, and it is important to know what to do if you and your children are involved in one.

Stay Calm and Get Medical Care

The first and most important thing to do is check for injuries on both yourself and your children. Small children restrained in car seats must be thoroughly checked because injuries may not be immediately visible. If someone is injured, call 911 for help immediately. Keep in mind that how you handle things immediately after a crash can affect the outcome of your personal injury case should you need to file a claim later.

Even if you think your injuries are minor, it is wise to seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as whiplash or concussion, do not present immediate symptoms. Small children should always be examined as they may have difficulty articulating the type and location of pain if they have been injured.

Exchange Contact Information

If you and your children were involved in a car accident you should always exchange contact information with anyone else involved, including eyewitnesses. Be sure to note the other driver’s insurance company contact information and policy number. Ask any witnesses for their contact information and a written statement of what they saw.

Document Any Damage

Try your best to document any damage to your car, the other car, and property if any property damage occurred. Take photos if possible, and also document other factors that could have contributed to the accident such as weather conditions and dysfunctional traffic signs. If you decide to file a personal injury claim later, you will already have the documentation you need to support your case.

Report the Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, be careful about giving a statement to an insurance adjuster before consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. If the police were not called to the scene of the accident, do not forget to file a police report about the accident later. This is one more step you can take to document what happened.

Consult with a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer

If you or your child were injured due to an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation and should seek the counsel of an experienced car accident lawyer. A reputable lawyer will know what type of claim you should file and how to recover the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, and any other injury-related expenses.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Injured in Car Accidents

Contact an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. if you or your children were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Our dedicated legal team will fight to recover the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Contact us today at 800-531-9780 or complete our online contact form. With six office locations, we represent clients throughout South Carolina including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Benefits of Pulse Technology for Cars

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on Pulse technology in the hopes of reducing rear-end accidents. Rear-end car accidents can leave victims with serious and often life-changing injuries. New technology that helps reduce the number of rear-end collisions is now available to cars and light trucks manufactured after 1991. The Pulse system uses a third brake light that is installed on the center of the rear windshield that blinks, or pulsates, to warn drivers traveling behind that the vehicle is slowing down or preparing to stop. The Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL) pulses four times whenever the driver steps on their brake pedal, giving drivers traveling behind an extra warning to slow down.

The Department of Transportation estimates that 90 percent of all rear-end collisions can be avoided by giving drivers just one extra second of reaction time. As displayed in recent trials, Pulse affords drivers the opportunity to react 14-20 feet ahead of their normal reaction time when the system is installed on their vehicle. Drivers traveling 50 to 65 miles an hour were more likely to avoid a rear-end collision when the driver in front of them had the Pulse technology installed on their car.

Technology May Help Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents

Pulse technology has also been proven to grab the attention of distracted drivers faster than standard break lights. Distracted driving has become a major safety hazard to everyone on the road. The NHTSA reports an average of 4,000 fatalities each year from car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Cell phone use, texting, onboard infotainment systems, and navigation technology cause drivers to take their eyes off of the road in front of them, which leads to serious and often fatal wrecks.

The human eye is attracted to a pulsing light more than those that provide a steady stream of light. Distracted drivers looking up from their technology are more likely to see and react to the pulsating third brake light used with the Pulse system. The extra time provided to the driver that quickly sees the pulsing light is more likely to avoid a rear-end collision with the few seconds of extra time the warning light provides.

Rear-End Crashes Common and May Be Serious

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 37 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions – with 28 percent of these accidents leaving victims seriously and sometimes fatally injured. Whenever a car is hit from behind, the driver and passengers in the front vehicle are propelled forward with great force before quickly being pushed back against their seat when they come to a stop. This back and forth motion can result in injuries to the head, neck, and spine. Whiplash, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, facial disfigurement, and other fatal internal injuries are common among victims of rear-end collisions.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Recover Compensation for Those Injured in Rear-End Accidents

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable and highly skilled Columbia car accident lawyer. Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

South Carolina Ranked Third Deadliest State for Car Accidents

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss fatalities caused by distracted driving in South Carolina. South Carolina has been ranked the third deadliest state in the nation for fatal car accidents. A recent study found that Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina have the highest number of fatal car wrecks in the country. There is an average of 20.5 people per 100,000 who are fatally injured in car accidents each year in South Carolina, which is almost double the national average.

While the study looked at a variety of causes for the deadly car accidents, ten percent of all fatalities were directly related to distracted driving. Cell phone use involving phone calls, texting, and navigation apps is the number one driving distraction.

Distracted Driving and Prevention

South Carolina has laws against texting while driving, but currently, there are no laws prohibiting the overall use of handheld phones while driving. The current law does not seem to do much to deter people from grabbing their cell phones while they are behind the wheel. The reason may be that the penalty for distracted driving in South Carolina is a mere $25 fine. In 2016, South Carolina law enforcement officials issued only 53 tickets for distracted driving.

In comparison, Delaware issued over 13,000 distracted driving citations in 2016, which carried a fine of $100 and points on the driver’s license. The state of Alaska did not issue any citations for distracted driving in 2016, but penalties for breaking the cell phone ban in the state carries a fine of $10,000 and possible incarceration.

South Carolina lawmakers are making efforts to deter distracted driving in the state. A bill that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving was introduced in January, but it did not make it to the Senate in time for passing this year. If the Senate does endorse the bill in 2019, drivers in South Carolina who use cell phones behind the wheel will be charged with “driving under the influence of an electronic device,” or DUI-E. Fines and penalties are expected to significantly increase.

Other Measures

In the meantime, South Carolina drivers are encouraged to take a stand and reduce their risk of getting into a serious or fatal car accident by committing to following safety advice:

  • Turn off your phone and put it out of reach before starting the car.
  • Focus your attention to the task of driving, with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
  • Become an advocate for policies and strict laws against distracted driving.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Families Who Have Lost a Loved One in a Distracted Driving Accident

If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a car accident with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600, toll-free at 800-531-9780, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Highway Worker Safety

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss highway worker safety and construction zone accidents. Highway safety is a pressing issue these days. America’s highway infrastructure is aging, resulting in a constant need for improvement to repair and rebuild damaged roadways. This is great, because it creates jobs—but when you consider the increase in traffic on our roads in recent years, this can lead to more highway worker accidents. The rise of distracted driving and smart phone use also likely contributes to the rise in tragic accidents to road workers. These workers perform an essential function, and their safety should be an utmost priority for everyone.

Common Causes of Roadway Construction Accidents

Every year, over 20,000 hardworking men and women are injured in roadway construction zones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 100 more lose their lives while carrying out their jobs. Some of the main causes of accidents and fatalities in construction work zones include:

    • Slips, trips and falls
    • Overexertion
    • Contact/collision with vehicles
    • Contact with overturned and jackknifed vehicles
  • Exposure to hazardous substances
  • Contact with construction equipment or falling objects
  • Run overs and back overs
  • Getting stuck in between construction equipment

What Road Workers Can Do to Stay Safe

Anyone who has worked in a roadway construction area is likely acutely aware of the risks and dangers. It is important that workers are properly trained on how to reduce their risk of harm by adhering to the following safety tips:

  • Have a good transportation management plan and review it frequently. Oncoming vehicles should be alerted in advance through the use of signage and cones that they will be entering a construction zone. Workers should have a buffer area, and specific warnings about the change in traffic pattern. The plan should also manage the flow of workers and equipment inside the construction zone itself.
  • Separate work spaces. Using cones or barriers to separate parking and walking areas from areas where heavy equipment is being used can reduce the number of accidents.
  • Adhere to state and federal rules governing the use of traffic control devices (cones, barriers, signs, and barrels).
  • Wear safety equipment, such as hard hats, hearing protection, steel-toed boots, and reflective fluorescent clothing.
  • Stay vigilant. Face traffic whenever possible. If you cannot actively be watching traffic, make use of a spotter. If you are walking around heavy machinery, be aware of blind spots.

South Carolina’s Highway Worker Safety Act

The legislature has taken steps to protect road workers by enacting laws that heavily penalize drivers who speed through construction zones. Although this will not prevent all accidents, hopefully it will assist road workers in carrying out their important jobs safely.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Road Workers Injured in Construction Zones

If you have been injured in a construction zone, or lost a loved one in an accident, contact a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today. You may be entitled to lost wages, past and future medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, disfigurement or disability pay, and more. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or contact us online to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

With six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured workers and families in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, and Summerville.

What Teens Should Know About Work Safety

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on injured teen workers. This season, young workers (especially those who will be working their first job) must be aware of workplace dangers and the federal regulations in place that are designed to protect them from those dangers. One law that specifically addresses the rights of minor workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The FLSA Protects Teen Workers

The FLSA prohibits minors from being hired for non-agricultural work that falls under the Department of Labor’s (DOL) list of hazardous occupations. The DOL’s list of hazardous occupations include manufacturing or storing explosives, driving a vehicle, coal mining, firefighting and other jobs involving dangerous tools, equipment and processes.

This federal law also protects young workers in terms of wages. Workers under age 18 are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay just like workers over the age of 18 years old. Workers aged 14 and 15 can work eight hours a day, 40 hours a week when school is not in session. When school is in session, they can only work a maximum of three hours per school day and eight hours per non-school day for a total of no more than 18 hours a week.

How to Stay Safe on The Job

Workers in South Carolina are entitled to safe workplaces. However, sometimes despite an employer’s best efforts, workers can still be injured on the job. Workplace accidents can occur in any industry. Although the construction, manufacturing and health care industries are notoriously hazardous, office jobs can be dangerous as well.

Many of the most common work injuries can be avoided by taking appropriate safety precautions. For example, overexertion is the number one cause of workplace injuries. To avoid suffering from overexertion, be sure to lift heavy objects the proper way (using your leg muscles and holding the item close to your body) and take frequent breaks. Falls and struck-by accidents are also very common injuries that can be avoided by keeping walking areas clutter-free and wearing the proper personal protection equipment (PPE).

What to Do if You Are Injured

South Carolina workers are protecting by state Workers’ Compensation laws, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you were injured at work, report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim is generally two years; however after just 90 days you may lose your right to some forms of compensation. It is important to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can help you meet all applicable deadlines and navigate the system.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Teens Hurt on the Job

If you or your child was injured on the job, contact the Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. We have been fighting for the rights of injured South Carolina workers for decades and can help you recover the Workers’ Compensation benefits to which you are entitled, including medical expenses and lost wages. We proudly represent clients in Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, Kershaw County and throughout South Carolina. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 800-531-9780.

What Are Staged Crashes

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on staged crashes.  When all states are ranked, South Carolina comes in seventh for the highest number of staged auto accidents. Staged crashes are crashes that are engineered by criminals to con insurance companies, and often involve innocent motorists. The problem has reached crisis proportions in South Carolina, with fraudulent claims at least tripling in the past few years, largely due to organized crime activity. In addition to being in the top 10 states for insurance fraud, South Carolina ranks at the bottom when it comes to prosecuting insurance fraud. There are not enough resources devoted to enforcement. There are some steps that you can take to protect yourself against getting scammed. Learning about the most common schemes is a great place to start.

Scammers are known to cause car accidents with innocent motorists, usually aiming to cause only a minor wreck in the $2,000 – $10,000 range. But staging an accident with an unwilling and unwitting participant is highly dangerous, and can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Some of the common scams are:

  • T-Bones – In the T-bone scam, a “trained” driver will wait for you to go through an intersection, then T-bone you. False witnesses are planted, and they will tell police that you are the one who ran the red light.
  • Dual-turn sideswipe – In this scenario, a person driving in the outside lane swipes the driver in the inside lane as they are both turning. Again, planted witnesses will tell police that you were the one who veered into his or her lane.
  • The stop short – In this common scheme, a driver slams on the brakes, making it almost impossible for the tailing driver to avoid rear-ending them.
  • Dual stop – When a car suddenly stops in front of you, your inclination is to swerve to avoid the vehicle. Con artists know this, and instead of going with a basic “stop short” con, they employ a second vehicle to pull up beside you and block you from swerving to avoid the collision.
  • Wave fake-out – In this scam, a driver will ride around until he or she sees someone attempting to change lanes. They give a courtesy wave, saying, “go ahead,” then accelerate. When the police arrive, they deny having waved you in.
  • Faked injuries – In any of these scams, the driver will often claim that they suffer from injuries that they did not actually suffer. These con artists usually employ a chiropractor or doctor to corroborate their false claims.
  • Tow scams – Sometimes after these staged accidents, a tow truck driver will show up without you having called them. Be extremely careful, this may be a second attempt to make money. They may be part of the scam crew, and charge you highly inflated rates for the tow.

Preventing and Handling Accident Scams

To prevent scams, stay vigilant and keep a charged camera phone with you at all times, as well as a pen and paper. Women and older drivers may be at greater risk, as con artists may perceive that they are more easily intimidated. If you have been in any type of accident, take photos and notes, and get the names and contact information of all witnesses.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Get Justice for Victims of Accident Scams

If you suspect that you have been subject to an accident scam, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today. With six office locations throughout South Carolina, we represent injured victims and their families throughout the state. To learn more, call us today at 803-929-3600 to arrange a free consultation or contact us online.

We assist clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Passenger Fatally Injured After Spartanburg Car Accident

Passenger Fatally Injured After Spartanburg Car AccidentA car accident in Spartanburg, South Carolina led to fatal injuries for the passenger. On Wednesday night, around 9:18pm, the fatal crash occurred when a car collided with a tractor trailer that was turning onto Chesnee Highway. The 23-year-old passenger succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene of the Spartanburg car accident, and the driver was taken to the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for treatment of personal injuries. The tractor trailer driver incurred no injuries.

If a driver of a car engages in a crash with a tractor trailer or another large vehicle, the results could be catastrophic. A wide range of injuries and even fatalities may stem from an accident like the Spartanburg car accident due to the impact of the collision and the size and girth of the truck. In some cases, the truck driver may contribute to the likelihood of a crash because of dangerous driving practices such as intoxicated driving, violating traffic laws, or driving while fatigued.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will assist you in filing a claim. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Sunrise, Sunset and Sun Glare

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss the dangers of sun glare. It may be hard to believe, but the factors that make certain times of day especially beautiful can also lead to a serious car wreck if one is not prepared. As the sun rises or sets, its strong light can shine into a driver’s eyes. This glare can be momentarily blinding, making it difficult for drivers to see the road and possible hazards. Sun glare can also make traffic light colors more difficult to see.

The sun is low in the sky in the morning and early evening, which are the main commuting times for South Carolina highways. If the roads are wet or icy, the risk of danger increases even more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has studied this topic extensively, as it presents a clear threat to motor vehicle safety. They report that harsh light is not only uncomfortable; it creates a reduction in visibility. Furthermore, the eye does not recover immediately, since it takes time for it to readapt to lower light. Glare also has more impact on older drivers and glaucoma patients, who may take even longer to recover than younger and normally-sighted drivers.

Fighting Sun Glare

There are tools in every vehicle that can be used when sun glare is an issue. A sun visor is the best resource, since it can usually be well-positioned to block the sun. A windshield should always be clean on the inside and outside, as water marks and other stains can block vision while driving. Adjusting rear- and side-view mirrors to avoid the sun’s reflection also helps. It is also a good idea to keep the headlights on so drivers can see each other more easily.

Leaving additional space between vehicles and checking the lane markers are also excellent safety measures. Reduced driving speeds give drivers extra reaction time and can prevent rear-end accidents. Motorists must obey speed limits and be especially careful in school zones and around pedestrians and cyclists. Keeping items like paper or sunglasses on a dashboard is never a good idea, since they can block vision or fall down, creating additional distraction. One of the most useful resources is a pair of polarized sunglasses, which can eliminate a large percentage of sun glare.

Other preventative steps to take include cleaning the vehicle’s headlights, windows, and wiper blades, as spots and dirt can obstruct vision. Once driver and vehicle are prepared, it is important to keep in mind that the weather can change suddenly, and the sun’s strong rays can quickly appear from behind clouds.

Sun glare causes vision obstruction and has been blamed for many serious motor vehicle accidents and fatalities, and there is no technology that can eliminate this danger completely. It can make it possible for a driver to miss a pedestrian crossing a street, a car turning in front of another, and worse. All drivers will encounter sun glare occasionally, and it is critical to make safety a priority. If sun glare is affecting your ability to drive safely, pull your vehicle into a safe location until conditions change.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Pursue Compensation for Victims of Driver Negligence

If you have been involved in a car accident due to another driver’s failure to make safety a priority, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today at 800-531-9780 to arrange a free consultation or contact us online. We have six conveniently located offices to serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County. 

Multi-Vehicle Wreck in Aynor Leaves Two Victims Critically Injured

Multi-Vehicle Wreck in Aynor Leaves Two Victims Critically InjuredTwo victims sustained critical injuries after a multi-vehicle wreck occurred in Aynor, South Carolina. On Tuesday afternoon, around 2:45pm, the car accident involving four vehicles took place on Highway 501. Two of the accident victims were ejected from their vehicles, and first responders needed to extricate another individual who was trapped in the car. More than five vehicle occupants went to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

Highways congested with vehicles may host more serious accidents than other roads with less traffic. A minor car accident may occur that may instigate a multi-vehicle wreck due to drivers distracted by the crash or motorists speeding near the accident site. Any parties involved in a chain reaction collision may incur numerous injuries as well as potential fatalities.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will provide skilled legal guidance. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Increasing Employee Engagement in Workplace Safety Programs  

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on oncreasing employee engagement in workplace safety programs. Every workplace in America should have safety standards in place to prevent occupational illness and injury. For a safety initiative to be truly effective, workers must support these safety policies and procedures, understand why they are important, and follow them every day. However, many business owners struggle with ways to engage employees in workplace safety efforts.

Workplace safety experts suggest the key to worker safety is all in the experience. When employers regard workers as active, involved participants in safety programs instead of problems they need to control, the result is proactive workers who think about safety in a positive way.

Experts recommend that employers carefully analyze the manner in which they are presenting safety programs to employees. They may find there are better ways to elicit a more enthusiastic response. The following are the common avenues of addressing workplace safety and how they can be remodeled to better reach workers and prevent accidents at work.

  • Discipline: Using discipline to address non-compliance does not improve workplace safety and can instead create tension and negative feelings among employees. Rather, willing participation is the key to a successful safety initiative as it inspires employees to participate voluntarily instead of operating out of a fear of consequences.
  • Meetings: Most workplace safety meetings are treated more as a formality than a purposeful time to review essential safety procedures. Though some safety meetings can be productive and insightful, most are held to essentially “check off the box.”
  • Policies and procedures: Rules and procedures have their place. Obviously, some safety policies are non-negotiable. Yet, when workers blindly accept and follow rules for compliance without understanding the reason behind them, they may ignore hazards not included in the procedures.
  • Supervision: Many organizations have supervisors designated with overseeing safety and others responsible for overseeing production. This dichotomy tends to create a conflict among workers who are not sure whether to prioritize safety or productivity. Ideally, employers should strive for safe production.
  • Training: For workers to really get something out of safety training, it needs to be interesting, engaging, and relatable to their everyday work experience.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Essential Benefits for Injured Workers

South Carolina workers who have suffered an occupational injury or illness are often confused and overwhelmed by the Workers’ Compensation system. Yet if they wait too long to file a claim or visit the wrong doctor, they may jeopardize crucial benefits they need to cover medical bills and lost wages.

At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. our experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers have a proven track record of success filing new benefit claims and appealing denied claims or terminated benefits. Put our knowledge to work for you. Call 803-929-3600 today or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation with a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at any of our six office locations. Our attorneys serve residents throughout South Carolina at our offices in Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Aiken, Florence, and Sumter.

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