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Deadly explosion leads to lawsuits

A bar exploded in Wisconsin, and the blast was big enough to destroy surrounding businesses. It all happened while workers were trying to put in fiber communication lines. Through some mistakes in what information they were given, they did not know where the gas main was located, and they hit it. The gas blew up the bar and sent a fireball soaring skyward.

It was a sudden and horrific explosion, and at least three firefighters got hurt in the blast. One volunteer firefighter passed away. Now, the families involved have decided to open up lawsuits.

What signs indicate carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is very dangerous, as you may have no idea you're facing a toxic exposure issue. The gas itself is odorless and invisible. It can kill you before you even know you're breathing it in.

The key is to watch out for symptoms and signs. If you find yourself in a position where exposure is possible, and you start to see these signs in yourself or your coworkers, take action quickly. Get to a safe place. Find a way to increase ventilation. Seek medical help.

Workplace safety tips for 2019

As we head into 2019, it's time to focus on workplace safety. Many accidents and injuries can be prevented, but it is up to employers and employees to know how to make it happen.

To help, here are some key tips for the upcoming year and beyond:

Chronic pain and the American worker: A common problem

People often assume that workplace injuries are one-time events that heal up eventually and have no lasting impact. A broken leg from a fall off of a ladder is all but forgotten about, for instance. A minor scar is the only reminder of a cut from a power tool.

However, that's not always the case. Many people suffer from chronic pain; some reports claim that about 116 million Americans deal with it every single year. The result is lost hours at work, lost wages and medical bills reaching into the billions.

Estate disputes aren't always about your money

You're not oblivious to the fact that children fight over their parents' estates. It happened to you. While you still feel close to two of your siblings, there's one you haven't talked to since your own parents passed away. A legal battle over financial assets left that sibling feeling alienated and angry, and the relationship never recovered.

Not that you think you did anything wrong. Your parents' estate plan just was not very clear and you tried to wade through it as well as possible. But the fairness of the outcome doesn't repair that relationship or put you on speaking terms again.

Working with glass is more dangerous than many people realize

Installing windows, doors and other glass items in homes and stores across the United States is more dangerous than a lot of people realize. Glass is just so widely-used today that we tend not to think of the inherent risks. For those who work as glazing contractors and glass manufacturers, though, the risk cannot be denied.

Consider, for instance, that the workplace illness and injury incident rate in the private industry sector as a whole is 2.9 incidents for every 100 full-time equivalent workers, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the construction industry, long thought of as one of the most dangerous industries in the world, the incident rate is 3.2.

Tips for choosing a harness when working at heights

Construction workers often have to work at heights, and falls are a serious risk. While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk that a worker will fall, giving that worker fall protection gear -- a harness and a rope -- can reduce the odds of a serious injury or a fatality. It can keep workers safe.

To pick out a harness, use these tips:

  • Understand the weight capacity and ensure that the harness is properly rated for the estimated weight and for the job.
  • Find a harness that is comfortable so that it can be worn all day long without issue.
  • Choose a harness that is not awkward or too large. Not only does a large harness make doing the job more difficult, but an oversized harness can increase your risks since you may have to move in unfamiliar ways to work around it.
  • Find a harness that can easily and quickly be hooked to the rope, in a way that is not confusing or easy to do incorrectly. You want to be able to efficiently get connected every day, knowing you're protected and feeling secure.
  • Choose a harness that works in the weather conditions. For instance, when looking at padded harnesses, remember that low temperatures can make some types of padding hard and brittle. If you have to work in the winter and in cold weather, that may not be the best option.

Jobsite safety: It's a mindset

A job site can have rules and regulations. Employers can talk about safety in meetings. They can provide safety equipment and train employees so that they know how to use it. They can pass OSHA inspections. They can even talk to employees about accident risks and use examples of accidents that have happened in the past.

These are all great steps and they can help. However, safety on the job is more than a set of rules or access to protective gear; it is a mindset. Everyone has to buy in. Employees and supervisors have to adopt this mindset and maintain it every day. That's the only way to lower the risks of an accident.

6 signs of a neck injury

Neck injuries are incredibly serious and it is important to identify them quickly. Attempting to move a person with a neck injury, even if you're just trying to assist them, can actually make things far worse and may lead to paralysis.

To help, here are six potential signs that the person suffered a neck or spine injury:

  1. After suffering what appears to be a head injury, the person's level of consciousness continues to change.
  2. Even if the person is awake, they will not or cannot move their neck or head.
  3. They talk about severe pain in that area -- the head or neck -- which perhaps prevents that movement.
  4. The person has numbness or weakness after the injury, even in areas that were not directly impacted, such as the limbs.
  5. The person cannot control their bodily functions, such as their bowels, bladder, arms or legs.
  6. The person has a clear physical injury, such as a spine that is twisted oddly or a neck that is out of position.

4 questions that help with estate planning

Wondering how to get started on your estate planning? One excellent way to get it moving forward is simply to ask yourself a series of questions about your goals for the process. This gets you thinking about where you're heading, and you can then work backward to create an estate plan that gets you there and meets those goals. This makes it feel far more realistic and less overwhelming.

1. Do your heirs get along with one another?

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Post Office Box 469
Hudson, WI 54016

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