It does not matter how long you have been a practicing lawyer—you’re always on the lookout for new sources of safety information. Whether representing workers or consumers, personal injury lawyers must keep abreast of the state of the art of safety. We want our clients to be informed as well.
A place to start is right under our collective noses. The Chesapeake Region Safety Council
, a chapter of the National Safety Council, provides the safety training and education to save lives and reduce disabling injuries in Maryland, Delaware and the Greater Washington D.C. area. Each year it trains more than 15,000 people in proven safety practices.
Over 800 employers rely on this group to teach them practices to protect workers and customers from accidental injury and death. Chances are if they teach it, it’s a standard of care that we can use in court.
While CRSC members have greater access to safety data than the general public, the CRSC website does provide a good starting point for research, even for nonmembers. It offers safety sheets on a number of topics. There are also many useful links to other websites. For example, the link to the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, offers information on many topics of interest to workers and their families, such as this mini-site devoted to teen workers
. The SRSC also links to national safety organizations, state safety agencies and other injury prevention groups.
Among the links on the CRSC site is one to Maryland’s Injured Worker’s Insurance Fund. Although the IWIF site is directed to employers, the general public can use the site, too. There, one can find an even greater wealth of safety sheets setting forth in plain English (and Spanish) good practices on many subjects, such as ladder safety, dealing with ice, driving safely, and power tool safety. There are many more. IWIF’s safety sheets set forth standard practices in many areas, and are a great place for us as personal injury lawyers to start as we evaluate and prepare your case. They also make nice trial exhibits.