National Safety Month 2018

The start of June marks the beginning of National Safety Month. Each year, the National Safety Council (NSC) takes a month to emphasize the importance of safe practices in the home, on the roads, in the workplace, and within the community as a whole. Many people don't realize how dangerous some very commonplace practices can be. Simple things like looking at who liked your latest Instagram post when you are driving, not wearing a helmet while riding a bike around the neighborhood, or skipping out on safety glasses when working with heavy machinery, can lead to serious accidents and injuries. It just takes one poor safety decision to dramatically change, or even end a life.

Michigan Accident Lawyer

Since, National Safety Month is a month long, each week concentrates on a different safety topic. The first week of National Safety Month focuses on emergency preparedness, to remind people that emergencies can happen anywhere and at anytime. It is important to be prepared for any emergency situation, from an active shooter to a tornado to a heart attack. For example, according to the NSC, approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests occur each year, but only 45% of United States employees are trained in first aid. According to EMS Safety Services, a, “corporation that provides instructor training and support internationally,” 70% of heart attack deaths occur before the victim reaches hospital. Learning first aid can help keep the victim alive until medical professionals are able to treat the patient.

Week 2 of National Safety Month focuses on wellness. Many of our day to day practices, such as lack of physical activity or not getting enough sleep, can put strain on our bodies. Therefore, the NSC reminds people to take a step back from their busy lives and care for their bodies by making healthy choices. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating an apple instead of potato chips, taking time throughout the workday to stand up and stretch, and getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night are all healthy choices that lead people to being more alert and help avoid accidents.

Detroit Slip and Fall Lawyer

The third week of National Safety Month alerts people to the dangers of slips and fall accidents, and how to prevent them. The NSC states that over 9 million preventable slip and fall injuries occurred in 2016. That is more slip and fall accidents than the entire population of New Jersey! In the workplace, approximately 800 slip and fall deaths occur, many of which can be prevented by following the correct safety procedures at all times, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 700 of these workplace accident fatalities occurred when someone fell from a higher level to a lower level. Patrick Kapust, the director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Program, revealed at a presentation of the Top 10 OSHA violations, that improper fall protection is the most commonly cited safety violation, with 6,887 violations in 2017 alone! This is a shocking statistic considering that slip and fall injuries are the easiest to prevent, by doing simple things such as cleaning up spills and taking precautions when climbing ladders.

Finally, Week 4 of National Safety Month focuses on safe driving practices. Out of the 4,000 workplace fatalities each year, 2,000 are caused by car accidents. Distracted driving is a leading cause of these car accidents. As a result, some companies, such as Cargill and Union Pacific, have created policies banning people from talking on the phone while driving to prevent distracted driving car accidents. However, it is the driver’s responsibility to follow these safety rules and precautions. That’s why National Safety Month takes a week to remind everyone why they should put their phones and other distractions away and focus on the road, and practice safe diving each and every day.

The NSC created National Safety Month in order to decrease the number of preventable deaths that occur each year. Ignoring simple safety precautions may seem like no big deal but it can create an unsafe environment for not only the rule breakers themselves, but for everyone around them. In order to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and deaths, people should take heed of the NSC’s safety instructions. After all, the best way to save lives is to prevent them from being in danger in the first place.


Workplace accidents and injuries are much more common than people realize. It is easy to brush off seemingly inconsequential safety practices, when we are not aware of the dangers of poor safety. To combat workplace injuries, distracted driving car accident fatalities, and other accidents due to unsafe practices, the NSC spends the month of June reminding everyone of the importance of safety at work, at home, and everywhere in between. If you or a loved one have experienced a workplace injury due to unsafe working conditions, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our attorneys fight for the rights of Michigan’s injured workers.

Sterling Heights, Buff Whelan Chevrolet Dealership Fire

Buff Whelan Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, Michigan decided to reopen their doors three days ago, on July 19, 2017, despite the fact that one of their service buildings caught fire the night before. The fire spread, burning up the body shop and more than 20 vehicles. The Van Dyke Ave. car dealership has been a large part of the community for at least 20 years and many of their customers and neighbors were in shock to see the building in flames. The blaze was so massive that fire and police departments from surrounding communities worked together to close down 18 Mile Road and reroute drivers and onlookers away from the area. People as far as 5 miles away claimed to have seen the smoke caused by the fire. 

Michigan Fire Injury Attorney

How The Buff Whelan Fire Started

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it is believed that the cleaning crew accidentally started the fire around 7:30 PM on July 18, after a floor buffer came in contact with some flammable floor cleaning solution. Some sources have even speculated that the floor chemical solution spread to wiring, causing an electrical fire. Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin says from there, the fire spread quickly and set the vehicles and body shop on fire. This unfortunate incident is now being ranked as the largest fire in Sterling Heights history.

Tom Bechtel, the Sales Manager at Buff Whelan said he saw the smoke from his house but, didn’t realize the smoke was coming from his workplace. “The flames were unbelievable and the smoke — I can’t believe a service facility would burn like that...Unbelievable.” said Bechtel.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Whelan have expressed their gratitude to the fire departments that helped save their business and to the public for their support and concern and issued a statement saying that it is, “business as usual” and that they still have the inventory and accommodations to service their clients through their website and in person, while repairs are being made. 

A Few Fire Safety Tips

Structure and mercantile property fires, like the one at Buff Whelan Chevrolet, account for 41% of civilian deaths and 31% of civilian injuries. These fires are more common than people realize and many companies don't specifically train employees on what to do in case of fire, other than to call 911. Or even if companies do train their employees on fire safety, many people tend to fall asleep during the lecture or are unable to recall the long ago training when it comes to an actual fire or fire drill. For those people, here are a few fire safety tips to brush up on, supplied by BullEx, an expert fire safety company.

Source: GIPHY, TruTV's South Beach Towing

  • Declutter - Paper, candy wrappers, spare clothing, and even those old and forgotten Halloween decorations left in the bottom drawer can be potential fuel for a fire to spread. Keeping work spaces clean can help keep small flames from becoming massive. 
  • Update Technology - Make sure any machinery, even cleaning machinery, is up to date in repairs. No need for loose wiring or a motor going haywire and causing a fire, as is suspected in the Buff Whelan Chevrolet fire. 
  • Read Safety Labels - Always be careful when mixing, using, and storing chemicals. Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet that is oftentimes located on the the back label or lower right corner of the item to determine its flammability. 
  • Electrical Maintenance - Any faulty or electrical hazards should immediately be reported. BullEx warns that any electrical maintenance or repair should only be handled by a licensed professional. 
  • Don't Smoke! - Those “Do Not Smoke” signs are placed there for a reason! Those out on a smoke break should only use smoking designated areas, not because people are picking on smokers, but for safety reasons such as potential fire hazards nearby or setting off fire alarms and sprinklers. 
  • Security - No matter how big or small the workplace is, suspicious items, people, and areas should be reported to prevent potential arsonists from setting a life threatening fire. 
  • Fire Extinguishers - Businesses should supply employees or a designated employee(s) with instructions on how to work a fire extinguisher, just in case of a fire. Employees should also know where all emergency fire exits are located in their workplace and should always keep possible escape routes clear. These fire safety measures could be essential to saving lives and avoiding fire injuries.

Of course, fires can occur for a many number of reasons. By following these fire safety tips however, employees may be able to avoid some fires caused by human error. Thankfully, aside from the 20 or so cars, no humans were injured in the Buff Whelan Chevrolet fire. It does warm the heart however, to see how the Sterling Heights and other Metro Detroit communities came to the aid of a local business during such a crisis.


Fires don't just happen in buildings. Cars fires also occur when automobiles are involved in motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our highly experienced staff is always available to speak to victims of car accidents. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free and fair legal consultation. 

Up To 13 People May Die On The Job Everyday

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

June is National Safety Month. This designation was established by the National Safety Council as a special recognition dedicated to reducing the leading causes of injury and death, at work, on the road, and in homes and communities. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,821 people died while on the job. This number equates to more than 13 people dying per day - a shocking statistic that is more frequent than people realize. While those working in an office job may be less at risk than those doing manual labor, knowledge of safety in the workplace benefits everyone.

The top 5 occupations that experience the largest number of workplace injuries, and as a result, more days away from work are:

Top 5 Jobs That Cause Workplace Injuries

  1. Public servants such as firefighters and police officers
  2. Transportation and shipping workers
  3. Manufacturing and production employees
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair men
  5. Construction workers

The dangerous nature of these occupations shouldn't come as a surprise since exposure to machinery and heavy physical activity on the job are more likely to cause harm than operating a computer behind a desk.

While there are differences between these occupations, they share some consequential injuries.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Source: GIPHY, Live Leak

Source: GIPHY, Live Leak

  1. Overexertion can occur with heavy lifting and lowering, and from repetitive motions. This can cause workers to become tired and susceptible to making injurious mistakes, like hammering their hands instead of a nail on a maintenance job.
  2. Contact with objects or equipment also causes injuries, when people are struck by the object/equipment, caught or compressed by the object/equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material. This type of injury is frequent on construction sites when people are injured by heavy machinery.
  3. Slip and falls, either on the same level or to a lower level, result in 25% of workplace injuries. Examples include, a painter slipping on a wet tarp, firefighters tripping over a hose, or construction workers carrying large and heavy items not being able to see and avoid a pile of bricks in their way. 
  4. In general, any employees in these hazardous jobs may be kept away from work because of strains, sprains, tears, soreness, pain, cuts, lacerations, and punctures, resulting in missed days and difficulties returning to the workplace. 

You never know when you may be in a situation to help an injured coworker. Therefore, learning how to recognize injuries and being safe on the job is a smart precaution. It's also important to know how to prevent these types of workplace injuries from happening in the first place. Below are some safety tips for employees at work:

How To Avoid Workplace Accidents

  1. Avoid bending, reaching, and twisting when lifting heavy objects.
  2. Take short breaks frequently to minimize exertion.
  3. Store heavy objects close to the floor.
  4. Be aware of moving objects and equipment in and around work areas.
  5. Wear the proper personal protective gear.
  6. Place the base of ladders on an even, solid surface. 
  7. Use good housekeeping practices.
Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

This June, help spread awareness in your workplace as part of National Safety Month. At work, taking safety steps now, may help in the long run. Office and desk workers should also be mindful of professionals working more physical or dangerous jobs, keeping a safe distance from them and alerting emergency personnel if a workplace injury occurs. Safety doesn’t just stop when you leave your car or home, it must continue at work, as well. No employee wants to endure the pain and suffering that comes with a workplace accident. At the very least, the image of their boss in the back of an ambulance might scare people enough to brush up on workplace safety. 


Workplace injuries are much more common than people think. National Safety Month in June is helping spread awareness of safety on the job, in order to keep people off the stretcher and on their feet. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Workplace Accidents Are On The Rise

Michigan Workplace Safety Lawyer

For those who work in the comfy confines of an air conditioned office space, the idea of being injured or even dying seems outlandish at best. Unfortunately, for many occupations, the threat of a workplace accident happening is something employees must consider every day. This past April, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics finalized its data on worker fatalities in 2014. The report found that the U.S workplace fatality rate increased for the first time since 2010, and the total number of an-the-job deaths were at their highest since 2008. 

Out of the nearly 5,000 work-related deaths, 4,454 were men and 367 were women, and most of the victims fell between the ages of 45 and 64-years-old. The industries that saw the most deaths occurred in construction (899 deaths), transportation and warehousing (766), agriculture (584), government (435), as well as professional and business services (425). The most common cause of workplace fatalities are car crashes, which resulted in 1,984 worker deaths in 2014. Unfortunately, a vast majority of those deaths were caused due to distracted driving. The National Safety Council encourages every professional organization to put safe driving policies in place, and to remind their employees that making a client call or taking part in a meeting over the phone isn’t worth the potential risk. 

Michigan Worker's Compensation Lawyer

The Huffington Post reports that for every seven seconds that passes, a worker in the United States suffers an injury which requires medical assistance. These injured workers combined for 99 million work days in 2014, and the leading cause of these injuries were overexertion, being hit by an object, or injuries resulting from falls. Works should remember that overexertion or ergonomic injuries don’t always happen in blue collar industries. “Whether lifting heavy loads or spending too much time typing on your computer, be aware of your body’s limits. Make sure you take regular breaks, avoid repetitive tasks and set up your workstation to fit your body,” the article reads.

PREVENTING WORKPLACE INJURIES 

Detroit Worker's Compensation Lawyer

Arbill, a website which focuses on safety in the workplace, has provided the following tips for preventing serious injuries or death while on the clock: 

Shortcuts and Shortcomings 

While it might be tempting to cut a few corners in order to get the job done quicker, it’s not always the safest bet. Taking shortcuts means that the worker did not do their due diligence, which can lead to big consequences down the line. Additionally, if there is something unclear about the instructions, it’s best to hold off on starting the task until getting clarification. 

Safety In Transit 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace-driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion a year. It’s important to make sure that all company vehicles are inspected each month and the necessary repairs are made as soon as possible. 

Weather The Weather

Michigan Work Accident Lawyer

Before heading out on the job in the morning workers should take a look outside and check the upcoming forecast for an idea of what type of weather they can expect. If it’s going to be a cold one, it’s best to dress in layers and properly cover the head, feet, hands and face. If possible, keeping an extra change of clothes in case clothes get too wet, is a good idea. Conversely, if it’s scorching hot outside, wearing loose-fitting clothes, taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty of water, can help to avoid injuries. 

Make PPE A VIP

Personal Protective Equipment is crucial to prevent injury, so it needs to be worn properly at all times in the work area. The PPE includes: Goggles and other face protection gear, gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, and ear plugs if necessary. Employers are encouraged to not only make sure this safety equipment is provided, but that all employees know how to properly use it. 

Shipshape Safety 

Workplace cleanliness can go a long way in making sure workers are in a safe environment. Poor housekeeping like scattered paper, debris, clutter and spills can happen on a daily basis and when they aren’t taken care of, it can become a real hazard. Workers should pay attention to their work space and make sure it’s organized and out of the walking path of other workers. 


Even if all of these preventative steps have been taken, injuries in the workplace can still occur. If the injury is severe enough, a worker can find themselves without a source of income for months and even years. That's where The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC can help. Our experienced attorneys will not only make sure you get reimbursed for any medical services you may be entitled to, but they will fight to recover any wages lost due to the injury. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.