Parking Garages Should Be Safer

Parking Garages Should Be Safer

If you’re a woman living in Atlanta, or any big city for that matter, you’ve probably felt uncomfortable while returning to your car in a parking garage or dark parking lot. Even if you’re a man, these common settings of everyday life are inherently creepy places, isolating and full of blind corners. You may feel paranoid or laugh at yourself once you’re back on the road, but sadly, it’s not all in your head. Incidents of parking garage violence do occur with terrifying regularity in the Atlanta area alone. In March of 2018, a woman was carjacked in a parking structure while returning from her workout class in Atlanta. A group of attackers demanded her car keys at gunpoint. She handed them over and then…

Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Taking a swim is a great way to stay cool and keep in shape in the summer, but it’s easy to become wary of this pastime amid the many reports of fatal drowning. Here in Atlanta, the last few years have been especially rough on that front. In 2014, a 4-year-old girl drowned during a pool party at the Ansley Golf Club. A lifeguard was on duty, but apparently didn’t notice when the girl fell in. Just two years later, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the pool of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, at a birthday party for his friend. His death was made all the more sad and frustrating by the lack of information on how it happened. The Plaza’s representatives and the party’s chaperones…

Sexual Assaults at Massage Facilities: An Industry in Need of Regulation

Sexual Assaults at Massage Facilities: An Industry in Need of Regulation

While the issue of sexual assaults in massage facilities may have faded from the headlines in the past few months, it’s far from fading out of reality. The topic first became viral news in November of 2017, when the national spa franchise, Massage Envy, was accused of mishandling the sexual assault reports of over 180 female clients. Even more disturbing than the numbers were the company policies unearthed in the investigation. Massage Envy franchisees had been trained to prioritize public image and customer retention above all else. Complaints were to be handled in-house, and accusers were required to return to the scene of the crime in order for their reports to be considered credible. New Policies Serve the Same Old Purpose: Public Image Massage Envy…

A Closer Look at Premises Dangers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

A Closer Look at Premises Dangers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Atlanta is home to the single busiest airport in the world, moving nearly 104 million passengers annually. With the city’s convenient placement and history as the birthplace of Delta Airlines, Hartsfield-Jackson has stayed the world’s most popular airport for 19 straight years. As with any such nexus of human activity, however, ensuring safety is a crucial and sizeable challenge that isn’t always met. The Most Hazardous Travel Conditions Are on the Ground Whatever our instincts may tell us, flying is statistically far safer than other forms of conveyance. However, airline passengers must make their way through several of these other conveyances on their way to and from flights, and therein lies the danger. From the moment travelers begin their journey using the services of Hartsfield-Jackson,…

Savannah Harbor Expansion Will Likely Increase Tractor-Trailer Fatalities in Georgia

Savannah Harbor Expansion Will Likely Increase Tractor-Trailer Fatalities in Georgia

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, also known as SHEP, is currently underway, with the aim of accommodating the larger container vessels expected to arrive after the expansion of the Panama Canal. In spite of some stumbling blocks over funding and necessary environmental precautions, SHEP has been a highly anticipated project, backed by bipartisan support and expected to create as many as 370,000 new jobs. Deeper clearance for larger, more heavily-laden ships will also lower shipping costs for business of all sizes, while generally keeping the Port of Savannah a bustling hub of global commerce. Unfortunately, a robust shipping economy already takes a toll on state-wide road safety, which is likely to worsen when the expansion is complete. Lapses in Judgment Cost More Lives Around Tractor-Trailers…

Georgia’s Crime Victim Compensation Program Can Provide Limited Help

Georgia’s Crime Victim Compensation Program Can Provide Limited Help

Violent crime can obviously have devastating physical and emotional consequences, for victims and innocent bystanders alike. Less often acknowledged, but just as real, are the heavy financial burdens it can leave. If you’ve been a victim or even a witness to a violent crime in Georgia, you may have more resources available to you than you realize. The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program is specifically designed to help people who’ve been financially affected by local violent crime. Who Can Apply for Victim Compensation? To qualify for victim compensation in Georgia, the crime that affected you must have taken place in Georgia within the last three years. You’re most likely to be approved if the crime was reported to the authorities, and if one or more…

The New MARTA Expansion Should Include Money for Facility Repairs

The New MARTA Expansion Should Include Money for Facility Repairs

Last May, the plan to expand the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), using the half-cent local sales tax increase from 2016, was finally announced in detail. Some have praised the plan for promising to make the Clifton Corridor line a reality, while others have criticized it for leaving the Atlanta Beltline unfinished. Few are talking about the plan’s most dangerous shortcoming, however: a lack of emphasis on much-needed repairs and safety updates. Of the $2.5 billion in expected funding over the course of the project, only 5% has been earmarked for station enhancements, which include not only repairs but aesthetic updates as well. MARTA Facilities Already Have a Questionable Safety Record In 2010, MARTA had to fire its inspection and maintenance contractor, after a…

Georgia Has a High Rate of Apartment and Hotel Gun Violence Deaths

Georgia Has a High Rate of Apartment and Hotel Gun Violence Deaths

If you’re worried about gun violence, your natural instinct may be to retreat to your home or another private space, to reclaim a sense of safety and control of your surroundings. Unfortunately, the numbers tell us this strategy won’t make you safer. Gun violence was the cause of 1,571 deaths in Georgia in 2016, a figure that’s risen 47% since 2005. While mass shootings receive most of the media attention, they only made up a little more than 1% of these deaths — a fairly typical share nationwide in any given year. The rest are made up of one-on-one homicide, suicide, and accidents, many of them occurring in the home. Property Owner Responsibility The issue of landlord responsibility in cases of gun violence has been…

Top Causes of Injuries at Big Box Stores

Top Causes of Injuries at Big Box Stores

In spring of 2018, a two-year-old girl was crushed to death by an unsecured mirror in a Payless shoe store in Riverdale, Georgia. This might sound like a freak occurrence, but the truth is that incidents like this one have been a serious and underreported public hazard for decades now. Nobody wants or expects to put themselves in danger every time they go shopping. We go about our days, running our errands, rarely worrying about whether public places are designed to be safe. In reality, serious danger lies in many core elements of how modern “big box” stores do business. High, Unsecured Shelving The profitability of big box stores depends on volume, selection, and efficient use of space. In many cases, this means shelving in…

Workplace Fatalities Are on the Rise, Even as the Economy Improves

Workplace Fatalities Are on the Rise, Even as the Economy Improves

For the millions of people left unemployed or underemployed during the Great Recession, the opportunity to return to work is something to be celebrated. Unfortunately, the recent drop in unemployment has been accompanied by a rise in workplace injuries and fatalities. While this might sound like the inevitable cost of returning to normal, these deaths are needless, avoidable, and alarmingly frequent. In Georgia specifically, the workplace death rate rose by as much as 70% between 2012 and 2016, with a particular spike in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Why Now? As noted in the International Journal of Epidemiology, economic growth does eventually decrease mortality rates in a general population. First, however, a rash of occupational fatalities is tragically common. These deaths…