The Stoddard Firm Blog

Forklift Safety Is Still a Serious Issue for Big Box Stores

Jobs that involve using forklifts, or even being near them, carry abnormally high risks of death and catastrophic injury. This isn’t news. It’s been understood for decades. Yet very little progress has been made toward better protecting forklift operators and their coworkers. In the year 2020, there were 78 fatal forklift accidents and 7,290 nonfatal forklift injuries in the U.S. Those numbers are quite average, dating back to at least 2011. The changes that swept many industries in 2020, ...

Farming Equipment Should Be Engineered for Safety as Well as Efficiency

Among non-farmers, farming is often thought of as a peaceful, low-stakes career. Farmers themselves often tell a different story — as do the cold, hard statistics of the industry. Aside from the demanding physical work, and the uncertainty that comes with shifts in weather, insect activity, disease, and other factors, agriculture has the tenth highest death rate of all civilian jobs. The vast majority of those deaths are caused by vehicle and equipment accidents. While some of the chall...

Apartments That Enable Gun Violence Put Georgia Children at Risk

Property management companies would like tenants to believe that they are renting at their own risk. While most tenants know they have some right to safety, when it comes to things like leaking gas lines and toxic mold, many believe the “at your own risk” myth when it comes to violent crime. It’s true that there are limits on what a landlord can and should do to protect tenants from gun violence. For example, residential landlords do not have the authority to interfere with legal gun owner...

Georgia Has Added Human Trafficking to a Crucial List of Serious Crimes

Whether you’ve been casually following the story of bill SB-461, or you’re just now hearing about it being signed into law, you might be wondering how human trafficking could ever have been considered anything but a serious crime. Using force, deception, or other methods to coerce people into providing commercial sex or other unregulated labor is an obvious violation of human rights. The human trafficking industry ruins lives, and the fight to eliminate it has passionate bipartisan support...

Taking an Overseas Vacation Does Not Mean Waiving All U.S Legal Protection

American tourists looking to explore more of the globe are often inundated with warnings about the risk of travel in different countries, and advice on how to protect themselves. Some of this advice is well-intentioned and valuable. Being disconnected from your support system in unfamiliar surroundings is a vulnerable position to be in, and no two countries have exactly the same dangers or safety standards. An activity that’s perfectly safe at home could be deadly somewhere else, and vice-...

MARTA Is Still Liable for Its Past and Ongoing Safety Issues

Last month, we talked about some promising new developments for the safety of MARTA commuters. Following multiple civil suits against MARTA, both OSHA and GDOT are investigating the transit service’s history of accidents and violence, and GDOT is attempting to impose a significant safety overhaul. However, as we noted then, actual changes have been slow arriving. Past tragedies have not been fully addressed, and in most cases, the issues that allowed them to happen in the first place are s...

Safety Remains an Issue for Even the Most Trusted Small Aircraft Companies

Small airplanes, built for personal or private business use, currently account for a staggering majority of aviation accidents. The rate of crashes and fatalities for commercial airlines doesn’t even come close to comparing with the rate for small, private planes. The FAA and NTSB are quick to blame small plane crashes on pilot error. However, an independent investigation in 2014 found that many of these accidents are actually traceable to design and manufacturing defects in the most popul...

Agricultural Propane Users Need Safer Equipment and Services

Propane is a common fuel for both household and commercial purposes across the U.S, particularly in rural areas. Lots of Georgia farmers rely on propane to keep livestock warm through winter, dry out harvested crops, and even perform some organic weeding processes. The use of propane isn’t something a farming operation, even a large one, can handle completely in-house. It’s a utility, controlled in any given region by a few highly specialized companies. Propane suppliers are responsible fo...

MARTA May Finally Be Forced to Make Real Safety Improvements

This blog has reported time after time (after time, after time), on the MARTA transportation system’s abysmal safety record. After each new tragic incident, we’ve had to draw the frustrating conclusion that not much has changed, and not much appears to be changing. At long last, this pattern may have broken. Right now, the transit system is working with multiple private consulting firms, at a cost of $2.2 million, to overhaul its safety and incident-response policies. Of course, MART...

Construction Workers’ Lives Depend on Strong Safety Protocols, Onsite and Offsite

When a structure is unsafe and needs to be repaired or rebuilt, construction workers are the ones who venture into close proximity with the danger, in order to correct it. This is one part of why construction is one of the most dangerous careers in the U.S. Quality construction work is essential to making the world safe for everyone, but it is possible to make the work itself safer as well. When a construction worker is injured, it’s almost always due to a faulty piece of equipment, a safe...