The Rust Belt is Becoming More Innovative

The last time most people heard about the Rust Belt, it was bad news. The economy was plummeting, people were moving away, those who were staying were angry. If asked about the Rust Belt, most would conjure up images of abandoned buildings in downtown Detroit or the crumbling infrastructure of some factory that went out of business fifteen years ago. For most people, the Rust Belt is a dreary place to imagine, full of boarded-up windows and restless unemployed (or underemployed) former factory workers full of bitterness. It’s a hopeless place in this imagining.

Well, that image is out of date. The Rust Belt is making a comeback.

According to Fortune magazine, cities like Pittsburgh and Akron are becoming centers of innovation. While the idea of innovation tends to get lumped with other parts of the country (Silicon Valley, New York, and Austin, for instance), there’s a lot of great ideas coming out of the Rust Belt region. Pittsburgh, to give a big example, is using its former factory knowledge to move into robotics. Akron is using its old tire-making knowhow to work in polymers and other materials to help design self-driving cars.

Such innovation and economic rebirth should be applauded, although it comes with a couple big negatives. First, such businesses employ nowhere near the same number of people, nor do they employ many of the people who need work most. Those who work on the innovation side of things are highly educated, and the positions required are a small portion of those who would have been needed to run a factory.

The second issue is more general. There are still risks to working in such areas. While innovation labs may not be as dangerous as factories can be, working with hazardous chemicals—as all these industries do—can lead to accidents, injuries, and workers’ compensation problems if everything isn’t handled carefully. There’s always the risk of spills and exposures.

Fortune suggests a solution for both these issues, however: retrain old Rust Belt workers to become experts in new precision work. With such a large and nearly qualified labor force available, retraining former factory workers could all the production side (versus the exclusive innovation and design side) to flourish more quickly. Such old hands would also be more experienced handling the risks associated with production work with hazardous materials as well.

While even with production soaring, it would still be unlikely every old worker would find a new job, moving in the retraining direction would at least get us halfway back to such fulfilling and lucrative employment. It would bring more money into those Rust Belt cities that desperately need it, and it may encourage others to move from Silicon Valley to the region where people still know how to get stuff produced.

Don’t Let a Lack of Insurance Effect Your Teeth

There are plenty of reasons to avoid the dentist. There aren’t a whole lot of people out there who enjoy their regular dentist visits. They go because they want to keep their teeth healthy, and they grin (or say aww) and bear it.

On the flip side, many people will come up with all sorts of excuses to put off those semi-annual dental visits. They’re too busy. They forgot to book an appointment. They’re brushing often enough not to need it. They’re teeth seem fine.

All of these are bad excuses and are easily seen as such once they’re written down. But what about people who don’t have dental insurance? Isn’t that a fair excuse for avoiding the dentist?

After all, dental visits can get expensive, especially when you aren’t just going in for a cleaning. Filling cavities, doing root canals, and other intensive dental work can be expensive. Some point would rather deal with the pain as well as they can since they can’t afford the insurance and without the insurance, they can’t afford the procedures.

Even this is a poor excuse, of course. First of all, dental insurance is fairly cheap and easy to acquire. There are policies for as little as $10 a month in some places. While you want to be careful to get a policy that is both affordable and that covers everything you might need, it’s likely that policy exists in your area. Spending the time researching can help you avoid any of the harder decisions like dealing with pain versus feeling the pain in your pocket.

If you need dental care, even without insurance, it’s still recommended you go. Many dentists will help you with payments if you don’t have insurance. Find out beforehand how your local dentists will work with you, and go to the place that seems most accommodating.

Remember that your teeth are important to your overall health. Going to the dentist isn’t just about making sure you have a nice smile. Nor is it just about avoiding the pain of cavities. Having healthy teeth can protect you from all sorts of illnesses. Sometimes, bad teeth can even be responsible for serious illness or even life-threatening illnesses. Bacteria can get into the bloodstream through cuts in the mouth due to weak gums. The lungs can get infected by bacteria that hasn’t been cleaned from the mouth. There are all sorts of potential illnesses that could cause far more damage than a toothache.

So, no matter what your excuse, it’s time to get over it and start looking to book that next appointment. It may not be the most pleasant hour you spend this week, but it’s probably the one that is going to be the best thing to do. Afterward, you’ll know not just that your teeth are healthy, but that you’ve done a lot to keep the rest of your body healthy as well.

Dealing with Refinery-Related Injuries

Working in a refinery is a dangerous job. With frequent accidents, some that can even be fatal, jobs in this field come with great risk. Whether the work is dangerous on its own, or there were failed safety checks, it is not uncommon for a worker in a refinery to result in serious injury. When you throw in a natural disaster into the mix, these plants become even more dangerous.

Hurricane Harvey is still causing damages in the Houston area. So far, due to the effects of the storm, there have been two reported explosions on chemical plants in Crosby, Texas. This city, located just 30 miles northeast from the center of Houston, has experienced the sheer brutality of this storm. One sheriff’s deputy was even sent to the hospital because he inhaled the toxic chemicals that resulted from these explosions.

The Arkema SA plant was surrounded by flooding. This plant could only be accessed by boat and had lost all power. Because of this loss of power, the organic peroxides heated up to dangerous levels which caused the explosion and the release of toxic gas and smoke. According to CNBC, a 1.5-mile radius around the plant had to be evacuated. Furthermore, beyond those who evacuated, people were told to steer clear of the plants in the area, due to the risk of more explosions.

Certain chemicals found commonly in refineries must remain at cold temperatures to avoid catching fire. With the loss of power from the storm, it is crucial for these organic peroxides to remain cool, otherwise more fires will be produced throughout the affected areas of the storm.

Regardless of the effects of a storm, the fragile nature of the chemicals in plants and refineries is a recipe for disaster. As Williams Kherkher points out, “the big oil companies typically have a team of insurance employees on the side,” so it is going to be a tough battle if a lawsuit ensues. However, work-related accidents typically have given more power to you than you think. With strict safety rules, updates, and regulations, it is very common for the plant to be at fault.

Experience is a good quality to look for when deciding which law firm you should choose to represent you in a court of law. Serious injury is a huge deal, your injuries can prevent you from working, caring for your family, and much more, so it is important to get the compensation you deserve. While lawsuits might feel tedious, complex, and tiresome, they are sometimes the final step you need to take if you have been injured on the job.

It is important to remember that you should act quickly, while your injuries are still present so you can present a case. Even you believe that your accident was caused by your own wrongdoing, there is no harm in looking into a lawsuit, because you may be surprised at the results.

Driving Fatalities in Louisville, Kentucky

On the whole, the number of fatalities that occur on the road are decreasing every year. Drivers have become more aware of unsafe driving habits, such as texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other distracting behaviors. Additionally, cars have become safer overall, with improved physical structure and the latest accident-prevention technology. However, this has not been enough to eliminate fatal accidents on the road. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents are unavoidable, but in other cases, many people still do not pay proper attention while driving. This inherently dangerous task can often feel mundane because of how frequently many people drive, which leads many people to believe they do not need to focus their full attention on the road. Louisville, Kentucky is one of the many places that is still struggling with a very high number of road fatalities each year.

The popular local magazine, Insider Louisville, has recently reported on the road fatality information that has been released for 2017. The state police department has reported that Kentucky suffered a total of 449 fatal highway accidents so far in 2017. Although this number is lower than the previous year, it is still an exceedingly high number of fatalities for the state to face. Of these fatalities, 70 of them occurred in Jefferson County, making their death toll the highest in the state, by a large margin. The county with the second-highest number of fatalities, Fayette County, only reported a total of 22 deaths. This is the sixth year in a row that Jefferson has had the highest number of deaths in the state. Of the fatalities that have occurred across the state this year, the vast majority involved automobiles. However, other vehicle types have also been involved in many of these accidents, including 41 motorcycle fatalities, six ATV fatalities, three bicycle fatalities, and 48 pedestrian deaths.

Police officials have not commented on what may have caused the increased number of road fatalities in Jefferson county. However, the fact that the number of deaths is over three times higher than in any other county indicates a serious problem that is occurring. Perhaps road conditions in this area are causing an increased number of accidents, or maybe drivers are particularly distracted or more prone to reckless driving in this county. In any case, a significant number of Kentucky citizens have lost their lives on the roads in Jefferson County, and we must work to try to make this a safer place to drive.

For the families of those who have lost their lives on the road this year, there is little that will be able to end the pain and grief they must be feeling. However, they should not also have to suffer the financial losses these accidents have caused. Fortunately, the Louisville personal injury lawyers at The Sampson Law Firm are prepared to help these families and many others who have been affected by devastating car accidents. With their help, these individuals can receive the compensation they need to manage this loss.


Racine Car Accidents

Every day, millions of Americans rely on cars to get them where they need to go. In fact, driving has become so central to modern culture that we often take it for granted that driving is risky by nature. Though one’s chances of being involved in an auto accident are quite high, people are often surprised when they sustain injuries in a car accident. Depending on the severity of the crash, such injuries can profoundly impact a person’s life and involve significant financial repercussions. Given the emotional and financial suffering associated with auto accidents, injured individuals often qualify for compensation of some sort. To maximize their degree of compensation, injured individuals are encouraged to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can recommend a course of action.

Types of car accidents

As the Racine car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. explain, examples of auto accident negligence include the following:

  • Driver error
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Mechanical defects/malfunctions
  • Highway defects

Mechanical defects and malfunctions are a unique category since they place blame on auto manufacturers rather than other drivers. Examples of common vehicle defects include air bag defects, seat belt failure, and brake failure, all of which are intended to protect drivers’ safety. Since such defects have potentially lethal consequences, they often qualify victims for substantial compensation. Individuals planning to file an auto accident (or other personal injury) claim are advised to document their injury extensively using both photo and official medical records. Such visual and physical records are essential to providing the validity and degree of a victim’s injuries.

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