Happy Independence Day on Saturday!

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OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - Bursts of red, white and blue fill the night sky July 2 at Offutt’s base lake during the annual fireworks display.  Several family activities took place at the celebration including appearances by a professional magician and a small play given by Prairied Treasure Melodrama. U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger

Photo by Josh Plueger

Have a happy Independence Day on Saturday. The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore and Trucker Lawyers will close today at 3:30 p.m. and be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. The offices will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 6. The blog post for today features some reminders and links that are good to recall from year to year. Have a safe, fun, and happy celebration, however that takes shape. Thanks also go to those who can’t celebrate with loved ones because they will be working hard on Friday and over the weekend.

The Fourth of July means different things to different folks. Here’s a list of web resources and other commentary to help you have both a safe and fun holiday, with an emphasis on safe. Because it’s possible to still have fun while being safe.

  • This link includes tips on fireworks, grilling, beaches, rip currents and sun protection. I would add that the beach safety tips easily translate to lake or river safety for those of us in the land-locked states of Iowa and Nebraska.
  • This link from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages “safety of workers who handle pyrotechnics.” I think this safety focus also applies to volunteers who sell fireworks at non-profit stands.
  • This link explains how the holiday can be challenging “for people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” because “of high levels of smoke from fireworks.”
  • This link from the @NICoEPage Twitter feed explains that for those who have served in the military or have traumatic brain injuries, holiday events can cause both stress and anxiety.   The Twitter account describes the focus of this effort as follows: “Advancing understanding of complex TBI and psychological health conditions for service members, their families, and the MHS.” … “Healing the Invisible Wounds of War.”

Please also be aware, when working with fireworks, of any local laws that affect when a person can use fireworks and the fireworks that can be used. Do you know what the laws (and penalties) are where you’ll be celebrating the holiday? And who is responsible for the cleanup afterwards?

For example, read this extensive quote, found via the Omaha Police Department Facebook page in 2014:

“So, we’ve mentioned that you can use fireworks between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. until July 4th. Some other fireworks related rules to remember are that fireworks are not allowed in city parks, and you cannot discharge fireworks on a public street. Also, if you are throwing fireworks, take the following information into account.

28-1242. Unlawful throwing of fireworks; penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of unlawful throwing of fireworks if he or she throws any firework, or any object which explodes upon contact with another object: (a) From or into a motor vehicle; (b) onto any street, highway, or sidewalk; (c) at or near any person; (d) into any building; or (e) into or at any group of persons.

(2) Unlawful throwing of fireworks is a Class III misdemeanor.”

Finally, here’s a reminder to take care when driving on the weekend of the Fourth. It was recently announced that the Nebraska State Patrol is out in full force thanks to a grant. I would anticipate that they will be focusing on such issues as speeding, following too closely, and addressing impaired and distracted driving. As always, take care when driving, whether at work or at play.

“Anyone who observes a reckless driver, or anyone in need of non-emergency roadside assistance should call the Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline when safe to do so at *55 from their cellular phone at 800-525-5555 from any landline. Motorists should report emergencies to 911,” according to this article that gave the Nebraska State Patrol announcement.

Again, please have a safe and happy Independence Day!

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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