Employers across Connecticut, especially those in construction, manufacturing and other hazardous industries, should know what the most common factors are in workplace injuries. The National Safety Council has created a list after years of conducting safety audits, and its results can be eye-opening.
Grain workers in Connecticut and across the country can face serious dangers on the job due to the threat of grain engulfment, which can often be deadly. Grain engulfment can happen on private farms and also in commercial grain companies, which are required to obey the workplace safety rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Wherever a worker is dealing with stored grain, keeping high levels of safety can be important to avoid these types of accidents, including providing extensive training.
The opioid epidemic is proof that there's no one-size-fits-all solution to managing pain. Opioids work for some people. For others, they don't. Opioids become addictive for some people. For others, they don't. And of those who struggle with addiction - even when they've recovered from their original injuries - there are still others who say that opioids help get them through a day that would otherwise be filled with debilitating pain.
Employers in Connecticut should know about the prevalence of falls in the workplace since they are the leading cause of death among workers in the construction industry. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, one-third of all construction fatalities are due to falls. Though OSHA has regulations in place to protect employees who work on elevated surfaces, many companies do not implement these rules.
Anyone in Connecticut who works in the oil and gas industry knows that fires and explosions are a constant hazard. For employers, burn injuries lead to serious OSHA fines and thousands of dollars spent on hospital bills, legal fees, and increased insurance premiums. For employees, they mean extended hospital stays and perhaps even death. The American Burn Association states that those who sustain burns on 40 to 60 percent of their body stay an average of 54 days in the hospital, costing them around $780,000.
On occasion - not often by any means, but from time to time - an employer might seem to go out of its way to make life harder for an employee who was injured on the job.
Workers in the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors face the highest risk of potential lead exposure at work. However, Connecticut workers in any sector could possibly be exposed to the toxic substance. If an individual has been around lead at work, they should shower and change their clothes prior to coming home. It's also important to never consume or prepare food in areas where lead might be present.
Most Connecticut workers might think that a sense of humor helps them get through their day, but pranks and horseplay can cross the line and expose workers to danger. Horseplay can become dangerous when activities include rowdy behavior that includes physical contact among workers or operating vehicles and equipment irresponsibly. Racing, grabbing or pressuring people to participate in unauthorized games or contests also create opportunities for injuries to occur.
The title of this post is taken from a ProPublica report on workplace safety. According to the report, OSHA only has enough people to conduct safety inspections on each job site once every 159 years. Is that enough? Given that thousands of employees lose their lives while on the job every year, and millions more are injured, the answer is a hearty no.
"When I started, it was 'Get up on the roof and go.' Now you take OSHA safety courses and there's more safety equipment, too."
The subject of robots in the workplace is this month's feature in Safety & Health. As Susan Vargas reports, roughly 250,000 industrial robots toil away in factories and other workplaces in the U.S. - and they've been here for years. This isn't news for any employee who works near one.
According to the Robotic Industries Association, over 250,000 industrial robots were installed in the United States in 2017. Workers in Connecticut who work alongside robotic systems should understand the safety implications associated with the technology.
"The odds favored the employers in defeating any action brought by an injured employee or the employee's survivors."
Employers in Connecticut have a legal duty to identify and mitigate hazards that could injure workers. Pinch point dangers represent a class of hazards that creates the potential for a person or part of a person's body to get caught and squeezed. Pinch points can exist between the moving parts of a machine, a moving and a stationary part or between material and a machine.