Workplace Injury Articles

Workplaces are Taking New Measures to Prevent Worker Injuries

Many workplaces are taking a new and different approach to prevent injuries on the job, especially among older workers from the Baby Boomer generation. Some companies are providing stretching and workout routines, while others are redesigning work areas. Their hope is to keep the older workers in good enough shape to prevent early retirement. These companies recognize that it takes several years to develop the skills for many jobs and that they cannot afford to lose the older workers with these skills.

The steps to prevent injuries are often very simple. For example, Vulcan Materials Co., a producer of crushed rocks, redesigned the workspaces used by a number of employees. The heavy, steel chutes used for wet concrete were replaced with a lighter composite material. This minor change reduced the weight employees had to battle with from forty-eight pounds to twenty-seven pounds. The company also moved water tanks from the top of their delivery trucks to the side for easier access.

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The Fatal Four: Many Construction Deaths Have One of Four Causes

Any construction worker knows that hazards on a job site are everywhere. Some dangers, however, are more serious than others. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), just four types of accidents caused nearly 60 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2011. They are called the Fatal Four, and they include falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects and being caught in or between objects.

In some situations, workers who were injured on the job are eligible only for workers’ compensation benefits, which are designed to provide medical treatment, partially replace lost wages and help workers return to the job. In some cases, however, a worker can sue. For example, a worker can sue an employer if that employer’s serious and willful misconduct caused the injury. A worker or family members can also sue a third party for causing injuries.

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Sleeping on the Job: Worker Fatigue Can Lead to Serious Injuries

We have all heard the phrase “sleeping on the job” in many different contexts and situations. Sometimes, it seems innocuous enough, but when other peoples’ lives rely on you doing your job, dozing off for a few minutes can have disastrous consequences.

An airline pilot approaching Washington’s National Airport radioed the tower with his position, seeking assistance with landing. When the tower did not respond after numerous attempts, he proceeded to land the plane anyway. A few minutes later a second pilot encountered the same radio silence. He also proceeded to land his plane without any guidance. And the reason for the silence: the air traffic controller had fallen asleep at his desk. He had worked four overnight shifts in a row, and was once again working the late shift by himself. The fatigue finally got to him.

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The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

When people think of dangerous jobs, they may first think about police officers or firefighters. Despite the well-known risks of these professions, neither firefighters nor police officers are working in the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In fact, these two occupations do not even make the list of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America.

The list, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is compiled by calculating the number of deaths per 100,000 workers. Some of the jobs on the list may surprise you.

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OSHA Inspection Plan Targets High-Hazard Workplaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for assuring employers provide safe and healthy workplaces for employees. The agency recently released an inspection plan focusing on high-hazard worksites where injuries and illnesses are most prone to occur.

The Site-Specific Targeting (SST) program takes the lead on inspecting non-construction worksites with 40 workers or more. The plan is based on data from a 2009 OSHA survey on work-related injury and illness given to roughly 80,000 businesses in high-hazard industries. Workplaces in areas such as manufacturing, nursing and personal care are randomly chosen for inspection from a list of over 4,000.

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