Workers in Virginia and throughout the country could be hurt in workplace accidents. Slips, trips and falls are the most common reason why individuals get hurt on the job. In many cases, individuals slip on wet or oily floors or trip because they couldn't clearly see an obstacle in front of them. This type of accident tends to result in broken bones, back injuries and pulled muscles.
In 2016, OSHA gave 3,900 citations to employers for improper scaffolding practices. They ranked third among OSHA violations that year, and the situation has not changed all that much since then. Scaffolding accidents continue to be a common source of injury among construction workers in Virginia and across the U.S. Of the 2.3 million construction workers who use scaffolding regularly, about 4,500 are injured every year. About 60 are killed.
Workers in Virginia may face particular hazards when heading to the job in winter weather. The chill in the air isn't the only danger that comes with the winter season: Snow and ice can pose a major threat to workplace safety. There are a number of common hazards that workers may face, especially in outdoor conditions. Employers have a responsibility to address dangers on the job and ensure that workers have suitable protective gear to avoid falls and other dangerous accidents. Cold weather, ice, snow and wind are hazardous conditions from which employers have a legal duty to protect workers.
Unfortunately, Virginia workplaces can all too often be hazardous for workers. In a recent presentation to the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented a list of the top 10 safety violations that endanger workers on the job. A number of these most frequently cited violations rise to the top of the list year after year. This includes the No. 1 spot: inadequate fall protection.
A deadly scaffolding collapse at an out-of-state construction site for a hotel resort serves as a reminder to workers in Virginia of workplace hazards. Two men, ages 34 and 46, perished at the scene of the accident on Aug. 29 after a scaffold collapsed beneath them during the pouring of concrete. The fatal incident shocked workers. One iron welder told reporters that federal safety inspectors had been at the site every day and that he did not know what could have gone wrong.
When Virginia workers handle chemicals or other dangerous materials, they could face an increased risk of getting hurt. Therefore, it is important to have a safety plan in place that can protect employees while handling such materials. Workers can help themselves by following safety protocols and completing a task as they have been trained to do. They can also help themselves by not handling any container that is not labeled or is not clearly labeled.
Virginia residents who work around machinery, whether heavy duty or smaller and easier to operate, know that there are hazards involved. Improper use of machinery, in addition to poor maintenance and a lack of protective guarding, can raise the risk for an injury. Employees and employers alike should consider the five safety tips below to prevent any machinery-related incidents.
Workers in Virginia can face serious risks on the job, especially when companies fail to prioritize workplace safety. While many work sites proclaim their commitment to safety, this does not mean that all companies regularly place the health of workers above other concerns, such as saving money or increasing profits. Instead, they may consider the cost of paying for worker injuries to be just another cost of doing business.
In 2014, 660 workers died after a fall from heights while another 138 died after a fall from the same level. Virginia residents may be prone to falling if they work in the same area for a long period of time. Workers can become complacent and not stay vigilant about potential hazards. Ideally, individuals will walk in a controlled manner and avoid using a cellphone.
Construction workers in Virginia may have good reason to worry about the safety of the very air they breathe on the job. Silica dust can be a significant contaminant at construction sites, generated when cutting, sanding or grinding concrete, brick, drywall and other standard construction materials. While silica is very common at construction sites, it can also carry grave dangers. However, enforcement of federal regulation has only been in place for six months, and many sites report that compliance continues to be weak and limited.