It is not uncommon for companies to see OSHA standards as little more than a collection of rules that they must comply with. Employers in Virginia and elsewhere who buy into the NFPA 70E standard may benefit in a variety of ways. It is intended to help prevent electrical injuries on the job while also helping to get work done in a timely manner. This is because it emphasizes the benefits of thinking about hazards before starting a job.
Agricultural workers in Virginia and across the country could be at risk of serious occupational injuries due to the equipment used on farms. One study funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that machine operators were often exposed to potentially harmful levels of vibration after less than a full day of work. The study examined 55 farm workers using 112 pieces of equipment, including combines, tractors, forklifts, all-terrain vehicles and skid loaders. Researchers at the University of Iowa used sensors on the vehicles' seats and floors to measure vibrations and how well the seats could protect workers.
Roughly 2,000 workers in Virginia and throughout the country experience an eye injury each day. These injuries can be caused by debris in the air or by rubbing an eye with an unclean hand, sleeve or other material. However, there are ways in which an individual can protect him or herself from such injuries. For instance, wearing goggles can prevent liquids or other items from getting into the eye itself. It can also prevent scratched corneas or similar injuries.
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.