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Workers' Compensation Archives

OSHA wins court battle over silica rule

More than two million workers in Virginia and around the country have jobs that expose them to airborne silica. In March 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published an update to its rule on silica that reduced permissible levels to 50 micrograms for every cubic meter of air over an eight-hour period. Workplace safety advocates welcomed the updated OSHA rule as it halved the amount of silica permissible in most industries and reduced it by 80 percent in the construction sector, but the announcement was widely criticized by trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Workplace deaths rise for third consecutive year

Virginia workers have reason to worry about workplace injuries, especially following the release of a report on fatalities on the job in 2016. For the third consecutive year, workplace fatalities grew in number, rising by 7 percent in 2016 over the number of on-the-job deaths in 2015. The increase in the number of fatal workplace injuries was accompanied by a percentage increase as well; the fatality rate in 2015 was 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers while in 2016 it rose to 3.6 per 100,000.

Blind spots and workplace safety

People in Virginia who work in loading dock areas or large fulfillment warehouses are at risk of incurring injury from collisions caused by the lack of sufficient visibility. Workplaces where heavy equipment, like forklifts, are operated near people who are walking at intersections, loading docks or blind spots are not safe. Near misses, which can result in a worker falling or dropping a hazardous product or chemical, can also result in injuries.

Fatal workplace fall

Warehouse workers in Virginia may want to familiarize themselves with the Fatal Fact publications that are released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The publication details workplace safety incidents and provides guidance regarding proper workplace safety practices.

SIF prevention programs may improve workplace safety

Increasingly, workplace safety experts are advocating an approach focusing on serious injury and fatality prevention rather than one that is based on responding to injuries. For example, in a Virginia workplace where one employee is injured in an accident and another nearly falls from a scaffold, only the former incident will generally be reported to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Safety resources for the composting industry

Virginia employees who work in composing operations can turn to a set of guidelines for safety called "Five to Stay Alive" that was released by the Solid Waste Association of North America. A dynamic work environment, heavy machinery and the physical nature of working in this industry means that safety precautions are important to prevent injury and death.

Repair method for water pipes presents dangers

Pipe workers in Virginia may be interested to know that research from Purdue University indicates that a commonly used method to fix water pipes can result in the release of dangerous chemicals into the air. With the cured-in-place pipe repair method, workers place a tube made of fabric and resin inside of a damaged pipe and use pressurized steam, hot water or ultraviolet light to cure it and make a new plastic pipe. Researchers say that a reassessment of the dangers the cured-in-place repair procedure presents to workers is needed.

Supervision and safety requirements are necessary for trenching

Virginia trench workers know that safety in the workplace is important. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has safety guidelines for most professions, including trench work. Despite the availability of these guidelines to workers and contractors, the frequency of trench-related incidents resulting in death rose by more than 200 percent in 2016.

Companies looking to improve protective hat designs

Virginia construction companies are increasingly relying on safety hat designs that are used in mountain climbing and other extreme sports. This is because these types of safety hats are specifically designed to protect wearers from falls and may provide better head protection for employees.

Nuclear safety fears at top national laboratory

Virginia laboratory workers might be concerned about safety on the job after hearing about problems at one of the country's premier nuclear weapons facilities. The Los Alamos National Laboratory, which created the atomic bomb, is facing growing criticism for its safety record.

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