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Workers' Compensation Archives

Hazards of hot work

Many people in Virginia perform work that involves materials that reach extremely hot temperatures. Hot work may involve the use of fire, spark-producing tools, or welding and soldering equipment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, people who do hot work are at risk for injuries from fires, hot work equipment, flammable gas leaks or combustible materials.

OSHA record-keeping rule enforcement delayed

Enforcement of an OSHA rule related to injury and illness reporting will be delayed until Dec. 1 in Virginia and around the country. The delay is designed to provide time to clarify confusion as to drug testing employees after a workplace accident. One issue brought up by employers is that employees cannot be retaliated against for reporting injuries in the workplace according to the OSHA rules adopted earlier in 2016.

OSHA says workplace injuries continue decline in 2015

Virginia employees may be pleased to hear that workplace injuries and illnesses around the country have been on the decline. This is according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it indicates that the trend continued through 2015. The report said that there were three nonfatal injury and illness cases reported to OSHA by private employers per 100 full-time workers, the lowest such rate since 2002.

Workers' compensation benefits fell by almost 6 percent in 2014

Workers' compensation benefits provided to injured workers in Virginia and around the country fell by almost 6 percent in 2014. According to a National Academy of Social Insurance report, workers' compensation benefits per $100 of payroll fell from 97 cents in 2013 to 91 cents in 2014. Some experts were surprised by the drop as the workforce grew in 2014 thanks to an improving economy and a robust jobs market.

OSHA says that new program for reporting injuries is a success

Virginia workers may know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration executed a new program last year that all businesses must now follow. The program, implemented on Jan. 1, 2015, requires employers to report severe injuries such as amputations, hospitalizations and eye loss to OSHA within 24 hours of them occurring. So far, OSHA has noted that many employers are going above and beyond what federal law requires of them for keeping employees safe.

Work culture can affect workplace safety

When people in Virginia think about improving workplace safety, they usually think first about the physical risks at a job site. Hazards like a cluttered work area, malfunctioning equipment and toxic substances can all cause serious workplace accidents. While it is important to reduce physical risks, it is also crucial to assess some of the less visible risks on a job site that can be just as dangerous for workers.

Learning from workplace safety mistakes

Many decisions made in the employment context are reactionary in nature. Employees may be fired after lackluster performance. A Virginia business may get additional insurance after learning that something was not covered unexpectedly. Safety programs may not be improved until after a workplace accident occurs.

Returning to work with modified duties after an injury

A Virginia work accident can cost an employee in lost wages and the employer in lost productivity. While workers need time to recover from their injuries after an accident, returning to the job sooner rather than later can improve their finances. Employers also benefit when an injured employee returns to work because they do not have to train new staff.

Autonomous safety truck designed to protect highway workers

Highway maintenance and repair workers in Virginia and across the country are endangered every day by speeding vehicles with distracted, fatigued or intoxicated drivers behind the wheel. Conventional safety systems like arrow boards and warning signs are of little use when motorists are not paying attention, and the problem is particularly dangerous when the vehicles involved are fully laden semi-tractor trailers traveling at highway speeds that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.

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