At least there is some good news on the employment front: the American workplace is a lot less hazardous than it was a decade ago.
Only 4,547 workers died on the job last year, a 23% decline from the 5,915 fatalities that occurred in 2000, according to the latest report on workplace fatalities from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workplace deaths in 2010 were more or less flat with the year before, which was deemed the “safest” year since the Bureau of Labor started tracking fatal occupational injuries. About 3.5 workers died for every 100,000 employed in 2010, the same rate as in 2009.
via America’s most dangerous jobs – The 10 most dangerous jobs in America (1) – CNNMoney.
The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.
- 1926.451 – Scaffolding
- 1926.501 – Fall Protection
- 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
- 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
- 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
- 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
- 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
- 1926.1053 – Ladders
- 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
- 1910.212 – Machine Guarding
via Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.
It is estimated that more than 13 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Dermal exposure to hazardous agents can result in a variety of occupational diseases and disorders, including occupational skin diseases (OSD) and systemic toxicity. Historically, efforts to control workplace exposures to hazardous agents have focused on inhalation rather than skin exposures. As a result, assessment strategies and methods are well developed for evaluating inhalation exposures in the workplace; standardized methods are currently lacking for measuring and assessing skin exposures.
via CDC – Skin Exposures and Effects – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
“With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a workers family members were shattered and forever changed. We can’t forget that fact.”
-Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
via Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Home.
Confined Spaces can be dangerous.
“Confined Space” refers to a space which by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy. Confined spaces include but are not limited to storage tanks, compartments of ships, process vessels, pits, silos, vats, degreasers, reaction vessels, boilers, ventilation and exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, and pipelines. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor USDOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries CFOI program, fatal injuries in confined spaces fluctuated from a low of 81 in 1998 to a high of 100 in 2000 during the five-year period, averaging 92 fatalities per year.
via CDC – Confined Spaces – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that approximately 3.3 million serious work-related injuries and about 4,300 fatalities occurred in 2009. The human cost of preventable workplace injuries and deaths is incalculable. However, according to the 2010 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2008 amounted to $53.42 billion in U.S. workers compensation costs, more than one billion dollars per week.
via Injury and Illness Prevention Programs.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is used by chemical manufacturers and importers to convey both the physical hazards pH, flashpoint, flammability, etc. and the health hazards carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, etc. of their chemicals to the end user. MSDSs are a critical component of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administrations OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. This standard mandates that workers have a right to know what hazards are associated with the chemicals they use in the workplace. Both manufacturers of chemicals and employers with chemicals in their workplace, must be in compliance with this regulation as it is the most often cited violation by OSHA, with fines of more than $70,000 per violation per instance.
via Material Safety Data Sheet, MSDS requirements – Learn More, MSDSWriter.com – the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.
While each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, the basic tenet remains: the employer provides compensation and medical care for employees who are injured in the course of employment and the employee, in turn, relinquishes their right to sue.
But that security blanket began to unravel the morning of Nov. 5, 2003, when Kristi Fries, an employee at Mavrick Metal Stamping, a now closed Mancelona, Mich., auto parts supplier, reached to remove a part from a 110-ton stamping press. Her unzipped sweatshirt triggered the machine’s controls, causing the press to slam down and crush her arms, resulting in the amputation of both arms between the wrist and the elbow.
via A history of violations: One worker’s comp horror story | BenefitsPro.
Each year, tens of thousands of injuries related to powered industrial trucks (PIT), or forklifts, occur in US workplaces. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks, lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer, they are struck by a lift truck, or when they fall while on elevated pallets and tines. Most incidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, and machinery. Unfortunately, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training.
via Safety and Health Topics | Powered Industrial Trucks.