Rates of musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion in healthcare occupations are among the highest of all U.S. industries. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that in 2011, the rate of overexertion injuries averaged across all industries was 38 per 10,000 full time workers. By comparison, the overexertion injury rate for hospital workers was twice the average (76 per 10,000), the rate for nursing home workers was over three times the average (132 per 10,000), and the rate for ambulance workers was over six times the average (238 per 10,000). The single greatest risk factor for overexertion injuries in healthcare workers is the manual lifting, moving and repositioning of patients, residents or clients, i.e., manual patient handling.
Two men in Arizona died when the lift they were using to paint the outside of a prison building overturned.
The boom was almost fully telescoped and had been raised to its maximum elevation when it tipped over backwards indicating that reports of it being on a slope of more than five degrees have some substance.
Incidents like this should never happen, one of the most basic aspects of any training stress the importance of setting up aerial lifts on firm level ground, yet this is the second incident this week involving people operating on a slope.
The proposed rule was developed to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA’s Data Initiative.
OSHA plans to eventually post the data online, as encouraged by President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry.
If you’ve been a safety professional or an operational manager for any significant amount of time, you’ve probably had your share of safety-related incidents. The most significant incidents are usually measured by their consequences. These may result in death, serious injuries, lost or restricted workday cases, OSHA recordable cases, first aid treatment, and/or equipment or property damage. Other incidents are commonly referred to as near misses, where serious consequences like the ones previously listed could potentially have occurred, but, through luck or circumstance, did not. Regardless of the type of incident, there is always one question that is asked afterward: Why did this happen?
It may seem obvious but health and safety in the workplace is extremely important, not only because it protects employees, but also because productivity increases when workers are happy and healthy. In addition, there are laws that protect employees and require training. Employers should ensure their workplace is free of hazards for their work environment and set up training programs so everyone is aware of company policies and best practices.
Electrical current exposes workers to a serious, widespread occupational hazard; practically all members of the workforce are exposed to electrical energy during the performance of their daily duties, and electrocutions occur to workers in various job categories. Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards present in their work environment, which makes them more vulnerable to the danger of electrocution.
Electrical injuries consist of four main types: electrocution (fatal), electric shock, burns, and falls caused as a result of contact with electrical energy.
Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needlestick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Workers and employers are urged to take advantage of available engineering controls and work practices to prevent exposure to blood and other body fluids.
Every year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nearly 125,000 workers have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss. In 2009 alone, BLS reported more than 21,000 hearing loss cases.
Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled.
a) Management Commitment and Planning – Top management must provide visible ongoing commitment and leadership for implementing the SHMS covering all workers, including contract workers.
b) Employee Involvement – The best SHMSs involve employees at every level of the organization. Employees are often those closest to the hazard and have first-hand knowledge of workplace hazards.
c) Worksite Analysis – Worksite Analysis is a comprehensive evaluation of the hazards and potential hazards in your workplace.
d) Hazard Prevention and Control – Effective management actively establishes procedures for timely identification, correction, and control of hazards. Once hazards and potential hazards are recognized, a hazard prevention and control program can be designed.
e) Safety and Health Training – Training is the means to help assure employees and management understand safety and health hazards in the workplace and know how to protect themselves and others from the hazards while doing their job.