The rollback of a 2016 OSHA reporting rule is being challenged in federal court by six separate states. The rule change affects large employers, including those in Pennsylvania. The challenge to the rule may affect how states implement health and safety programs for workers.
Pennsylvania residents who work in the motor vehicle towing industry may want to know about a recent report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. After analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics spanning the years 2011 to 2016, NIOSH researchers found that 191 tow truck drivers were killed in that period. The annual fatality rate came to 42.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
Farmers in Pennsylvania use all kinds of heavy machinery, including tractors. When tractors roll over, they can injure operators seriously or cause death. Every year brings over 100 fatal tractor rollover accidents, but rollover protective structures can increase safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines for the effective use of roll bars and cage frames.
Employers in Pennsylvania are obligated to provide employees with a safe environment in which to work, but workplace accidents and injuries are common. The most common types of workplace accidents are slip-and-fall, machinery accidents and vehicle or transportation accidents. Employers can take steps to help prevent these types of injuries on the job.
When most people think of hospital safety, they consider the safety of the patients. However, it turns out that working in a hospital is one of the most dangerous occupations around. Hospital staff in Pennsylvania face the risk of sharps injuries, bloodborne pathogen exposure and workplace violence. To make matters worse, most hospitals do not even meet OSHA requirements.
Garbage truck drivers and other sanitation workers serve very important roles in our society. Unfortunately, when doing this unglamorous but important work, these individuals can face safety risks.
Many Pennsylvania workers use welding as a part of their jobs. They need to understand that welding involves the possible exposure to any number of toxic metals and gas byproducts. These toxic byproducts are produced with all types of welding. Potentially harmful gases that may be released during welding include carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride. Additionally, workers may also be exposed to metals, including aluminum, beryllium, manganese, lead and arsenic.
Pennsylvania health care workers may already be aware that nurses have a high rate of on-the-job injuries. In fact, direct care professionals are almost twice as likely to suffer injuries compared to workers in private industries including construction. Nurses also incur a high rate of illnesses from causes as varied as needle sticks to contact with others who have infectious diseases.
Pennsylvania workers can take a number of steps to help protect themselves from being injured on the job. Repetitive motions, such as answering phones or stuffing envelopes, cause a number of injuries and can be prevented with frequent breaks and an ergonomic workstation. Overexertion can also cause injuries while a person is lifting, pulling or pushing an item. It is important to use correct lifting techniques and ask colleagues for help if necessary.
Pennsylvania workers might be interested to learn that the preliminary count of worker fatalities in the country for 2014 was estimated at 4,679, but the final count rose to 4,821, the highest since 2008. The rate of fatal work injuries increased from 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees in 2013 to 3.4, the first rise since 2010.