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.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule regarding worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica, and various industries in Pennsylvania and around the country, including construction and hydraulic fracturing, have compliance deadlines between one and five years. The recognition of the dangers of silica dust and regulation of worker exposure dates back to the 1930s when the U.S. Department of Labor first became aware of its harmful effects. Kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, silicosis and lung cancer can all be caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. However, it was not until 1971, upon the creation of OSHA, when the first standards for worker exposure were set.
A common sleep disorder could put workers in Pennsylvania and nationwide at greater risk for on-the-job injuries, according to a Canadian study. The research, which was conducted by University of British Columbia researchers, shows that those with obstructive sleep apnea were twice as likely to be injured at work and three times as likely to suffer a concentration-related accident, such as tripping or being electrocuted, than those without the disorder.