Workers in North Carolina and elsewhere may be putting their lives at stake each time that they report for duty. According to a report by the AFL-CIO, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016, which is an increase from the death toll in 2015. As many as 60,000 more died because of exposure to chemicals or other occupational diseases. A worker's risk of dying may depend on his or her age, nationality and occupation.
Employers in North Carolina are generally required to report workplace fatalities and significant injuries to OSHA. However, according to the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (OIG), there needs to be more done to ensure that underreporting does not occur. The report found that some employers are not fixing errors and that some companies are repeat offenders. According to the OIG, a representative of OSHA said that up to 50 percent of incidents are not reported.
North Carolina businesses should be aware that OSHA is reminding employers to take extra steps this holiday season to protect worker safety and pay. OSHA is especially concerned about large crowds during sales events and unpredictable scheduling.
Even in North Carolina, the ground can be covered in ice and snow during the winter months. This can create treacherous conditions for workers to be exposed to. It can also lead to equipment malfunctions and hazards if they are not taken care of properly. For instance, a snow blower can get clogged with snow after minimal or moderate use. Improper cleaning of the blower could result in broken bones or lacerations.
It can feel trivial to complain about wrist pain compared to other injuries, but a stress injury in the wrists can be debilitating. There are many reasons a wrist injury can occur, and many of the causes are not sudden.
Getting injured at work is not only painful, but it can be incredibly stressful. Workers must figure out how to pay for their medical care and what to do if they lose wages due to an absence.
You work as a forklift operator in a warehouse. One day, a heavy box falls from a high shelf--landing on you and crushing your shoulder. You have to have emergency surgery, and you're unable to work for months. To add insult to injury, your manager informs you that you're not eligible for workers' compensation--because you're an independent contractor, not an employee.
Trenching and excavation operations in North Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S. present a high risk for worker injuries and deaths. There were 130 of the latter between 2011 and 2016, and of those, 49 percent occurred between 2015 and 2016. In response to this increase in deaths, OSHA has updated the National Emphasis Program that concerns trenching and excavation.
Construction workers in North Carolina may deal with a number of job-related hazards on a daily basis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 65 percent of workers in the construction industry frequently work at heights on scaffolds. This also means that some of the most common accidents suffered by construction workers involve scaffolds and related equipment, like lifts, ladders and hoists. Because they take place from heights, the injuries caused by scaffolding accidents can be severe and life-changing.
Chemical handlers and their employers can consider the following safety rules, leaving out some and adding any of their own depending on the needs of their workplace. The first rule is to follow all established procedures. Employers therefore have to ensure proper training. Secondly, employers should have emergency procedures in place, such as for evacuation and incident reporting.