Employers and employees alike in Pennsylvania should know what the most common types of workplace accidents are and how to avoid them. The first is the slip and fall, accounting for one third of all on-the-job injuries. Slips are normally caused by wet, icy or oily surfaces as well as by flooring that does not have proper traction. Trips also fall under this category and usually involve debris and poor lighting.
Construction workers in Pennsylvania and across the country may be seeing safer workplaces, as workplace deaths and the overall industry fatality rate both declined in 2017. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that fatal workplace accidents in construction dropped 2 percent in 2017 and that 971 construction workers lost their lives on the job during the year. The number of fatalities was still higher than those in 2014 and 2015, when 899 and 937 workers were killed on the job, respectively.
Employers in Pennsylvania know how important signs and labels are in maintaining a safe workplace. Yet when workers are required to do more at a faster pace, safety is compromised and the cycle of injuries and OSHA violations begins. This is where new technology can come in to enhance safety identification solutions.
More than 20 percent of private sector employee deaths occur within the construction industry despite the fact that construction workers make up only 6 percent of the population. Construction workers in Pennsylvania should know that most accidents in their industry are preventable. The following is a summary of the top five hazards they face.
Some Pennsylvania workplaces have inherent hazards due to the nature of the job. However, these employers are still responsible for ensuring that the workplace is as safe as possible for employees. This includes identifying and remedying workplace hazards. To help employers with this process, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidance publications with recommended practices.
Employers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country don't like to miss project deadlines. However, the consequences of a workplace accident could be more significant than missing a deadline because safety rules were prioritized. To ensure that companies are putting the proper emphasis on workplace safety, owners and managers should create and champion a culture that values it. As a general rule, the workers will follow the lead of their managers.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are calling for improved tracking and surveillance of workplace injuries in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. Following a yearlong study of occupational safety and injury information systems, the agency released a study that indicates a need for governmental agencies to implement methods to share data and better monitor work-related injuries.
Shutdowns are a routine that many factories in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. engage in. They allow time for maintenance, cleaning, technical upgrades, and other extensive projects. However, the safety risks that come with a shutdown can be different from what workers are used to when the plant is in operation. There are a few non-routine risks that management and personnel should watch out for before shutting down.
On April 3, two workers were killed when an Amtrak train slammed into a backhoe in Chester, Pennsylvania. The two individuals were identified as a 59-year-old Lincoln University man and a 61-year-old man from Delaware. Authorities stated that the accident was caused by construction equipment that was left on the track where the train was passing through.
Safety on the job can be affected by many factors, and Pennsylvania employers may be surprised to learn that statistics reflect better safety levels among workers who are at or over the age of 55. There are several possible reasons, including the fact that this age group tends to be more emotionally stable. The accumulated wisdom and insight that accompanies many years of work can also play a role in safer work habits. In many cases, experienced individuals have the ability to recognize unsafe actions or patterns, heading them off by recommending changes.