When starting a new job in Pennsylvania, workers must generally learn tasks, meet co-workers, take in company policies and adapt to a new environment. Unfortunately, being a new employee can also pose health and safety risks.
For Pennsylvania workers who work on loading docks, in fulfillment warehouses or around heavy machinery, near misses and close calls can be common. However, it also common for some to suffer serious injuries due to running into each other. Even near misses can also result in serious injuries if employees are carrying chemicals, products or production items and they drop them.
Many Pennsylvania workers are painfully aware that retiring at the age of 60 or 65 is no longer attainable. Because the retirement age is being pushed back, it is not uncommon for employers to have workers who are 70 to 75 years old, even in labor-intensive industrial jobs. This can make it difficult for safety professionals to ensure that workplace safety messages are delivered to every employee regardless of age.
Construction workers in Pennsylvania should know that falls are the top cause of accidental fatalities at their jobs. In 2015, 350 of the 937 on-the-job fatalities that occurred at such workplaces around the country were the result of falls.
Many people are employed in Pennsylvania warehouses that have materials stacked on elevated shelves. A case reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration illustrates the dangers of failing to implement and follow safety protocols for working at elevations.
Pennsylvania employers may have an easier time gaining the trust of their workers by taking steps to keep them safe. This is generally true whether a worker is in an office setting or in a factory. Roughly 21 percent of all OSHA recordable events have a realistic or reasonable potential to cause significant injuries to workers.
A study conducted in 2015 suggests that a majority of employees may face unfavorable conditions while on the job in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation. Researchers who were involved in the effort expressed hope that their work will ultimately lead to a constructive debate on the improvement of such working conditions.
Pennsylvania construction companies engaged in residential building have guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on work in confined spaces. For home builders, confined spaces commonly include basements, attics and crawl spaces.
Pennsylvania plumbing construction workers may be interested to know that a frequently used method to fix water pipes can emit dangerous chemicals into the air. Researchers at Purdue University believe that the process should reviewed to accurately determine the hazards it presents to workers, the environment and the general public.
Some Pennsylvania employees may work for companies that track injuries and other health and safety issues inconsistently. A follow-up to a 2013 report was released on Aug. 1 from the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability. The report examined data from between June and December 2016 from companies on the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list and found significant discrepancies in how various companies collected and reported data. From methodology in data collection to definitions used, these inconsistencies make it impossible for companies to create a standardized set of safety and health metrics for the workplace that global sustainability indexes can use.