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workers' compensation Archives

Preventing hazards caused by scissor lifts

Pennsylvania employees who are required to work on scissor lifts could potentially be facing safety risks if they were not properly trained to use this particular piece of equipment. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated 10 deaths and more than 20 accidents over a 12-month period that were found to be preventable. Possible risks include falls, crushing hazards and even electrocution hazards.

Changes may be ahead for workers' compensation

Pennsylvania workers may be interested to learn that hosts of a monthly webinar series report that there could be policy changes ahead that affect workers' compensation. A 2016 report by the Department of Labor called for state workers' compensation programs to adhere to minimum standards, but such reform may be on hold with the Trump administration. Other changes to the workers' compensation system might occur because of the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Committee says some OSHA standards too static

Pennsylvania employees who work with hazardous materials may be interested in learning that some experts feel that OSHA standards on handling this material have not kept up to date with technology. As a result, instead of following OSHA's zero-risk blanket approach, the ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 committee is instead focusing on developing safety standards that are a better fit for the new technology. This includes rejecting OSHA's standard for lockout/tagout, which involves completely shutting down machinery.

Musculoskeletal disorders a risk in construction industry

Pennsylvania construction workers are more likely to suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders than those in other occupations. These injuries happen to nerves, joints, tendons and muscles. A study that was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the number of workers suffering from these types of injuries was down to about 18,000 in 2014. This is in comparison to a 1992 figure of approximately 55,000. However, researchers cautioned that the reduction might be due to underreporting and changes in recordkeeping as well as to continuous interventions.

Increase in work-related deaths hit men the hardest

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of work-related deaths increased between 2014 and 2015. The statistics also showed that the most dangerous jobs were in male-dominated industries. Certain fields, many of which employ Pennsylvania workers, experienced significantly higher death and injury rates than other ones.

Preventing suspension trauma in Pennsylvania

There are a number of jobs that require people in Pennsylvania to work from heights, and safety gear is worn by these workers to arrest their fall if they lose their footing. However, keeping someone from falling is just one part of preventing severe injury; people may also experience orthostatic intolerance, better known as suspension trauma, as a result of a fall.

Mines may be more dangerous in the winter

Miners in Pennsylvania face many hazards on the job, and winter can be an especially dangerous time. Some of the deadliest U.S. mining accidents have occurred during the month of December when cold temperatures and dry air create more hazardous conditions. In December 1984, a mine fire in Utah killed 27 miners, and in December 1992, eight miners were killed in an explosion in Virginia.

Using video to prevent worker injuries in Pennsylvania

One common source of injury in the workplace is repetitive motions. Repetitive hand motions, which are common in many manufacturing jobs, can lead to stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. The way that companies attempt to prevent these injuries from occurring is to have experts make judgments based on a visual inspection of hand motions.

Risk of injury and the aging workforce

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere across the country, the aging of America may have serious implications in the workplace. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, workers who are 55 or older will comprise 24.8 percent of the workforce by 2024, and consequently, the increased physical vulnerability that may be associated with this demographic could negatively impact recovery and rehabilitation from any on-the-job injuries that might occur to these workers.

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