Pennsylvania residents may be interested in learning that the solicitor of labor's office stated that it was committed to keeping work environments safe for employees. The solicitor's office, which assists the U.S. Department of Labor, will work to help the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's goals.
It's important that warehouses in Pennsylvania are safe for employees and contractors to work in. If a business owner does not ensure that workers are protected from potential harm, the business could end up facing fines or legal trouble. When working to keep a workplace is safe, there are a number of things to consider, including making sure that employees know where fire escapes are, verifying that workers know safety rules and providing all safety materials and equipment necessary for people to do their jobs.
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.
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.
People in Pennsylvania who work with electricity should keep an eye on safety while on the job. Treating serious electrical injuries, some of which can result in disability or death, may cost as much as $1 million.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.