When it comes to the vagrancies of extreme weather, outdoor workers may be especially at risk for serious illness, injury or even death. As a reminder of the perils that serious weather may present, the U.S. Labor Department published a story on Dec. 1 that outlined two situations in which severe weather had grievous impact. Although both cases originated in northeastern states, workers and employees in Louisiana and throughout the nation may want to remain aware that deadly weather-related incidents could happen anywhere.
Louisiana heavy truck drivers are probably highly aware how dangerous their job is. However, they might be surprised to learn that the occupation is the highest when it comes to workers who become sick or injured on the job. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015, truck drivers miss about 20 days of work each year because of non-fatal injuries and illnesses stemming from their job, which, next to steamfitters, pipefitters and plumbers, is more than any other occupation in the country. On average, the yearly incident rate for non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries is 104 for every 10,000 U.S. employees, but for truck drivers, it averages 307.5 per 10,000 people annually.
Louisiana workers who have hot jobs, or employment that involves welding, fire or burning, must take a number of special precautions to avoid workplace injuries. Safety requirements include the use of specialized equipment, which workers receiving on-the-job training may not be aware of. Employers should ensure access to reliable safety equipment. However, workers are advised to be aware of all equipment and the most common types of workplace injuries in welding, drilling, cutting and other jobs involving flammable materials. According to the National Safety Council, some of the inherent dangers of hot work are explosions caused by the ignition of flammable gases, sparks and slag that can result in burn injuries, shrapnel from grinding operations and contact with grinding wheels. The council denotes multiple tools as essential to avoid workplace accident.
Financial pressures may be causing Hollywood TV and film productions to be less safety conscious, according to entertainment industry insiders. The problem could potentially impact Louisiana workers who find employment on productions filming in the state.
Some Louisiana workers may be interested in learning about the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration ruling that updates working and walking surfaces along with fall protection systems. While it does not affect current standards for workers in agriculture or construction, it does make changes in protection for those who work in general industry.
Workers depend on their ability to continue to work to earn a living. For many workers, having to take time off without pay is devastating. This is the reason why injured workers will turn to workers' compensation when they are injured on-the-job. This program is meant to help injured workers get the medical care they need for their injuries while helping them to be able to make ends meet if they are unable to work.