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Workers' Compensation Archives

OSHA announces top work-related violations for 2018

Employers and workers in Louisiana are generally in agreement when it comes to doing everything possible to maintain safe work environments. During a recent safety event where this particular topic was addressed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a preliminarily listing of the agency's top violations for 2018. The majority of the issues documented involved fall hazards and failure to take sufficient preventative actions.

Updates made to OSHA's trenching and excavation NEP

There has been an increase in the number of workers killed during trenching and excavation operations. OSHA reported 130 such fatalities between 2011 and 2016. Nearly half died between 2015 and 2016, and about 80 percent were in the private construction industry. Construction workers in Louisiana should know that OSHA has taken an important step to increase enforcement of trenching and excavation safety standards.

OIG: work-related injuries underreported by OSHA

An audit report from the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General states that OSHA may be underreporting severe and fatal workplace injuries by 50 percent or more. Employees in Louisiana may know that OSHA made changes to its injury and illness recordkeeping rule, which went into effect back in January 2015. Despite these changes, OSHA is inconsistent in issuing citations against employers who report an injury late, the OIG continues.

OSHA tries to reduce fatal construction accidents

About 20 percent of worker deaths that occurred around the country in 2016 were in the construction industry according to OSHA. Louisiana construction workers are generally hurt or killed by four major types of hazards. These include falling, being electrocuted and getting hit by objects. Getting stuck between objects was another typical way in which a construction worker was killed on the job.

Grace period ends for compliance with silica dust standards

Louisiana workers whose duties might expose them to crystalline silica dust should expect their employers to comply with the new safety standards developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agency had delayed full enforcement of the rules meant to prevent unhealthy exposures to respirable dust until July 23 for companies showing a good faith effort to comply with regulations. With full enforcement now in effect, employers will need to offer their workers medical surveillance under certain circumstances to detect silica disease early.

BLS data used to rank US jobs with the worst fatality rates

In late 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. This data was used to rank the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. If Louisiana employees are not familiar with the ranking, now is the time to review it; some of the listed jobs may be surprising.

Black lung report encourages more monitoring, research

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has published a new report that may be of interest to Louisiana miners. Black lung disease, caused by the inhalation of coal mine dust, has long been a problem with people in the mining industry. Despite advances in technology, there has been a steady increase in black lung cases across the nation.

Technology can keep workers safe on the job

An accident doesn't have to be fatal to have an impact on a Louisiana workers's health. Accidents resulting in worker injuries can also have negative consequences for employers as it can result in less productivity. According to the CDC Foundation, workplace accidents nationwide cost employers $220 billion annually. However, connected devices could help keep workers safe, especially those who work alone.

Insurtech startup could reduce work injuries with new tech

Employers and employees in Louisiana are probably aware of the dangers they face in the workplace. Many are unforeseeable, which explains why on-the-job accidents cost businesses and insurers hundreds of billions of dollars each year in workers compensation claims. However, an insurtech startup based in Iowa is providing devices that may help reduce accidents and streamline the investigation of workers compensation claims.

Safety programs can reduce workplace accidents

Louisiana companies and others that use the Safety Performance Evaluation Process, or STEP, can make their workplaces up to 670 percent safer. This is according to the 2018 Safety Performance Report issued by Associated Builders and Contractors. According to the report, companies that used the STEP system saw a drop in reportable safety accidents of 85 percent. Associated Builders and Contractors also found that STEP was more effective when both managers and employees were trained.