Louisiana workers may be interested to learn that workplace fatalities jumped by 7 percent in 2016, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the third consecutive year that work-related deaths have increased.
Workers in Louisiana who suffer potentially debilitating injuries on the job may be concerned not only about their short-term ability to provide income for themselves and their families but also the long-term effects if they cannot return to work for the foreseeable future. Some people may be under the mistaken impression that if one collects benefits under an employer-sponsored workers compensation insurance plan, he or she may be ineligible to collect from Social Security Disability Insurance. The good news is that, in most cases, this is not true.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in charge of regulating workplace safety. Failing to comply with the agency's guidelines can lead to citations and fines. Every year, OSHA releases a list of the top 10 safety violations based on the number of allocated penalties. The results for fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017) are similar to those of previous years, but there are some differences that business owners in Louisiana should be aware of.
Each year, more than 2,000 workers throughout the country are sent to the hospital because of arc flash explosions. Of those, roughly 400 will die from their burns or because of a resulting infection. In many cases, the accidents that lead to these injuries are caused by improperly working in an energized area. Workers may reduce the risk of these incidents by wearing protective equipment.
Louisiana warehouse workers who need to reach items on high shelves need to be provided with the proper equipment and training to be lifted to those shelves safely. A warehouse worker was fatally injured when he fell 7 feet to a concrete floor after standing on a pallet that had been lifted by a forklift to a top shelf. This was common practice in his workplace, and the workers did not have another way to safely access high shelves.
Louisiana employees who spend a significant amount of time in front of their computers while at work may suffer from computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eyestrain. The syndrome encompasses a variety of vision-related problems that can occur from prolonged digital device use.
Trench accidents on Louisiana construction sites can result in catastrophic injuries or deaths to workers who are involved in them. Because of the dangers that are posed by working in trenches, there are safety regulations that employers are mandated to follow. Because a cubic foot of dirt can weigh more than a ton, it is easy to understand how workers can be crushed when trenches collapse.
People who do not work in the medical field might not expect some of the hazards nurses are exposed to while on the job. Nurses in Louisiana hospitals sometimes experience back strains from lifting patients and other similar work-related injuries, but the biggest danger workers in this field face is violence, primarily from patients.
Louisiana residents may be shocked to learn that a Department of Energy facility that manufactures plutonium cores for use in nuclear weapons has been accused of reckless and potentially catastrophic safety violations. The Center for Public Integrity studied a raft of documents including several internal reports and came to the conclusion that the concerns of federal prosecutors have been ignored and both workers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and members of the public have been placed in danger.
Louisiana workers in the oil and gas sector may benefit from learning about a hazard alert that has been issued. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Service Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health united to issue the hazard alert to help prevent deaths caused by the ignition of vapors emitted by vehicles and motorized machinery in that industry.