Workplace safety is not just about preventing illnesses and accidents on the job. It is also about keeping employees safe from violence, and there are a number of things companies in Louisiana and throughout the country can do to accomplish that.
Workers who are seriously injured at work likely have a long road to recovery ahead of them. Making ends meet during this time, and getting the medical care they need, can be very difficult without having their normal income. These workers often rely on workers' compensation coverage to handle these aspects of life. That brings up some very important questions about workers' compensation in Louisiana.
Temporary workers in Louisiana can be at risk for on-the-job injuries if the staffing companies that they are working for do not communicate with the host employers about safety. When a temporary worker is performing a job, the staffing company and the host employer both have a duty to ensure that the work environment is free of hazards.
OSHA warns that inexperience with chain saws, proximity to power lines and working in poor weather conditions can make tree work in Louisiana and around the country dangerous. To stay safe, anyone working in or around a tree should first determine in which direction it is likely to fall. In the event that a tree is located near power lines, individuals are advised to assume that they are live.
Louisiana workers in manufacturing facilities and certain other types of work spaces might not realize that dust can pose a risk of explosion. On Feb. 27, 2016, a man was killed and five other people were hospitalized after a dust explosion at a feed mill in Georgia. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated, it found a number of violations, and the agency has put out a fact sheet dealing with this hazard.
Since Jan. 1, 2015, employers in Louisiana and around the country have been obligated to comply with new severe injury reporting requirements issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The reporting requirements state that employers must inform OSHA about any hospitalizations, amputations or losses of eyes within 24 hours of a work-related accident.
You've worked in an office for years, typing away at your computer for hours at a time. You start to feel aches in your wrists, that turn into numbness and tingling. Pretty soon, you feel pain in your wrists and go to the doctor. You learn you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Work is making the pain worse. But because the symptoms were gradual, you can't pinpoint the exact day it started. You may be surprised to learn that even if the condition started before you began work, carpal tunnel that is aggravated by working conditions is covered under state workers' comp law.
Louisiana employees who work in noisy conditions may be interested to learn that workplace hearing loss is one of the most common work-related injuries. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers every year are exposed to levels of occupational noise that could be considered hazardous.
Louisiana residents may be interested in a new study on the unwanted health effects of looking at digital device screens for excessive amounts of time. The Vision Council released a report that indicates that more than 60 percent of adults spend at least five hours on digital devices every day.
Workplace accidents cost businesses billions of dollars each year, but the success of a campaign to improve construction site safety in Nevada indicates that many of the most common injuries could be prevented by a pragmatic common sense approach. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the 10 leading causes of workplace injuries account for about 85 percent of injury-related costs, and employers in Louisiana and around the country are finding that education and training initiatives can help to reduce injuries associated with falls, overexertion and repetitive motion.