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.
Construction workers in Louisiana and around the country are often required to perform dangerous tasks, and trenching and excavation work can be particularly dangerous according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Cave-ins pose the greatest threat to workers in trenches or other excavations according to OSHA, but falls, toxic working conditions and accidents involving earth moving equipment can also be fatal.
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.