Many construction employers in Louisiana are now subject to the new Confined Spaces in Construction standard that was published by the Occupational Safety and Health Association in May 2015. Though the standard was published in May, employers were subject to a temporary enforcement policy until Oct. 2. The temporary enforcement policy has been extended until Jan. 8, 2016 for residential construction employers only.
For Louisiana workers, there are many risks that contribute to accidents when it comes to working in high places, including unstable ladders. To reduce some of these risks, some employers are using portable lifts to provide an alternative way for employees to safely work in high places.
The data collected by the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics might help some Louisiana employees understand more about their exposure to risks they encounter in the workplace. According to the report, the number of fatal workplace injuries increased in 24 states from 2013 to 2014. Nationwide, the rate of fatal workplace injuries increased by 2 percent from the year before. More than 4,670 fatal work injuries occurred in 2014, equating to a rate of 3.3 fatal injuries for every 100,000 full-time equivalent employees.
Louisiana paramedics may be familiar with the results of a recent study concerning the dangers of emergency medical services employees who take on lengthy shifts. The results of the study found that these employees face greater chances for suffering an injury or illness when they work long shifts. In fact, when compared with EMS employees who work 12 hours or less, the risk jumps to 60 percent for employees taking on longer shifts.
Businesses in Louisiana may neglect adequate fall protection measures even though OSHA requires them for work at elevations higher than four feet. Workers may find themselves in environments where fall protection is not prioritized, and this increases the risk of injury.
Workers in Louisiana who perform hazardous tasks like welding expect their employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety. Accidents and injuries may be prevented when employers see to it that welders perform their duties in an environment free of loose or combustible objects and provide them with proper safety training and access to first aid supplies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 2,000 eye injuries suffered each day by workers. That translates to just over one injury per minute, and they account for roughly one-quarter of all head injuries. Of those who suffer an injury to the eye, 10 to 20 percent will suffer either temporary or permanent vision impairment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an Infosheet regarding the health hazards that could be present in the water of improperly maintained eyewash stations. The purpose of the Infosheet is to provide updated eyewash safety information to protect workers in Louisiana and nationwide.
Louisiana manufacturing workers may benefit from new OSHA guidelines regarding amputations sustained at work. A 2015 document was released detailing the procedures used to implement the new program in a multitude of industries that experience high numbers of amputations. These industries were chosen using relevant Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The most common types of businesses include machine shops, sawmills, both commercial and retail bakeries, meat processing plants and food manufacturing plants of all types.
Many workplace injuries in Louisiana can be prevented when coworkers work together to spot hazards. However, some workers do not have the benefit of other people keeping an eye out for them on the job. Workers who regularly perform tasks away from other people pose a unique safety challenge for employers.