The hazards posed by thunderstorms and lightning don't always receive the amount of attention they deserve. It might not be a danger that California workers face every day, but employers must ensure that workers are prepared for unexpected thunderstorms. Employees who are not familiar with the steps to take to avoid lightning could suffer severe workplace injuries.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health mandates that employers must provide workers with the necessary personal protective equipment. Compliance with these regulations likely saved the life of a 25-year-old, newly married worker in Fresno. The man's father and his doctor agree that the workplace injuries he suffered could have been fatal had he not worn a hard hat.
Landscapers in California face multiple safety hazards throughout the year, but with the increased activities during the summer, the risks they face are exacerbated. Along with potential workplace injuries caused by repetitive hard labor, hazardous equipment and dangerous chemicals, summer months bring exposure to heat-related illnesses. Employers must protect the health and safety of workers by providing safety training and personal protective equipment.
Safety authorities say thousands of workers nationwide suffer heat-related conditions each year, including in California. Sadly, dozens of those victims do not survive the workplace injuries and illnesses caused by heat exposure. Although construction workers are most vulnerable, farm workers, warehouse workers, roofers and other outdoor workers are also at risk.
California workers in manufacturing or other industrial facilities are likely all aware of the fact that lockout/tagout devices are required on machinery and equipment. But what is LOTO and how can it prevent workplace injuries? It involves the control of hazardous energy and protocols to disable equipment and machinery while maintenance servicing and cleaning take place.
The demographics in California workplaces have undergone significant changes over the decades. People live longer and with improved education levels and fewer physical demands in many jobs, the percentage of men and women in the U.S. workforce who are older than 60 is said to have grown to 63 percent. Employers can limit the number of workplace injuries among older workers by considering some changes in safety protocols.
Each worker on a construction site in California faces numerous general safety hazards along with those that are unique to his or her job. Concrete workers, for example, face the typical slip and fall dangers, and they are vulnerable to struck-by incidents. They are at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders through the repetitive shoveling and lifting involved in their jobs. Along with these workplace injuries, they face the risk of suffering concrete burns.
Many workers in various California industries take precautions to prevent all kinds of occupational hazards, but many forget to protect their hands. Careers can be ruined and lives permanently changed by severe workplace injuries to the hands, especially when it leads to amputations. Hand safety should start with the basics like keeping hands clear from closing doors and always wearing protective gloves as protection from acids, sharp objects, splinters, chemicals, electrical burns and more.
Safety authorities in California prescribe strict safety standards in all industries, tasking employers with the responsibility to protect the health and safety of their employees. Safety hazards that could cause workplace injuries exist in all occupational settings, and steps must be taken to mitigate them. Being able to recognize the different types of risks can help with taking precautions to avoid them.
Safety training is one of the most crucial aspects of any company's quest to protect the health and safety of workers, regardless of the industry. Too many workers in California suffer workplace injuries within their first few months on the job because employers did not provide safety training from day one. The first thing new hires should learn is that safety comes first -- always.