Employers in Kentucky know that with the summers bring with them high temperatures and the risk for heat-related illnesses. Therefore, they must do all they can to protect their workers, whether indoors or outdoors, from heat-related hazards. The first recommended step is to establish an injury and illness protection program, tailoring it to the work crew's size and shift lengths.
Wherever there is a construction site with elevated surfaces, there is the danger of workers falling and those below being struck by falling equipment and other objects. Falling objects are the third leading cause of death in the construction industry, according to OSHA, and they resulted in 45,940 injuries in 2017. That came to 5.2% of all workplace injuries throughout Kentucky and across the U.S.
Employers in Kentucky may find that there are unexpected advantages to hewing closely to federal safety regulations, especially when dealing with electricity. Electrical accidents can be devastating on the job. Workers can face serious injuries or even lose their lives as a result of an accident involving electricity, and a serious accident can lead to severe damage to an overall project as well. Some workers may be unable to return to the job or face permanent disabilities as a result of the damage done.
Kentucky residents understand just how important their eyesight is. Loss of eyesight can negatively change a person's quality of life, which is why it is imperative that steps are taken to keep one's eyes safe during work.
Violence against health care workers is becoming widespread in Kentucky and throughout the U.S. Between 2002 and 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in the health care sector than in the private sector, according to OSHA (by serious, OSHA means incidents that result in at least one day off). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2017, the rate of intentional injuries among health care employees was 9.1 per 10,000 workers, whereas the rate in private industries was 1.9 per 10,000 workers.
Every year in Kentucky and other states, farmers are seriously injured or even killed when tractors roll over. In order to reduce injuries and deaths, OSHA has released a guide that's designed to both help prevent these rollovers and reduce harm when they do occur. The guide advises that all tractors be equipped with a roll bar or a cage frame for the tractor operator. OSHA says that these protective features greatly reduce the incidence of injury and death.
Employees in Kentucky may be pleased to learn that even as the overall workforce grew in 2017, workplace deaths actually went down. Overall, the fatal workplace injury rate fell to 3.5 percent in 2017 from 3.6 percent in 2016, according to a report released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Responding to the report, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration official praised the progress but emphasized that workplace fatalities are still a serious concern. He also said that OSHA is committed to protecting workplace safety through educational efforts for employers and workers as well as enforcement and compliance efforts.
When it comes to workplace injuries in Kentucky, common tasks like stocking shelves, packing boxes and selling merchandise can all lead to job site accidents. Given the intense surge in holiday shoppers, the risks associated with retail jobs increases substantially. That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released a statement reminding employers of their duties to protect retail employees.
Winter in Kentucky brings with it several challenges for outdoor workers, including cold and windy conditions, icy surfaces and the possibility of snow cave-ins. At its Winter Weather resource site, OSHA lays out some of the precautions that employers must take to keep their employees safe. The following is a brief outline.
Temporary workers, also known as seasonal workers, contingent workers, contract workers or consultants, provide many Kentucky businesses with great flexibility with their staffing requirements. Not only do temps provide extra assistance during busy periods of the year, hiring a worker for a limited term allows the employer to evaluate the individual and determine if he or she may have the potential to be a permanent employee. However, until a permanent job offer is made and accepted, the temp is somewhat of a hybrid worker who completes a work shift at the business but is actually employed by the temporary agency.