Food workers in Kentucky and throughout the country may face a variety of hazards in the workplace. These hazards can include being cut by knives, falling or being exposed to toxic chemicals. Those who work in other industries may also face some or all of these hazards on the job. However, the fact that keeping people safe is challenging is generally not an excuse to allow workers to get hurt.
Kentucky residents should know that there is a link between pesticide exposure and certain medical conditions. From 1965 to 1999, the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program observed the incidence of heart attack and stroke among nearly 8,000 Japanese-American men on the island of Oahu. A new study has taken the data from this and combined it with OSHA data on the level of pesticides that the men were exposed to in order to determine a connection.
Kentucky residents should know that not far from them, in the city of Newark, officials have been handing out bottled water to the residents after finding high levels of lead in the water. The National Resources Defense Council has even sued the city, claiming that officials failed to install systems to prevent water corrosion on service lines. All of this shows the importance of preventing lead exposure.
There are three steps that employers in Kentucky can take to improve workplace safety. These points can be helpful for workplaces in all industries. First, employers will want to consider indoor air quality. A poorly ventilated building can trap mold and pollen and cause workers to have headaches, nausea, itchy skin and fatigue. When more than 20% of occupants suffer like this, employers can be sure that they have sick building syndrome.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration introduced strict new reporting rules in January 2015, but a recent report from the Department of Labor suggests that as many as half of the workplace deaths and serious injuries in Kentucky and around the country go unreported. The report was based on an audit from the DOL's Office of Inspector General that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the new OSHA reporting standards and gauge employer compliance.
Anyone in the construction field in Kentucky should be aware of the top safety hazards they face during the summer. The top five are given below, and one can immediately see how many of them are connected to each other.
In Kentucky and elsewhere, construction remains one of the most dangerous industries regardless of the safety improvements that many companies have made. Even with the recent safety improvements, some companies are turning to new and upcoming technology, such as virtual reality, machine learning and drone photography, to make the job even safer.
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.