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.
A survey from the National Safety Council recently found that more than two-thirds of workers in Kentucky and the rest of the country feel tired at the workplace. In industries like construction, utilities and mining, this is a huge safety issue. Employers already recognize the risk fatigue has when it comes to safety and productivity, but employees still don't see tiredness as the problem it really is. Only 72 percent of workers say that they believe fatigue would have a negative impact on their work.
On Oct. 1, the revisions that OSHA made to its National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation went into effect. Now, the organization's area and regional offices are reaching out to assist employers with safety compliance. This outreach period lasts 90 days, so employers in Kentucky, especially those in the private construction industry, may want to take advantage of it.
Workers in Kentucky may face a variety of hazards while on the job. Some of the most common hazards are slipping, tripping and falling. Slips generally occur because of rugs or mats that are torn or bunched up. They can also occur if a floor or other surface becomes oily or wet because of a spill or some type of weather event. Carpets can also be a tripping hazard for employees. Furthermore, poor lighting or objects left uncovered on a floor may result in a person tripping and getting hurt.
As the economy evolves, the type of work that Kentucky residents and others will perform will evolve as well. It will also change how employees do their jobs and with whom they work. It is not uncommon for employees to work from home or with individuals who speak other languages. OSHA encourages employers to continually track potential hazards that workers may face and take steps to mitigate them in a timely manner.
In December of 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. These stats brought attention to those industries in America that saw the highest work fatality rates. Employers and employees in Kentucky will want to know about the top 10 most dangerous jobs because some of them may be a surprise.
Many employees in Kentucky have to deal with unsafe working conditions. For many companies, it appears that safety, as with so much else, is being subordinated to the bottom line.
Slips, trips and falls are a major hazard for workers in Kentucky and across the United States. According to the National Safety Council, 798 workers died from falls in 2014. Of those, 660 died after falling from a height, and 138 were killed in falls on the same level. However, there are some simple safety measures workers can take to reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries and fatalities.