As the winter season approaches, construction workers in Kentucky should take extra care to be safe while at construction sites. Cold temperatures can be a factor in many mishaps, such as slips, and it is necessary to take certain actions to ensure that construction sites are safe.
Workers in Kentucky might often face dangerous conditions on the job. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed some of the leading workplace safety violations that workers are likely to encounter. Many of these violations could lead to serious workplace accidents and injuries, some even preventing people from returning to their workplaces.
OSHA has added to its series of National Emphasis Programs, this time with one on trenching and excavation safety. Employers in Kentucky who want to ensure compliance with the federal safety guidelines in this field can consult a newly updated Trenching and Excavation Quick Card. In addition, they can reach out to their regional OSHA office for assistance.
According to the results of a recent study, workers in construction and extraction jobs are six times more likely to die due to opioid use. Opioid overdose and misuse are typically not seen as work-related issues in Kentucky. However, the study draws a connection from particular jobs to opioid overdose.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics, there were nearly a thousand construction-related deaths in 2016. It's estimated that about 60 percent of these fatalities were preventable. Most men and women in Kentucky choosing to work in the construction industry are aware of the inherent risks associated with this type of work. However, there are certain common safety hazards that may present less of a risk for workers if the right precautions are taken.
Kentucky residents and others who cut or trim trees engage in dangerous work. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, landscape workers account for 3.5 percent of workplace fatalities despite making up less than 1 percent of the workforce. Falls, coming into contact with electricity and being struck by objects are the three most common reasons why tree cutters and trimmers get hurt.
While all Kentucky workplaces have certain hazards that can lead to serious or even fatal injuries, some industries are more dangerous than others just due to the nature of the work. Even though most employers attempt to make workplaces as safe as possible, there were still 5,190 workers who died in fatal accidents in 2016.
Employees in Kentucky who routinely work outdoors should be aware that they can have a fatal heat stroke working in temperatures that go only as high as the upper 80s. This is according to a study conducted by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 6 of the 14 cases of deadly heat stroke that were investigated by researchers, the heat stroke occurred when the heat index was lower than 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
Summer weather can bring with it an assortment of dangers and threats to workplace safety for Kentucky workers on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not issued a formal regulation in regard to heat stress standards, but it has conducted an ongoing campaign, especially in the summer seasons, to cut down on the risks to workers' health as a result of exposure to excessive heat. By implementing protective measures, employers can help stop some of the workplace injuries and illnesses caused by heat on the job. However, even in states like California that have heat regulations for outdoor workers in place, these are some of the most commonly violated workplace rules.
For many workers in Kentucky, slip-and-fall hazards occur on a regular basis. These falls, slips and trips can be more than just minor accidents. In 2014 alone, 660 workers died on the job after falling from a height to a lower level. Another 138 died from workplace falls that took place at the same level. While some industries, like construction, may be more prone to serious slip-and-fall accidents, such incidents can happen in almost any environment.