The sun is an essential element required for all life. However, excessive exposure to UV light can be harmful. In Oklahoma, workers might be aware of the potential workplace injuries of sunburn and skin cancer, but prolonged exposure could also compromise workers' immune systems and damage their eyes and vision. UV light can cause various eye diseases.
Employers in Oklahoma and across the country must provide employees with work environments that are free of known hazards. Federal law mandates that employers must address any dangers that threaten the health and safety of workers. Furthermore, employees are entitled to speak up and report workplace injuries or unsafe conditions and near misses without fearing retaliation.
Oklahoma employers are responsible for the safety and health of employees. They must provide safe work environments that are free of known hazards. Yet, despite strict safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that over 80% of nonfatal workplace injuries nationwide are made up of three preventable work-related accidents. These are bodily reactions to overexertion, falls caused by slips and trips, and struck-by or caught-in injuries caused by contact with equipment or objects.
Workers in most industries in Oklahoma are exposed to circumstances that could lead to slip-and-fall accidents. A significant number of lost workdays and workers' compensation claims follow workplace injuries that were caused by same-level falls. While neglected housekeeping can cause slip and trip hazards, footwear with the correct soles can provide enough traction to prevent falls.
Throughout March, the American Ladder Institute will promote ladder safety across the country. Raising awareness helps to underscore the need for monitoring ladder safety in the workplace, including appropriate training procedures. The goal, of course, is to reduce deaths and workplace injuries linked to ladders. Oklahoma workers should know that a fall from the second or third rung of a ladder can be as dangerous as from the top of the ladder.
The National Safety Council notes that focusing on workplace safety instead of the bottom line can prevent thousands of occupational injuries nationwide, including in Oklahoma. The council says work-related injuries should not be seen as a cost of business. Certain safety hazards are present in just about all workplaces, and focusing on that could bring about a significant drop in workplace injuries.
Equipment guarding and hazardous energy control are both near the top of the list of most frequently cited safety violations in the wood processing industry nationwide, including Oklahoma. Although manufacturers include many more safety features than in past years, the safety of employees remains the responsibility of the employers. This responsibility starts with a thorough risk assessment to determine and eliminate hazards that could cause workplace injuries.
Some workers in Oklahoma don't take sufficient care of their hands, which are obviously a crucial part of performing most job responsibilities. Workplace injuries can cause amputations of fingers and even entire hands, often leaving workers unable to continue working in the same occupation. Amputations and other serious injuries have a significant impact on the victim's overall quality of life.
According to agricultural safety and health authorities, more attention should be given to the hazards posed by the chemicals used in this industry nationwide. Safety data sheets are crucial, and they must be easily accessible to workers and emergency personnel. Employers in Oklahoma and elsewhere should base their safety protocols on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standard to limit the risks of workplace injuries.
Safety authorities assert that employers nationwide, including Oklahoma, can keep workers safe by investing in training and materials. Along with established safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides support and guidance, along with training materials to the construction industry. Safe scaffolding seems to be a significant concern because of the number of fatal workplace injuries linked to these structures.