Many preventable occupational accidents and injuries result from human errors. It all boils down to the safety standards of the company and the enforcement of those regulations. Some employers in Oklahoma and elsewhere focus on profits instead of employee safety, often prompting human factors to come into play. It takes only one distracted worker to cause workplace injuries, not only to that person but also to co-workers.
This is the week of the National Stand-Down of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This year the goal is to remind employers and employees in Oklahoma and across the country of the dangers of working at heights. Numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicate that falls from elevated workplaces remain the primary cause of deaths and workplace injuries in the construction industry.
Hand held power tools are often not used with the necessary care. If the required safety standards are not followed, workplace injuries could even involve severed fingers or worse. Complacency among workers in Oklahoma and elsewhere cause most of these injuries. Safety authorities report that experienced workers are more often victims of power tool injuries than inexperienced workers.
When distractions are mentioned, the image that typically comes to mind is someone walking, driving or eating while texting or talking on a cellphone. Many employers in Oklahoma and other states have strict policies about cellphone use on the job. However, there is an endless list of other distractions that could cause workplace injuries.
Half the human body is water that, among other things, helps with regulate body temperature. In the summertime, the body works extra hard to avoid heat stress. Dehydration is a serious risk during the hotter months, and employers in Oklahoma must provide enough water and shade to protect workers. However, to avoid the discomfort caused by personal protective equipment, some workers go without it, risking workplace injuries.
Workers in Oklahoma who work in environments where excessive exposure to dust occur can end up with life-threatening lung diseases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety standards in place to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Sadly, not all employers prioritize profit margins instead of worker safety, and many workers are not provided with personal protective equipment such as respirators.
Construction sites typically have endless lists of safety hazards. Construction company employees risk their lives each day, and compliance with federal and state safety standards is crucial. Employers in Oklahoma and other states are responsible for the safety of workers. Providing adequate safety training is an essential part of the safety protocols on any construction site to avoid preventable workplace injuries.
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.