Forklifts are essential in various industries in Oklahoma and across the country. Unfortunately, the dangers posed by these vehicles do not always receive the necessary attention. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees, and providing adequate safety training forms a part of that responsibility. However, lives continue to be lost in preventable workplace accidents.
The amount of inherent risk for injury varies according to what type of work an employee does each day. There are certain industries, such as construction, agriculture or logging, that are known to be among the most dangerous types of work in Oklahoma and elsewhere. If a workplace injury occurs, one of the first questions that needs to be answered is whether the employer may have failed in its obligation to maintain a safe working environment. Things become a bit more complex, however, if the employee in question works from home.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number of occupation-related amputations gives rise to concern. A workplace injury that leads to an amputation can happen in the blink of an eye. The agency says that over 90% of amputations nationwide, including in Oklahoma, involve fingers. However, amputations of other body parts like hands, feet and toes are also cited in workers' compensation claims. Too many workers are unable to continue working in their chosen occupations after amputation injuries.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, compliance with safety standards can prevent almost all workplace accidents. Unfortunately, many employers in Oklahoma and elsewhere do not realize that every workplace injury can adversely affect morale, productivity and insurance premiums while also risking OSHA fines. Safety authorities say four hazards cause the most prevalent work-related injuries.
Forklifts are valuable tools in various industries in Oklahoma, from construction sites to fulfillment centers. Unfortunately, the dangers posed by these machines are not always recognized. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety standards related to the operation of forklifts. However, sight must not be lost of the workplace injury hazards these machines pose to other workers who share work areas with forklifts.
Trenches are some of the most dangerous areas on building sites nationwide, including Oklahoma. Employers must comply with strict safety standards to protect workers from circumstances that could lead to a workplace injury, and noncompliance can lead to citations and stiff fines. However, that does not seem to concern many construction company owners who continue to prioritize profits over employee safety.
An Oklahoma worker with 25 years of experience on the job has likely seen it all, but that doesn't mean that accidents can't happen. Sometimes, after so many years of doing the same work, it's easy to become a bit complacent. Many workers start taking shortcuts, and some even tend to disregard safety standards to get jobs done quicker, only to suffer a workplace injury.
On May 22, an employee of an antenna and tower service provider based in Oklahoma lost his life while working in another state. The 47-year-old worker suffered a fatal workplace injury when he fell from a broadcast tower. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that the agency's investigators determined that this fatality could have been prevented.
Construction workers in Oklahoma and across the country put their lives on the line when they work in trenches. Safety authorities hold an annual stand down in June each year, during which time they urge employers to remind workers of the hazards of excavation work. They must emphasize how compliance with safety standards can prevent trench-related workplace injury or death.
Construction workers face numerous safety hazards whenever they are on building sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards, many of them dealing with working at heights and on scaffolding. Sadly, not all employers prioritize employee safety, often with catastrophic consequences. However, two Oklahoma workers have their employer's compliance with fall protection regulations to thank for saving each of them from suffering a fatal workplace injury.