Both indoor and outdoor workers in Pennsylvania may be concerned about the summer heat and how it will impact their health. Besides the heat from the sun, the heat generated by machinery or by layers of protective clothing can lead workers to suffer from heat stress and other heat-related illnesses. Heat-related worker deaths number more than 1,300 every year according to EPA estimates.
The loading dock is an active, busy work site for many Pennsylvania employees. These docks, located at factories, warehouses, distribution centers and other industrial buildings, are often connected to a storage room or staging area. Here, large trucks deliver the items needed to make the business operate. Loading docks are critical to many business operations, but they can also be a common site for workplace accidents and injuries. Loading dock employees are often charged with handling massive quantities of goods on a quick, expedited basis. After all, many delivery trucks are on a tight schedule and need to leave the dock quickly.
Anyone in Pennsylvania who works in construction or transportation should know that nearly half of all workplace fatalities in 2017 were in these two industries. On the other hand, the industries of manufacturing and wholesale trade saw their lowest fatality rates since 2003. As for why construction and transportation are so dangerous, there appear to be several reasons.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rules and regulations that apply to machinery operation and guarding. Because plant employees in Pennsylvania spend most of their time operating machines, it is important that their employers follow OSHA machinery regulations. To be in compliance with the law, employers must provide guards on certain machines to protect the operators. Common types of guards include barrier guards, two-hand trip devices and electronic safety devices.
In 2017, there were 5,147 worker deaths throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. While certainly a high number, this was a decrease from the 5,190 workers who died in 2016. These figures from state and federal databases were included in the report Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect. The report was published on April 25 during Workers' Memorial Week. Overall, the death rate is 3.5 per 100,000 workers, but that rate increases to 10.3 per 100,000 for those over 65.
Pennsylvania construction workers have a dangerous job. On average, more than 300 construction workers across the U.S. die in falls each year, and over 10,000 incur fall-related injuries. This makes falls the leading cause of death among construction workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of fatal falls from scaffolding (86%), ladders (85%) and ladders (57%) arise in the construction industry.
Pennsylvania construction workers are in a dangerous business. On a nationwide average, 14 construction workers die on the job every day. That is five times the number of deaths in other occupations. Approximately 40% of those deaths result from falls. There has also been a large increase in struck-by deaths over the past decade.
Workers in Pennsylvania may be at risk of serious injury on the job depending on the conditions of their employment and the type of industry in which they work. While every workplace injury is individual, certain types of incidents are far more common than others. Insurance company Liberty Mutual has produced a report of the 10 most common causes of serious workplace injuries. The report defined serious injuries as those connected to at least a five-day absence from the job.
Workers' compensation claims provide Pennsylvania employees with a way to get financial assistance after an on-the-job accident. Such accidents can range from minor slips and falls to roadway crashes in vehicles owned by the company. Employers are responsible for maintaining safe workplaces. This might involve informing employees of any worksite construction or cleaning areas that could be hazardous. Employers also need to provide their workers with proper training and make sure that they understand common safety standards.
Innovative vehicles from Tesla might interest consumers in Pennsylvania, but the company's track record on workplace safety does not compare well to other automakers. According to a report published by Forbes, the company had far more Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations between 2014 and 2018 than the other top 10 auto manufacturing plants put together.