In Illinois and across the U.S., more workers are dying in trenching and excavation operations. Between 2011 and 2016, 130 such fatalities were reported to OSHA with 49 percent occurring between 2015 and 2016 alone. The private construction industry accounted for 104 of these deaths. OSHA believes that trench collapsing is a risk in virtually all excavations.
Illinois companies are required by law to provide employees with a safe place to work. Despite the efforts of OSHA, injuries continue to occur each year. Signs and labels at the workplace play a key role in promoting worker safety. The way that employers communicate the importance of safety to workers is key. A sign or message will not do any good to prevent injuries if it means nothing to the workers. Therefore, utilizing signs, labels and other displays with a clear meaning can go a long way toward reminding workers to use proper precautions.
Employers in Illinois are obligated to make sure that their employees know how to safely handle hazardous materials. An ideal place to inform employees about the basic rules for handling hazardous materials in the workplace is at a safety meeting, during which employees can be encouraged to make their own contributions to a list of safety rules.
Due to changes in workplace conditions and the nature of employer-employee interactions, OSHA has updated its recommended practices for safety and health programs. Employers in Illinois should know that these updates affect how to identify and assess safety hazards. Thankfully, OSHA provides six action items, or steps, to help employers implement the recommended practices.
In late 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The bureau's data on the 10 most dangerous jobs in America should be of interest to both employers and employees in Illinois. While some of the listed jobs are expected, others are not. This shows that all potential causes of danger must be considered to ensure workplace safety.
OSHA guidelines require workers in a range of industries to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, hard hats and safety glasses. However, some Illinois employers may have a hard time getting their workers to wear such equipment. The usual advice is to provide new, more comfortable PPE. When this fails to improve compliance, employers may need to consider the following tips.
According to the Solid Waste Association of North America, there were seven sanitation worker deaths in the first 10 days of 2018. Overall, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that sanitation workers face a fatality risk that's nearly 10 times more than that of all other industries. However, there are steps that these workers in Illinois and throughout the country can take to stay safe on the job.
Every business owner in Illinois who wants to create and maintain a safety-minded culture in the workplace should consider five tips, all given below. Following them can help reduce the number of workplace injuries, which means improved productivity, employee morale and employee retention. Employers can also enjoy stronger branding and a more positive image, so everyone benefits.
Chicago construction workers could be facing more on-the-job hazards. While this industry is known for its inherent dangers involving heavy equipment, machinery and unfinished buildings and trenches, safety procedures can be particularly important in working to avoid catastrophic results. Despite improvements in technology, however, the number of construction workers killed on the job rose by 26 percent between 2011 and 2015. Furthermore, the number of workers killed in specific types of accidents also rose, highlighting particular points of concern.
Workers in Illinois and the rest of the country who routinely work in or near trenches and excavations have a high risk of incurring injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced its plans to prioritize the reduction of excavation and trenching accidents. The agency's goals are to inform workers and employers about how cave-ins can be safely prevented and to spread awareness about the hazards trenching poses to construction workers. The agency also intends to lower the quantity of trench collapses.