With an estimated 1,300 workers dying from heat-related illness each year in Pennsylvania and across the U.S., employers must do all they can to keep their workers safe during the warmer months. There are several protective actions that employers can take.
Pennsylvania workers could be at risk of a serious injury accident. Some types of workplace incidents are more common than others. Liberty Mutual tracked some of the most frequent ones. The most common cause was overexertion, causing $13.11 billion in medical bills and other costs. The second most common cause was a fall on the same level, while the third most frequent way people were hurt at work was by being struck by equipment or another object.
For nurses in Pennsylvania and across the country, a fairer, more supportive working environment can also help to reduce workplace injuries. This was the finding of a study completed by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University, who noted that when nurses perceive that they receive less support than they give, they are also more likely to suffer workplace injuries. The types of support measured by the study varied greatly and included access to guidance and advice, help with their workload or simple expressions of care or empathy.
When workers in Pennsylvania operate asphalt plants, they may be at risk of catastrophic workplace accidents and injuries. In one case, a serious incident was caused by a fire and explosion that took place after diesel was used to clean the asphalt tank. In this case, a man opened a valve to allow a 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel and began the cleaning process.
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminder has been issued to employers in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to protect workers from the effects of being exposed to carbon monoxide. This is in reaction to a number of incidents that emphasize the need to instruct workers and employers about the carbon monoxide exposure dangers caused by the use of portable generators and other tools inside of enclosed areas.