In New Jersey and across the U.S., more people in the construction industry are looking to green technologies to cut costs and protect people's health and the environment. While green construction can positively impact the health of future building occupants, it can have a negative impact on the ones building. This will necessitate new safety measures.
New Jersey Tesla owners may be concerned to learn that the automaker's California production plant racked up three times more federal workplace safety violations over a five-year period than its top 10 competitors combined. The information was reported by Forbes.
It's an ongoing challenge to ensure that temporary contracted workers receive appropriate protection from workplace accidents, according to OSHA and many safety advocates. Too often, New Jersey companies view temps as somehow separate from the rest of the workforce. Employers that view contract workers in this light may not treat all workers with adequate respect. For example, companies may ask temp workers to engage in unsafe activities deemed beneath full-time employees. In 2016 alone, the U.S. witnessed over 850 workplace fatalities that involved contracted employees. Experts estimate that contract worker deaths account for more than 15 percent of American workplace fatalities.
Ideally, both workers and managers in New Jersey and throughout the country will take responsibility for workplace safety. Workers are encouraged to report any unsafe conditions to their immediate supervisors or anyone else who can remedy the problem in a timely manner. Another safety strategy is to make sure that emergency exits are easy to access at all times. Emergency shutoffs should also be easy to access and make use of in times of peril.
A 2018 OSHA memorandum now allows its investigators to use camera-equipped drones during workplace inspections. Many contractors in New Jersey and across the U.S. are objecting to the measure, saying that the drones, which are capable of taking pictures and video recordings, can violate privacy.
Scaffolding accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in the construction industry. OSHA reports that about 60 percent of construction workers, a total of 2.3 million, regularly use scaffolding. Of those, about 4,500 are injured every year, and approximately 60 die every year. Employers in New Jersey will want to consider the following tips for maintaining safe scaffolding.
Retail workers in New Jersey, as elsewhere, will be stocking shelves, packing boxes and delivering products at greater speed during the holiday season, and this could raise their risk for injuries due to slips, falls and excessive manual lifting. For this reason, OSHA is reminding employers about their duties to their employees.
Workers in New Jersey may face an array of dangers on the job, especially if they work on heights or in construction areas. This can be especially true when employers violate safety regulations. A deputy director of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, announced the agency's top 10 workplace safety violations at the 2018 National Safety Council congress. The statistics, collected between October 2017 and September 2018, identified the safety regulations most frequently violated by employers across the country.
Construction workers in New Jersey should know that trenching and excavation operations are leading to more fatalities. Between 2011 and 2016, OSHA recorded 130 fatalities related to such operations. Approximately 49 percent occurred between 2015 and 2016 alone. The private construction industry accounted for 80 percent, numbering 104, of all the fatalities.
New Jersey employees naturally want to avoid injuries on the job. Their desire to remain safe, however, can either be encouraged or discouraged by management. An employer that consistently communicates safety procedures to employees and invites their feedback about potential safety problems can reduce incidents by as much as 70 percent compared to disengaged employers.