Workplace safety should be a concern of every worker in Connecticut. Having a safe working environment is a shared responsibility that depends on both management and workers communicating about and following safety standards.
According to PreventBlindness.org, approximately 2,000 people incur eye injuries on the job each day. One in 10 of these result in lost time from work. In addition, 10 to 20 percent of all work-related injuries in Connecticut and the rest of the U.S. result in temporary or permanent vision loss. Employers are encouraged to find durable, comfortable and fitting eyewear for their employees.
Some truck drivers in Connecticut may be in danger of shoulder injuries when they are raising or lifting trailers. However, researchers from North Carolina State University and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries have looked at driver technique and concluded that positioning may significantly reduce the likelihood of damage. The study appeared in the journal "Applied Ergonomics."
The numbers are in, and they spell good news for Connecticut workers. After years of steady increases, the number of work-related fatalities fell nationwide in 2017. However, the 2017 numbers were still noticeably higher than the 14-year low set in 2009.
Connecticut employees may be relieved to hear that workplace fatalities declined across the country in 2017, with 43 fewer workers losing their lives on the job than in the previous year. These statistics were released by the national Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its annual National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Along with the numerical decline, the rate of injuries causing death at work declined from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also pointed to concerning figures from the report.
All employers in Connecticut have a general duty to protect their employees from occupational hazards, including cold weather, ice, snow and wind. During the winter, employers will want to make sure everyone is properly trained, especially those who remove snow or ice from rooftops and decks. Most of the hazards are not technical in nature, though employees who are used to a more temperate climate should receive specialized training.
The holidays are generally a busy time for retail establishments in Connecticut and throughout the country. OSHA is reminding business owners that they have a duty to keep all of their employees safe during this time. Research indicates that the extra hours spent working during the holiday season can have both positive and negative impacts on workers. For instance, people have less time to sleep or interact with family members, which may negate the benefit of increased pay.
Temporary workers in Connecticut have just as much right to be in a safe job environment as permanent employees. This is why OSHA suggests that both employers and staffing agencies clearly define their responsibilities in their contracts to ensure compliance with workplace regulations and standards. Doing so may avoid confusion and legal problems.
Construction workers in Connecticut face additional safety hazards during winter months. There are several things that workers and managers can do to make a construction site safer during cold weather.
Preliminary numbers from fiscal year 2018 released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have revealed the most common safety citations across industries. Employers in Connecticut that the agency cited likely failed to provide protective gear, train workers or maintain equipment.