Workers' Compensation Archives
Companies in Missouri and throughout the country reported 4,185 workplace fatalities to OSHA between January 2015 and April 2017. Another 23,282 severe injuries were reported to OSHA during this same period of time. However, it is thought that the actual number of severe injuries is twice as high as what was reported. Companies may not report a severe injury because they are worried about fines or other negative consequences.
The summers in Missouri can be brutal for both indoor and outdoor workers with those in the construction industry put at the highest risk. The following are just five safety hazards that construction workers face in the summer and what their employers can do about them.
Workers are entitled to a safe workplace that is free from known hazards. To that end, OSHA is making it a point to ensure that those who work on or near electrical components do not get hurt or killed at work. Between October 2012 and September 2018, six electrical installation professionals were killed in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. A representative from OSHA who works in Missouri says that employers can keep their workers safe by providing them with adequate training and other resources.
Workers in Missouri may face a particular threat to health and safety in the summer months. The summer of 2018 marked the fourth hottest on record, and many people fear that the increased temperatures are here to stay. Both indoor and outdoor workers can be affected by excessive heat even though people working outside may be more prone to the immediate effects of the temperature. Other aspects of the job may combine with the ambient temperature to escalate the risks of excessive heat, including warm mandatory personal protective gear or hot-running machinery and equipment.
According to the investment management firm Conning, nearly half of 2017's workplace fatalities occurred in two industries: construction and transportation. Construction workers in Missouri should note that this trend is being caused by a number of factors, including a lack of healthy workers and a shortage of experienced workers.
Electrical workers in Missouri can face serious dangers on the job. Mistakes with electricity, after all, can be catastrophic and even life-threatening. There are a number of regulations in place that aim to make the workplace safer for employees, especially those dealing with inherently hazardous materials like live electricity. Many of these regulations are implemented federally by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency charged with implementing and enforcing rules to protect workplace safety. However, OSHA also generally seeks to expand partnerships with private industry in developing regulations.
Each year, thousands of workers in Missouri and across the country suffer serious injuries while performing their jobs. These injuries cost the U.S. billions of dollars in medical costs and lost wage payments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 23 excavation and trench-related deaths across the U.S. in 2016; this is double the average of the previous five years. The year 2017 saw 17 deaths, but when combined with the number of injury reports made to OSHA, it was by far the most dangerous year to date for trench workers. Missouri residents who work in the excavation industry should know what factors into this rise.
With the holiday shopping season come additional work hours and extra pay for retail workers in Missouri. While workers may benefit financially on the one hand, they could suffer from loss of sleep and lost family time on the other. In 2016, 24 percent of U.S. employees said that work interfered with personal and family obligations. This is just one of a few challenges pointed out by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Exposure to the diesel particulate matter found in diesel exhaust is a frequent hazard in workplaces across Missouri and the rest of the U.S. Diesel is used in trucks, earth-moving equipment, compressors and generators, to name a few examples; exposure to high concentrations of DPM, when short-term, leads to headaches, dizziness and severe irritation of the throat, nose and eyes.