Every day, people clock into work usually with the tasks they have for the day on their minds. It is doubtful that they are also fretting about the possible hazards they could face. However, this can be a reality for certain industries. Whether due to the tools they are dealing with or because of a lack of training, there were over 4,700 workplace-related deaths in 2020, according to OSHA.
While not all mishaps result in death, plenty of the fields that ranked high in fatalities also ranked high in injuries suffered on the job. As you read, you will be able to take a look at some of the ones that OSHA has had to investigate, along with the reasons they rank so high.
If you work in any of these fields and are concerned about your own safety awareness, you can take the initiative and take one of the OSHA 10 Outreach courses available from Hard Hat Training. While they do not certify you, you will be volunteering your time to become more prepared for any work catastrophe you may come across.
This industry has often ranked at the top of OSHA injury and fatality lists. As you can expect, construction sites are hectic areas, with different types of workers taking on jobs all at once. This includes carpenters, excavators, and welders, among others. Because these sites are also often loud, it can take a lot of work to keep up with where everyone is throughout the day.
One of the biggest problems that construction crews face is fall risks. Many builders are usually working from tall heights like roofs and, with proper safety devices, can stay on track. Even at heights as low as six feet, OSHA has regulations saying that there need to be safety nets or guardrails in place. Slips can also happen if the platform they are walking across has any missing planks or sudden drops.
If not properly trained, construction workers may also use ladders or scaffolding carelessly. This includes going over their weight limits by carrying heavy equipment or walking up them incorrectly. Moreover, some sites may need to remember to lock these materials in place, making them more susceptible to falling over.
These are just a few of the many common violations construction workers face every day, but there are plenty more. Chemicals, falling debris, and people being hit by construction trucks are also reasons for injury or death. With all of this in mind, it is no wonder that this industry makes up for many OSHA-reported deaths.
Workers in this industry help with the creation and transportation of many different types of materials, not all of which are easy or safe to handle. These workplaces can often be crowded with people and heavy machinery. The same can be said for workers in warehouses.
Manufacturing plants have seen a high risk of amputations due to improper use of equipment or neglecting to turn off these machines. Because these areas are loud, it can also be difficult for some employees to stop using them, even if there are others too close to them. If employees do not adequately care for their machines, they could also face other risks from broken parts or sparks that start fires.
Because some manufacturers also deal with chemicals, coming into contact with this dangerous material is also a possibility. Any hazard should be labeled accordingly, and workers should be given proper safety gear like gloves and face masks. Some workers may think that they are not in harm’s way because the chemicals are sealed up, but one small slip can cause a spill that affects everyone in the area.
Agriculture and Wildlife
These areas are often overlooked, but workers deal with danger each day. Not only are farmers working with heavy machinery and vehicles, but they can face risks from nature and the animals they care for. The wildlife industry faces the same risks, but with the addition of injuries or fatalities that come from traps, they place.
There has been a large number of crashes from tractors recorded for farmers. It accounted for most of the fatalities found within this industry, in fact. One reason was that farmers did not wear seatbelts or proper safety equipment while driving. Even though tractors are not the most speedy vehicles, they can still flip over when faced with an obstacle.
Along with this, workers in both fields can come in contact with hazardous airborne materials, such as pesticides. Without the proper masks, breathing in these substances can lead to respiratory illnesses. Aside from providing masks, supervisors should also ensure that workers are using the masks correctly. Workers should also have gloves and any proper gear when working with animals, as some of them can carry diseases or attack the employee.
Whether a first responder or an employee in a healthcare office, medical workers deal with a wide range of issues while on the clock. As expected, one of the most common problems stems from biohazards, such as bodily fluids. Dealing with sick or infected patients means that workers should always be wearing gloves and masks, as well as regularly sanitizing their hands.
Bloodborne pathogens can also be an issue because of needles. After pricking a patient, needles should be disposed of in a proper disposal bin instead of a random trashcan. Getting pricked by a used needle can lead to diseases, even as bad as HIV. Even clean ones should be handled carefully so that no one gets harmed.
Back strains can also be quite common, especially for nurses and receptionists. Caregivers who have to lift patients may not be doing so with the proper technique and can pull a muscle. Receptionists may be given seating that does not provide proper lumbar support.
A smaller percentage of workers can face violence from patients, visitors, or even colleagues. This can come in the form of threats or physical attacks. Though more difficult to control, supervisors should put in a zero-tolerance policy to protect their employees during these occurrences.
Protecting Yourself on the Job
Even though the aforementioned occupations are considered the most dangerous, they are not the only ones that need to be careful. No matter what field you work in, you and the rest of your colleagues can be at risk of different catastrophes. That is why it is important to stay aware of the different regulations that are required for safe working conditions. Hard Hat Training makes this easy for everyone by providing a one-stop site for an array of OSHA safety training courses.
They provide OSHA courses that focus on specific needs in the workplace, along with more generalized courses. Both online and onsite classes are available, and supervisors can take advantage of them by requiring their team to take them. With the final examinations, these supervisors can deem whether their employee fully understands health and safety needs in the workplace.
All classes provided by Hard Hat Training are regularly updated to meet the most current regulations by OSHA, so you will always get an updated source. The material will not only go over the errors themselves but the best ways to steer clear of them. Along with classes focusing on hazards, Hard Hat Training has ones that prepare workers for emergencies, like CPR and first aid.
While many people dread going to work just because they have to work, they should not dread it because they are scared of getting hurt. Make sure you know how to keep yourself and your team safe by taking any of the training courses from Hard Hat Training. You can see the full range of their classes by going to www.hardhattraining.com.