We have previously discussed just how hazardous exposure to toxic substances in the workplace can be. Exposure to toxic substances without proper protection can cause workers injury, severe illness and even death. As a result, it is critical that employers and workers are given access to resources that will better ensure prevention of harmful toxic exposure on the job. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is helping to provide necessary access to such resources.
We have previously discussed the fact that construction is one of the most dangerous American occupations. Construction workers complete astounding, necessary work on a daily basis, all while understanding that they are at a higher risk of injury and death on the job than most other workers. There are numerous occupational hazards that threaten the safety of all construction workers in New York. However, one group of workers is far more likely to be involved in fatal construction accidents than others and this reality needs to change immediately.
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For more than 100 years, the federal government has recognized the necessity of enforcing minimum safety training standards in hazardous industries. Before the government regulated safety training standards, workers died at far higher rates than they do now. Unfortunately, even strict government oversight has not eliminated workplace injury and work-related fatalities from the American experience.
There is little point in providing protective gear to construction workers if they do not use it. Especially when it comes to preventing fall injuries, it is critical that workers actually use their gear consistently and properly. However, many workers fail to use this gear because they believe that it slows down their productivity. Even more disturbing is the fact that some employers fail to outfit their workers with protective gear for the same reason.