The subject of comprehensive immigration reform is a contentious one. But no matter what your opinion is regarding the immigration status of individuals currently within U.S. borders, certainly all Americans can agree that all workers deserve to remain safe on the job. Unfortunately, experts indicate that vulnerable populations including migrant and temporary employees suffer higher rates of workplace accidents than others tend to.
Cuts and scrapes heal with time. But not every injury and illness resolves itself as quickly as these minor examples. When employees become victims of workplace accidents, the resulting damage can affect them for the rest of their lives.
When healthcare workers are exposed to hazardous or otherwise stressful conditions at work, both workers and patients may potentially suffer significant consequences. Unfortunately, a recently released report indicates that rising rates of medical personnel injured at work, increasingly stressful working environments and other dangerous factors are becoming the norm within the medical community.
A previously unsuccessful federal workplace safety bill is being granted another chance at passage. Democratic representatives from California and Connecticut have reintroduced H.R. 691 entitled the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act. The bill's enactment would help to ensure that the rate of factory worker injuries in certain industries drops by preventing explosions resulting from combustible dust.
We frequently discuss the work-related hazards that employees of the construction industry face on a regular basis. Construction, like the forestry, fishing and trucking industries is inherently dangerous. However, work-related injuries and illnesses can occur in every American industry. For example, medical personnel are at greater risk for needle-stick injuries and falls, while office workers suffer significant rates of repetitive stress injuries.
The promise of healthy and capable workers should be enough to inspire employers to keep their workplaces safe. However, employers who need additional incentives to prevent workplace accidents need look no further than a recent study published in the Journal of Safety Research. National Safety Council (NSC) researchers have concluded that safe workplaces for employees may lead to increased customer satisfaction and a spike in customer loyalty rates.
Whether you work in a factory or an office, a medical care facility or in a sports arena, a grocery store or a courthouse, you are at risk for work-related injuries. In addition to slip and fall injuries, workers across the board are most broadly vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries. Unless your job is particularly dynamic and does not involve any lifting, typing or repetitive motions, you are at risk.
On Oct. 1 of last year, two Town of Amherst workers were taking down a banner above Main Street in Williamsville. They were standing on the platform of an elevated platform truck on that ordinary Monday morning when the top of a semi-trailer struck the boom and both men were ejected and flung to the pavement 20 feet below.
The days of the long holiday season that involve a great amount of gift giving are behind us. Now Americans are flocking to malls, grocery stores and large retail outlets in order to exchange gifts, restock the pantry and purchase other things on their wish lists with gift cards. Employees at these large retailers now have their hands full helping customers navigate return policies and restocking the shelves after the holiday rush.
The winter season and the cold and wet weather that accompany it often brings an increase in slips, trips, and falls, especially in New York. Many of these, if severe enough end with a visit to the hospital or emergency room. It is however, not expected that those treating the injured will themselves experience a slip, trip, or fall on the way to lending a helping hand.