Ohio employees may be interested to learn that the number of federal safety inspectors has fallen under the Trump Administration. Since Trump took office, 40 inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been lost through attrition. As of Oct. 2, 2017, no hires were made to replace the lost inspectors. By early October 2017, the lost inspectors made up 4 percent of the total inspection workforce.
Ohio has a strong coal mining industry. Workers in that field might not know that in 2017, coal mining deaths nearly doubled around the country compared to the previous year. In 2016, there were eight deaths. That went up to 15 last year.West Virginia had the highest number of deaths with eight. There were two in Kentucky, and the states of Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Pennsylvania had one each. Hauling vehicles were most frequently involved in these deaths followed by machinery. At a West Virginia mine in 2010, 29 workers died after an explosion, but none of the 2017 deaths were attributable to such an accident.
Ohio workers who have to routinely work outside may find it necessary to remove snow during the winter months. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided helpful advice regarding how to avoid hazards that may arise during snow removal.
Ohio workers may be disheartened to read the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report. The report states that workers aged 55 or older died at a rate that was 9.9 percent higher in 2016 compared to 2015. Higher death rates were also reported for African-American and Asian workers. Overall, the workplace fatality rate increased 7 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.
Whether in Ohio or other parts of America, the meat and poultry industry is known for having some of the highest injury rates among employees. From increasing line speeds to hazardous chemicals to employees being denied the proper number of bathroom breaks, there are several safety concerns that have yet to be adequately addressed.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's annual Top 10 Violations List has been released for the fiscal year 2017, and workers in Ohio and other states may want to know more. Largely unchanged from the previous year, the list includes the addition of citations regarding fall protection training violations. For the sixth time in as many years, violations under fall protection-general requirements topped the list.
People in Ohio who work with electricity must be sure to wear person protective gear. Every year, about 2,000 people around the country end up in the hospital as a result of arc flash injuries, and around 400 of those people die from infection or burns.
Many Ohio residents work in the construction industry, which carries significant hazards. Falls are the top cause of work-related injuries and fatalities at construction sites. Because of the dangers that are presented by falls, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is focused on safety measures that can help to prevent them.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers in Ohio and around the country to maintain safe work environments. The death of a 33-year-old man in a warehouse illustrates the consequences of failing to observe safety regulations. The employee fell 7 feet from a wooden pallet raised by a forklift. He died a short time later at a hospital.
Ohio construction workers are often required to work around heavy or dangerous materials, especially if their work involves repairing the infrastructure. However, a water pipe repair method that was traditionally believed to be safe may actually involve hazardous chemicals.