Warm weather can have an impact on workers who spend time both inside and outside. Therefore, employers in Florida and elsewhere need to create a plan to help keep those workers safe. There should also be a plan in case an employee develops heat stroke or is otherwise harmed by exposure to heat and humidity. The plan should be tailored to the type of work employees do and other needs that they may have.
Plant workers in Florida and throughout the country can face many dangers from portable tools, shears and other equipment. For instance, they could get their hands or clothes caught in moving parts, which could result in losing fingers or experiencing other injuries. They could also be hurt by sparks, nip points or other hazards associated with using a machine. Therefore, employers are required by OSHA to use at least one machine guard.
Workplace injuries in Florida can be caused by a wide range of issues, from slip-and-fall accidents and repetitive strain injuries to toxic chemical exposure on the job. One guide aims to protect workers by informing them about potentially dangerous chemicals that may be found in the workplace. Some advocacy groups say that regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are not doing enough to protect workers from toxic exposure. They say that industries help to hold back regulations that could protect workers' health and safety.
Anyone working in the construction industry in Florida or any other state is involved with a profession that presents inherent risks. In fact, construction employees are five times more likely to be fatally injured on the job than other workers. It's because of the potentially dangerous nature of this profession that artificial intelligence (AI) technology is being increasingly used to minimize workplace hazards.
There are over 700,000 eye injuries that occur on the job each year. However, there are ways that workers in Florida and throughout the country can keep their eyesight intact. For instance, it is good to keep exposure to blue light to a minimum as it can help workers avoid digital eyestrain syndrome. This is a condition that is common among those who use a computer or similar device for several hours each day.
Construction workers in Florida may be exposed to particularly high levels of silica dust when chipping and crushing concrete and other materials. In some cases, the level of exposure could rise to over 10 times the permitted amount according to federal OSHA workplace safety regulations, one study indicates. Researchers collected samples from the breathing zones of 51 workers at demolition, bridge repair and crushing job sites in the construction industry. They also collected 33 samples from nearby areas to measure the distribution of silica dust particles in the surrounding environment.
Florida construction workers may be worried about their safety on the job, especially if they work as contractors rather than employees of the construction firm leading the project. This is particularly true for workers dealing with electricity. One study by the National Fire Protection Association found that 13 percent of all deaths by electrocution were suffered by contract workers. Contract workers are employed by another firm but brought in to participate in a project as subcontractors, or they operate as self-employed independent contractors. Contract workers have always been a part of the construction industry, but their employment in this area has become more common in recent years.
In Florida and across the United States, the holiday shopping season puts many pressures on retail workers. At a time when the unemployment rate is at historic low levels, many retail employers respond to the increased business activity by offering workers overtime pay and bonuses in exchange for longer hours and increased productivity, two factors that result in greater stress.
Florida employees in a number of different industries may increasingly find themselves working alongside robots. As the use of robots in the workplace grows, so does the likelihood that humans may be injured as a result of working with them. Robots have actually been in the workplace for longer than many people may realize. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration created its first safety guidelines for working with robotics in 1987.
OHSA says that it will focus more on enforcing regulations related to trenching and excavation. This is according to a recent update to its National Emphasis Program (NEP). Between 2011 and 2016, 130 workers died while doing this type of work. Of those deaths, 80 percent came from workers in the private sector. Almost half of those deaths occurred between 2015 and 2016 alone, according to OSHA. Florida employers and others will receive guidance from OSHA in complying with the standard.