Construction workers in San Antonio and across Texas face an endless list of safety hazards, many of which are life-threatening. Safety authorities say some of the most significant workplace accidents involve bulldozers, cranes, front loaders, excavators, dump trucks and other heavy equipment. It is not only the operators that risk severe injuries, but also those who work around these massive machines.
Forklifts are widely used in many companies throughout Texas and around the country. Whether in manufacturing areas or warehousing units, the machines are invaluable when workers need to lift and move heavy materials. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are inevitable when using forklifts. While most of these incidents involve damaged goods or minor injuries, some can take a deadly turn. A recent accident claimed the life of an employee as he was performing maintenance on a forklift at a plant in another state.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration received complaints about lead exposure at a gun range in Texas. The agency endeavors to prevent workplace accidents and injuries or illnesses, and it launched the National Emphasis Program on Lead to address excessive exposure in workplaces. Employers must monitor and address workplace hazards that could threaten the safety and health of employees.
Texas workers have right to work in an environment that is reasonably safe, no matter what type of job they have or industry they work in. When employers fail in their responsibility to keep workers safe by enforcing safety measures, provide training and take other steps, it can lead to a higher chance of workplace accidents and other types of harm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a Texas contractor $422,006 for various safety violations.
A recent report published by the National Fire Protection Association found that construction workers under contract are those most commonly affected by accidental death by electrocution. The report uses data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to analyze the frequency of fatal electrical injuries of contract workers.
The unsafe work environments in the meat industry, particularly poultry processing plants, have been frequent subjects of discussion. A recent report indicated that U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro urged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch an investigation into allegations of unsafe conditions for workers at a poultry plant in the Texas city of Bryan. This followed a media report in November about workers who are denied bathroom breaks.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently reminded employers in the oil and gas industry nationwide, including Texas, about the potential consequences of diesel exhaust exposure. Along with the health problems posed by the diesel particulate matter (DPM) contents of the diesel exhaust fumes come the risks of workplace accidents. The short-term effects of such exposure could be distractive enough to jeopardize the abilities of workers involved in tasks that require precision.
Employers in Texas and throughout the country are expected to provide safe environments for their workers at their job sites. Government and industry standards are often rigorous, depending on the type of business. Unfortunately, even with these standards, workplace accidents still routinely occur. To better understand the types and frequencies of accidents and how to prevent them, a section about the workplace has been added to the database of injury facts published by the National Safety Council.
Workers on the Texas oil fields might not realize that more than 40 percent fatalities in the oil and gas industry involve motor vehicle accidents. These workers face an endless list of hazards that cause workplace accidents. However, safety authorities say drivers in the oil industry are vulnerable because of the long distances they travel, and their extended work shifts might lead to insufficient sleep and driver fatigue.
Workers in the petrochemical and the oil and gas industries in Texas are typically exposed to multiple safety hazards. Employers must inform employees of all the risks they will face, and although potential workplace accidents involving physical injuries might be covered in safety talks and training, chemical hazards do not always receive the deserved attention. Chemicals can enter workers' bodies in several different ways, and only if they understand the possible routes of entry can they protect themselves.