The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, after vehicle accidents, falls and confined spaces result in most workplace fatalities nationwide, including Arizona. With the rapid advancement in drone technology, many of the life-threatening risks are eliminated, along with workers' compensation claims. The Insurance Journal's 2018 numbers show that the Federal Aviation Administration has 277,000 registered commercial drones on its books.
Record-breaking temperatures across the western United States during the recent heatwave put the lives of many outdoor workers at risk, including Arizona. Landscapers are particularly vulnerable because of the nature of their work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines to help employers to ensure that outdoor workers are protected. The agency's message is based on three words -- water, rest and shade.
Some of the hazards employees in various industries in Arizona face are hidden. If workers are not aware of all the workplace injuries that threaten their safety, they could suffer long-term, life-changing health consequences. One such danger involves hearing loss that could be caused by exposure to certain chemicals. The chemicals can also cause balance problems, and these risks exist even in conditions that do not involve exposure to excessive noise.
Working in electrical vaults poses all the usual confined space hazards along with multiple electrical risks. The Arizona Public Services Co launched an investigation after an electrician recently succumbed to fatal workplace injuries while working in such a confined space. A second worker suffered severe burn injuries in the same incident.
Employers in Arizona and across the country must protect the health and safety of their employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards, and whenever workers suffer severe workplace injuries, or if lives are lost, investigators will assess the employer's compliance with those regulations. If safety violations led to the injuries or fatalities, citations may be issued, and fines will be proposed.
Workers in Arizona might fear that automation, artificial intelligence and robots in their workplaces will make their jobs obsolete. Technology and innovation have brought burger-flipping robots, stock pickers in warehouses and fulfillment centers, assembly line workers and more. However, authorities say robots are employment creators rather than job killers, and with them doing the mundane and often dangerous jobs, many workplace injuries can be prevented.
Summer is here, and thousands of young Arizona workers start their first jobs or fill temp spots in summer jobs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds employers of their responsibilities to provide safe work environments. It is crucial for young workers to receive safety training and learn about the recognition and mitigation of safety hazards. Employers must also inform new workers of their rights to workers' compensation benefits.
Safety authorities expressed concern over the results of recently updated preventable death statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest numbers represent unintended deaths that occurred nationwide, including Arizona, in 2017, showing an increase of more than 5% on the previous year. The statistics are broken down in categories to indicate causes, and although it represents work-related and other preventable deaths, every one of the top 10 reasons could be deaths caused by workplace injuries.
While workers in all industries in Arizona face safety risks every day, each occupation also has its unique hazards. For example, landscapers are not only exposed to environmental hazards like weather conditions, insect bites and dangerous chemicals, but also power tools like chainsaws. The tools are inherently dangerous, and a lack of adequate safety training can result in serious injuries that might include severe lacerations and even amputations.
Commercial truck drivers nationwide, including Arizona, might not realize that their occupation has one of the highest injury and fatality rates among all jobs. Workplace injuries are best prevented by a trucker's ability to recognize fatigue. Tired drivers become inattentive, and that leads to errors that could have devastating consequences. Frequent breaks are crucial, during which time, the driver should get out of the truck and walk around to stretch the muscles.