The restaurant industry is one of the largest types of business operations in the United States. There are nearly 15 million Americans that are employed in the industry. Companies that operate in this sector generate more than $1 trillion in annual revenue. Although the restaurant industry is lucrative, it's a dangerous line of work for individuals to be employed in.
There are toxins such as motor vehicle engine exhaust or industrial waste that we all have to contend with regularly as we go about our days here in Toms River. The exposure to toxins doesn't end there for many individual though. Countless New Jersey residents find themselves having to deal with toxic exposure in the workplace as well. There are certain industries where this is more common than others.
Lab workers in New Jersey, as elsewhere, are protected under OSHA's Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories Standards, otherwise known as the Laboratory Standard. Of course, whether employers fulfill this standard is another matter. Below are just a few of the steps that employers are supposed to take to protect their lab workers.
New Jersey residents who work in construction are probably aware that they run a huge risk of being injured or killed in a fall. Fall protection guidelines are the most frequently violated of all OSHA guidelines. Fatal falls account for some 15% of all worker deaths, including 33% of all construction worker deaths. OSHA and three other government agencies have created a three-step plan for preventing falls.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that there were 5,250 work-related fatalities in 2018: a 2% rise from the previous year's total of 5,147. Residents of New Jersey should know that the truck drivers and sales workers saw the highest number of fatalities with 40% of all work-related incidents being transportation incidents.
New Jersey warehouse workers may face serious dangers on the job. While brick-and-mortar retail may face challenges, the warehouse sector continues to grow, change and expand. One company, Amazon, runs over 150 million square feet of warehouses internationally, and it has been criticized for health and safety practices. However, Amazon is not alone. As more companies focus on shipping and fulfilling digital orders, warehouses are becoming central to the e-commerce economy. At the same time that warehouses are central to successful online sales, they are also being targeted for technical changes themselves. Workers interact with more robots, computers and tracking devices throughout their shifts in a warehouse or fulfillment center.
Burnout is something that many workers in New Jersey suffer from without even knowing it. Now, however, the World Health Organization has formally defined the condition as something diagnosable. Within its occupational context, burnout is a syndrome caused by work-related stress and characterized by exhaustion, an increasing mental distance from one's job and a reduced ability to carry out that job in a professional manner.
New Jersey workers or others who are hurt on the job may be entitled to medical and other benefits. Generally speaking, employees will have to initially seek care from a company doctor. However, they can usually seek the care of their own doctor 30 days after submitting a written request. In some cases, individuals who are seeking treatment for a workplace injury can get reimbursed for the miles driven to and from a medical facility.
According to an American Journal of Industrial Medicine report, roughly 61% of people who work in the gas and oil extraction or mining industries are exposed to noise levels at work that rise to the level of hazardous. There are also chemicals used in those industries that can increase the risk of hearing loss. When individuals in New Jersey suffer hearing loss or other on-the-job injuries, they may be entitled to recovery through the state's workers' compensation system.
Employers in New Jersey received clear guidance from an appeals court decision regarding the Respiratory Protection Standard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal court ruled that employers need to measure and evaluate all respiratory hazards to determine the necessity of respirator use among workers. The results of the air evaluation must also direct the selection of respirator type to ensure proper protection.