More than 70,000 workers each year suffer a shoulder injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of those victims may be hardworking New Jersey truck drivers. Landing gear cranking, a common task for truckers, can lead to shoulder ailments. However, research published Oct. 3 in the journal Applied Ergonomics offers cranking techniques that could help truckers stay injury-free while lifting and lowering trailers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released its 2018 list of the most frequent workplace safety violations. The list, which covers the fiscal year from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, includes recorded violations from a number of different industry segments in New Jersey and across the country. In the printing industry, the most common violations were hazard communication failures, lockout/tag-out procedure failures and machine guard violations.
Laws creating standards for worker safety were at one time non-existent in the U.S. Beginning in the closing years of the 19th century a handful of states began establishing protections for certain workers in specific industries, and the first federal laws addressing the subject were passed in the early 20th century. But it was not until 1970 that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted with a stated goal of improving workplace safety and health for all workers in New Jersey and across America. Despite OSHA's immersion in every sector of the workplace, some disturbing safety statistics are being reported.
Winter can bring high winds, snow and freezing rain to New Jersey. Many workplaces have to deal with the results by clearing snow and ice from parking lots, sidewalks and roofs. Before employers send workers out to tackle the wintry mess, they have a duty to ensure that staff members understand safety procedures and have appropriate personal protective gear and well-maintained machinery.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding retail employers throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country to be proactive about keeping workers safe during the holidays. The reason for the reminder is because of the flood of customers that can create added stress for both permanent and seasonal employees who routinely stock, pack, deliver and sell various products. This is also the time of year when workers tend to put in extra time on the clock to accommodate extended store hours and increased customer traffic.
The following are just five tips that construction site owners and managers in New Jersey can consider when preparing for winter. This way, they can prevent employees from being injured on the job. The first step is to inspect the premises for any potholes or uneven surfaces. Any fluids in work equipment should be replaced if they are not rated for the area's low temperatures.
OSHA instituted a National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation safety that went into effect on Oct. 1. Employers in New Jersey, especially those in the private construction industry, should be aware of the changes that will come with the NEP.
For construction workers in New Jersey, excavations can be particularly dangerous. Workplace injuries and even fatalities linked to excavations and trench-digging have been rising throughout the nation. In response to the concerns about dangerous workplace environments, OSHA has refreshed its National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation. The 2018 update replaces an earlier instruction written over 30 years earlier in 1985.
Many workers in New Jersey face a high occupational risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Centers for Disease Control has released a report identifying jobs associated with the highest risk of developing CTS.
The Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General released an audit report in September stating that OSHA has not been doing enough to keep track of serious and fatal workplace injuries. This is despite the fact that the safety organization had made changes to its injury and illness recordkeeping rule, which went into effect in January 2015. Employees and employers in New Jersey will want to know more about the report and how OSHA has responded.