For construction workers in West Virginia, workplace accidents and injuries can be all too common. However, the Associated Builders and Contractors argue that by taking measures to evaluate and improve safety, employers can make their job sites up to 670 percent safer than the average. Taking these steps can also reduce safety incidents by 85 percent. There is a variety of safety measures recommended by ABC, such as substance abuse counseling and treatment programs, thorough orientation and training and site-specific guidance.
Wheat, corn, barley and oats served in West Virginia must go through processing and transport to reach consumers. The large facilities that store and process grain present significant risks to workers, and industry leaders are working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promote safety. A primary risk to workers involves grain engulfment, which buries people in fast moving grain and quickly suffocates them.
While many people in West Virginia associate workplace injuries only with the heavy physical labor in industries like construction and mining, people working in any type of job can sustain illnesses and injuries linked to their workplace. For example, up to one-third of all radiologists working in the United States have reported that workplace injuries have caused back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. Radiologists surveyed by the American College of Radiology indicated a number of common medical problems resulting from conditions on the job.
West Virginia employees whose workplaces are noisy have an increased risk of developing heart disease. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a noisy workplace is linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, two of the primary risk factors for heart disease.
For workers in West Virginia who are employed in jobs where silica exposure is a possibility, it's important to take special safety precautions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued rules for silica exposure as well as a fact sheet that seeks to guide employers into compliance with these standards. OSHA has put in place a mandate for employers to provide protection against silica exposure by offering training, establishing plans to deal with exposure and thoroughly assessing the potential for exposure.
West Virginia residents are no stranger to the hazards of snow removal. Something as fundamental as one's posture when lifting a load of snow can spell the difference between a tolerable winter and one spent in the hospital. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided some safety tips for everyone who works in the snow removal industry.
The Government Accountability Office has released a report analyzing the ways that OSHA, together with the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, has been addressing safety concerns in the meat and poultry industry. West Virginia workers in this industry are probably aware of the dangers, which can include exposure to hazardous chemicals and fatigue from increased line speeds. Many are even denied the proper number of bathroom breaks.
West Virginia workers and others who work outside in the cold could suffer serious injuries from prolonged exposure to the elements. It may be possible to get frostbite or hypothermia from being outside for too long. As a general rule, a worker should spend 15 minutes indoors for every hour spent working outside. In addition to the actual air temperature, wind speed and moisture levels may also play a role in making outdoor work dangerous for an individual.
Some of the most common safety violations that West Virginia employees see in the workplace are related to fall protection. This is according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has released a list of the 10 most common workplace safety violations that occurred from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.
Employers in West Virginia have an obligation to inform their employees about workplace hazards and safety procedures. To ensure successful communication, safety trainers should understand the demographics of their audience. Workplaces today increasingly employ up to four different generations of people.