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Forbes reports on Tesla's high number of OSHA violations

Forbes has reported that out of the top 10 auto plants in the U.S., Tesla has been issued the most OSHA violations between 2014 and 2018. In fact, a total of 54 is an astounding three times the combined number of violations that the other competitors received. Georgia residents may want to know what the factors are in this news.

Tesla happens to hire the most individuals and contractors with a total of 15,000 employees. Only BMW remotely approaches this with 11,000 employees. At the same time, Tesla's production facilities are not located in rural areas as with the other nine auto plants; the company operates out of Fremont, California. The Tesla CEO has claimed that OSHA's California branch is the most stringent in the nation, which may have influenced the trend.

Boosting safety through a standardized lockout-tagout program

Lockout-tagout is an essential part of workplace safety for many businesses in Georgia. Unfortunately, non-compliance with OSHA standards is a consistent issue year after year with many employers failing to use the proper procedures, neglecting their periodic inspections and lacking program documentation. This is why employers will want to consider standardizing their LOTO program.

Several areas can benefit from standardization. The first step is determining the regulatory body that the company is to follow. For companies based in Georgia, that will most likely be OSHA, whereas foreign subsidiaries will follow another. There should be a written policy and program in use across all departments and facilities.

NSC urges employers to address fatigue to improve safety

Workplace cultures that promote long hours and ignore fatigue create unnecessary dangers for employees, according to a report from the National Safety Council. Throughout Georgia and nationwide, poorly rested workers face a heightened risk of workplace injuries. The fatigue report from the council estimated that approximately 13 percent of on-the-job injuries happen because of tired workers. For a large company with 1,000 employees, fatigue-related injuries could translate into $1 million in losses every year due to reduced productivity and more medical expenses.

The NSC encourages employers to manage fatigue by raising awareness of the problem and making rest for workers a priority. Training programs should inform people about the hazards of fatigue, and workplace policies should recognize the scientific realities of the need for sleep.

Constructions' "Fatal Four" cause majority of worker deaths

Today’s construction workers lead dangerous lives, with the very nature of the profession exposing them to numerous areas of potential risk. When construction site supervisors and others on the team fail to prioritize workplace safety, the risks associated with the job become even more pronounced. Sadly, this happens every day across America as busy construction teams race to complete one task before moving on to another.

The construction industry is dangerous enough without workers having to worry about safety lapses on their job sites, with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting that more than 20 percent of all American worker deaths occur in this particular industry. Nearly 60 percent of those construction worker deaths result from what is known as the industry’s “Fatal Four,” which are the four most common causes of construction worker fatalities in the United States. So, what, exactly, are construction’s Fatal Four?

Portable generators expose workers to deadly carbon monoxide

With the winter months forcing more workers in Georgia inside or into partially enclosed spaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reminded employers about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Portable generators, space heaters and any equipment that relies on fuel combustion, like vehicles, pumps or welders, produce carbon monoxide. Insufficient ventilation allows the potentially deadly gas to build up and slowly poison occupants. Every year, some workers die from exposure to the odorless gas, and winter increases the possibility of mishandling equipment in poorly ventilated areas.

Employers should train workers to recognize hazards and symptoms of exposure. When people are exposed to the gas, their symptoms will start as dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, nausea or a tight feeling in the chest. As exposure continues, people could suffer brain damage, fall into a coma and eventually die.

Workplace safety is everyone's business

There may be a variety of issues Georgia employers and employees disagree on, but when it comes to creating and maintaining a safe work environment, everybody is on board. The employer cannot afford the loss of productivity not merely from the injured worker but also from the potential shutdown of the operation until safety is assured. Of course, to the worker, health and safety are paramount, as is a regular paycheck. These interests are so closely aligned that workers compensation was designed as a no-fault system to address a worker injured within the scope of employment without resorting to litigation.

However, it is far better to cooperatively take steps to prevent workplace injury than agree on remedies to address the consequences after the fact. Workplace safety experts agree both the employer and employee have responsibilities in achieving that goal. The primary duty an employer has is to maintain equipment and the premises and offer proper training and education. In some ways, the duties of the employee may be less certain but some are a matter of common sense.

Tips for workplace eye protection

Georgia workers, especially those in construction, know how important eye protection is. states that more than 2,000 people incur on-the-job eye injuries every day with 1 in 10 of these injuries resulting in missed workdays. Between 10 and 20 percent of all work-related injuries end in temporary or permanent vision loss. The following are just some tips for workers wondering if they are protecting their eyes like they should.

Some workers will require anti-glare technology because of the increased screen time that comes with having a technologically sophisticated work site. Longer screen time means glare, which can strain and fatigue the eyes. Other workers, though, will need their anti-glare eyeglasses to have impact protection, especially to protect against flying or falling debris.

Research looks at ways to reduce trucker shoulder injuries

Truck drivers in Georgia who are vulnerable to shoulder injuries may face substantial risks during cranking. This is a relatively common task that involves raising and lowering landing gears. According to researchers from North Carolina State University and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, how the driver stands when cranking a trailer can affect how much strain is placed on shoulder muscles.

Researchers observed 12 male truck drivers. After measuring their shoulder muscle activity and scapular range of motion, they determined that the safest way to crank a trailer up was to stand parallel to it. This is called sagittal cranking, and it allows workers to use their full body strength instead of putting most of the strain on the shoulder. Lowering the trailer involves less resistance, so the best position in this case was to face the trailer and turn the handle in a way that was perpendicular to the rotation.

3 dangers lurking in the classroom for teachers

The importance of education, especially for the young, is paramount to the success of our society. Without teachers, who would teach children how to solve math problems or what the difference is between a noun and a verb? Teaching is a career which many consider due to a general love of helping others.

However, teachers tend to have a high incident of workplace injuries and illnesses. Some may ignore these injuries, leading to lasting problems. Here are three factors at schools that present the highest risk.

Fatal lion attack renews focus on zoo worker safety

Georgia residents may remember that in late December 2018, a lion fatally attacked a 22-year-old intern cleaning one of the enclosures of an animal sanctuary in North Carolina. The state's OSHA office and the federal Department of Agriculture are preparing reports on this incident, which has elsewhere renewed the focus on zoo worker safety.

The duty of property owners to provide a work environment free of preventable hazards is prescribed under OSHA's general duty clause. The North Carolina OSHA office has six months to issue any citations for the breach of this clause. In 2016, OSHA cited an animal park in Oklahoma for allowing workers to be in physical contact with lions and tigers, so something similar may occur with the North Carolina animal sanctuary.

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