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OSHA updates guidelines for assessing workplace hazards

Changes have been sweeping across the workplace, including the integration of computers, robotics and other technology; a transition from a manufacturing to a service base; the rise of the gig economy; and a more diverse workforce. To respond to these changes, OSHA has updated the publication "Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs", which should be of interest to employers in Georgia.

BLS releases sobering workplace fatality figures

Workplace fatalities in Georgia and around the country increased by a worrying 7 percent in 2016 according to the latest Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of workers killed in on-the-job accidents has now risen for three consecutive years, and the total death toll in 2016 was the highest in almost a decade according to the federal watchdog.

New data reveals serious safety risks in U.S. meat plants

According to data, meat plant workers in the U.S. are three times as likely to suffer serious injuries as workers in other industries. In addition, beef and pork workers are seven times as likely to suffer repetitive strain injuries. Meat plant workers and employers in Georgia should be concerned about these trends, especially when there are plans to remove line speed regulations in the industry.

Tips to get employees to use PPE

It can be difficult to get Georgia employees to use their personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job. This is often true even when the clothing fits well and is relatively stylish. However, employers may be able to get their workers to wear protective clothing by explaining what it is and how to wear it properly. In some cases, employees may not even think to use PPE because of a lack of training.

Heat can put workers' lives at risk

Workers in Georgia may find that heat stress can have significant effects on their safety and well-being. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not have formal federal regulations regarding heat stress on the job, it engages in an ongoing awareness campaign, especially in the summer, to help reduce the number of workplace injuries and illnesses attributed to the effects of heat. Overly hot working conditions can be extremely detrimental to workers' health, and it remains a major problem. Even in California that regulates outdoor heat stress, these rules are some of those most often violated.

Avoiding falls and improving workplace safety

Workplace safety is a major concern for all Georgia employees. While safety concerns in industries like construction may be more obvious, workplace injuries in offices and cars can also lead to significant damages, lost wages and rising medical bills. For example, slips, trips and falls cause many on-the-job injuries. In 2014, 660 workers lost their lives after falling from heights while another 138 workers died from same-level falls.

Sanitation workers have dangerous jobs

Many sanitation workers in Georgia face ongoing threats to their health and safety on a daily basis on the job. In fact, working in sanitation, on a garbage truck or a recycling collection vehicle can be one of the country's most dangerous jobs. Injuries and accidents are common, and these can often be fatal; 2018 dawned with the death of seven sanitation workers in the first 10 days of the year due to workplace accidents.

CDC notes rise in insect-borne illness among outdoor workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report that should be of interest to residents of Georgia who make a living by working outdoors. The CDC observes that the number of cases in the U.S. that involve insect-borne diseases (diseases caused by mosquito, tick or flea bites) has tripled from 2004 to 2016.

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