South Carolina workers have the right to a safe workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. they also have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration if they believe there are serious hazards in the workplace or if they suspect OSHA standards are not being met.
Some workplaces in South Carolina and throughout the country may shift to a greater focus on preventing serious injuries and fatalities, also known as SIF programs. These programs move the focus away from the traditional approach of waiting for an accident to occur and then addressing the problem. They recognize that near-miss accidents can be warnings of more serious injuries or fatalities to come, and addressing the conditions that led to those near-misses can help prevent the accidents. A near-miss incident such as a worker nearly falling from heights might not be the type of event that must be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but it can provide critical information about workplace safety.
Composting workers in South Carolina and across the United States have some safety tips to consider on the job. The Solid Waste Association of North America has published a safety guide for composting operations employees as part of their "Five to Stay Alive" program, which seeks to address some common workplace dangers.
When safety takes a backseat to productivity, South Carolina workers often end up paying the price for their employers' profits. Data shows that manufacturing fatalities are trending up after falling since 2008. U.S. Department of Labor figures have revealed that approximately 4 percent of manufacturing workers are either injured on the job or contract an occupational disease each year.
Many South Carolina teens decide to get a job over the summer as a way to stay busy and earn some fun money while school is out. However, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that younger workers are particularly at risk for suffering workplace injuries.
South Carolina workers who routinely use stepladders to perform their job duties should be aware of how to remain safe while using them. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety has provided some advice regarding the proper use of this type of equipment.
South Carolina residents who work on farms that have grain silos may be interested to learn that, according to an annual survey from Purdue University, grain entrapment cases and fatalities increased in 2016. Grain entrapment incidents occur when a worker is lowered into a grain silo to knock loose grain. If the grain falls on the workers, they could become entrapped and crushed to death.
Every year, eye injuries that occur in the workplace cost more than $300 million in treatment, decreased productivity and compensation. This is not surprising since there are about 2,000 workers who require medical treatments for eye injuries every day. However, about 90 percent of these injuries could be avoided if workers wear the appropriate eye protection.
South Carolina business owners who operate from their own warehouses and need contractors to come on site to conduct work should make sure that their sites are safe. There are several things they can do to accomplish this.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a hazard alert regarding scissor lift safety that employees in South Carolina may want to bear in mind. OSHA warns that a number of workers who were involved in a variety of unrelated incidents have suffered injury or death when working with or in the vicinity of scissor lifts.