The AFL-CIO has published a report called, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," as part of its effort to get employers and employees in South Carolina and across the U.S. thinking once again about workplace fatalities. In 2017, there were 5,147 workplace fatalities: less than the 5,190 reported in 2016 but more than the 4,836 reported in 2015.
A group called the Center for Progressive Reform, or CPR, is pushing for reforms that would result in workplaces free from toxic chemicals. In a recently released report, the group claims that there is overwhelming evidence that workers in South Carolina and elsewhere are harmed by these substances. It says lobbying efforts have created hurdles that regulators have had trouble overcoming in the quest to create safer workplaces.
For South Carolina employers that need to ensure an electrically safe workplace, NFPA 70E is important. This standard was developed at OSHA's request as a way to balance the organization's top-down approach with efforts coming from private industries themselves. Looking at NFPA 70E as more than a collection of rules and procedures can help employers really improve safety.
Both employees and employers in South Carolina can be affected by workplace injuries. To emphasize this fact, a leading insurance company has come up with an annual list of the top causes of serious work-related injuries. "Serious" injuries were defined as those that caused an employee to miss five or more days of work. Injuries were also categorized by direct costs to employers and by key industries.
South Carolina agricultural workers could be experiencing elevated whole-body vibration levels while operating farm machinery, according to a recent study funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Iowa, has been recently published in the journal Annals of Work Exposures and Health.
The Tesla production facility in Fremont, California, received a total of 54 OSHA violations between 2014 and 2018, according to Forbes. This accounts for 75 percent of all the OSHA violations in that period among the nation's top 10 auto plants. South Carolina residents may wonder why this is so.
Employers in South Carolina know that lockout-tagout procedures are necessary on job sites where dangerous machinery or hazardous energy sources are present. Compliance with lockout-tagout has consistently appeared on OSHA's list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards, which means that employers need to do a lot more in this area to ensure the safety of their workers.
Workers and employers in South Carolina may be interested to learn that about 13 percent of work-related injuries can be attributed to sleep issues. The National Safety Council also estimates that the economic impact of these injuries results in a loss of $400 billion. Employers who have at least 1,000 workers could sustain a loss in excess of $1 million every year due to people missing workdays, rising health care costs resulting from worker fatigue and lower productivity.
More than 2,000 workers in South Carolina and throughout the country experience an eye injury each day. About 10 percent of these injuries require a worker to spend time away from the job recovering. Furthermore, at least 10 percent of injuries will cause either permanent or temporary blindness or other vision loss. There are steps that workers can take to prevent or minimize the chances of getting an eye injury at work.
In 2016, 417 workers in the agricultural industry lost their lives at work. Furthermore, there are roughly 100 injuries per day to workers in this sector in South Carolina and throughout the country. That is according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Accidents are most likely to happen during times when workers are rushing to get a job done or during an emergency such as tending to a sick animal.