Not many people walk around throughout their day with a risk assessment in hand. We should, however, always have an informal risk assessment tool in our mind that allows us to perform at least a cursory assessment until we can dig deeper or in a more formal way.
In OSHA’s 48-year-old history, the agency has experienced desperate hours on a regular schedule. The agency opened its door in 1971. Before the decade was out a “STOP OSHA” lobbying movement was underway. In 1979, Republican Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania proposed an “OSHA Improvements Act” which would have exempted from inspections all employers, large or small, regardless of industry, with good safety records. It was defeated in 1980.
Hearing loss isn’t the first injury that comes to mind when an arc fault occurs. The light and heat emitted by the massive electrical explosion – the arc flash – can cause life-threatening and life-altering burns to the skin, compression injuries and loss of limbs if workers are left unprotected.
Driving while fatigued can be a common occurrence for long-haul truck drivers, and studies have shown it can be as problematic as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet almost a third of people in a AAA survey said at least once in the prior month they had driven while so tired that they could barely keep their eyes open.
Mobile elevated work platforms, such as boom and scissor lifts, are powerful, durable and useful machines that help workers perform a wide range of tasks at height. Training on the safe use of these machines is crucial to decrease the risk of injuries, property damage, liability on the worksite.
In 2017, 5,147 workers in the U.S. were killed on the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, down slightly from 5.190 in 2016. The fatal injury rate in 2017 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time employees. Three or four people out of 100,000. Not close to one percent. Meaning most everyone escapes being touched by a work-related death.
Last month in Seattle the National Safety Council's Campbell Institute held a conference where one of the major topics was, "Fatigue: Managing the Hidden Risk." My question: What's so "hidden" about fatigue? Everyone you talk to in today's 24/7 wired world is fatigued, tired, beat. Just ask them.