Californians who work in trenches or excavations face a high risk of being injured. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, two workers were killed every month in 2011 as a result of trench collapses. Unfortunately, this statistic that has not improved since that time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the number of deaths caused by trenches or excavations in 2016 nearly twice the average of the previous five years.
Despite the efforts of national organizations year after year to improve eye protection safety among workers, the number of eye injuries never seems to go down. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that every year, more than 20,000 workers in California and across the U.S. suffer an eye injury. Approximately40 percent of serious injuries take place in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries where flying particles, caustic liquids and toxic gases are a threat.
Some California employees and employers may have misread a regulation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that deals with fall protection. Many people believe that an anchor point must be able to support 5,000 pounds per person or it is useless. However, this is not exactly what the regulation states.
Strong enforcement of regulations for workplace safety is one of the most effective things the government can do to protect employees in California and across the United States, according to the former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protection, he said programs that focus on voluntary employer compliance and participation produce only limited benefits for workers' safety in comparison to enforcement.
Tree care workers and business owners in California will want to know about a new OSHA document that addresses five major hazards in their industry. The two-page document, which was published in early February, lays out risk factors, gives employers tips on how to mitigate hazards and provides other resources.