Highway officials in Maryland have warned motorists to be vigilant as they travel in work zones. With the large amount of construction and maintenance crews on the roadways, drivers should be on the lookout for orange cones and barrels. While these signs serve to protect employees, their purpose is also to keep drivers and passengers safe.
On a construction site, Maryland workers may need to be aware that there are two types of accidents that may occur. A struck incident occurs when the impact of an object causes injury to a worker, but a caught incident occurs when a worker becomes stuck or crushed between objects and suffers injury.
As Maryland workers may know, exposure to heat may have an effect on a person's health. Employers should inform workers about the problems associated with heat exposure and alert workers to the signs and symptoms. In addition, it is important to know what to do if heat exposure causes health problems and structure a plan to prevent or deal with working in a hot environment.
Fall hazards continue to be a major risk faced by Maryland construction workers. This is especially true on residential work sites where the workers may be framing in a home's walls. While performing this task, workers face the risk that they they could fall from the wall and hurt themselves on the ground below or land on other dangerous items, like tools or pieces of wood. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set out a few guidelines on how construction companies can protect workers and reduce this risk.
Workers in Maryland may have been affected by the loss of sleep after the daylight saving time change on March 8. While many people complain about having less time to sleep before work, research shows that the lost hour of sleep increases the likelihood of workplace injuries. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most workers need a few days to fully adjust to the time change.
Maryland employees may be interested in some information about one of the more common workplace injuries on construction sites: nail gun injuries. One government safety agency shows that these injuries may be preventable when the appropriate safety measures are taken.
As many Maryland workers know, on Feb. 18, two governmental agencies issued an alert concerning crystalline silica exposure. This follows the release of international reports showing the cumulative effects of such exposure.
Many Maryland workers may be subject to potential injuries caused over time by exposure to vibration in the workplace. Jackhammers, grinders, pneumatic wrenches, saws, sanders, heavy construction equipment and dental tools are all sources of high-rate vibration. Depending on how and where the vibration is focused in the body, the type of vibration is categorized as hand-arm vibration or whole-body vibration. The former can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, while whole-body vibration is a leading cause of lower back pain.
The work environment in Maryland as well as across the country has been changing, gradually allowing an increasing number of workers to work at least part time from their home. What people may not know, however, is that in some cases telecommuters may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits even if they are working at home when they suffer an injury.
All employees have the right to expect their employers to provide a safe working environment for them to perform their work responsibilities. Depending on the type of work involved, some employees could be at risk of a workplace injury, particularly if there are certain occupational hazards. Some injuries may occur suddenly such as from a fall. Others, however, may develop gradually over time. For example, the repeated exposure to loud sounds during work hours could cause hearing loss before an employee is even aware of the damage.