Maryland employers are reminded to think more about electrical safety every year during National Electrical Safety Month. Each May, the Electrical Safety Foundation International promotes awareness about electrical dangers through a nationwide campaign. Communities, schools, organizations and employers are reminded to stay safe around electricity with outreach materials that are provided by the ESFI.
In a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, researchers state that traumatic brain injuries are more common for construction workers than for people in any other U.S occupation. Researchers came to their conclusions based on data recently made available by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau workers' compensation fraud is almost $7.2 million per year. Therefore, insurance companies are looking to take steps to prevent fraud before it happens. Two tactics that insurance companies may use in the future are social media and surveillance of a claimant. While there may be higher upfront costs related to monitoring someone who may be committing fraud, it could cut down on costs later on.
In many instances, workplace injuries suffered by Maryland residents can be tied directly to their job. Proving other injuries, however, could be linked to the workplace or to a worker's private life.
Construction cranes are used in Maryland and throughout the country when construction workers have to scale skyscrapers and other large buildings. While cranes can make a construction worker's job easier, they can also be dangerous. Therefore, it is important that these machines are systematically inspected and construction workers are thoroughly trained before using them.
Maryland workers who deal with hazardous materials at their jobsshould wear respiratory protection. In 2012, 110 people died due to exposure to hazardous substances at work, and lost work days appeared in over 15,000 cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking at ways to encourage compliance with respiratory protection.
Many workers in Maryland are exposed to hazardous noise levels when they are on the job. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about 22 million workers in the United States are affected by hazardous noise. Over time, exposure to high noise levels can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
Hazardous energy is present in many workplace environments in Maryland and across the country. Several million workers routinely deal with hazardous energy, and when one is injured an average of 24 workdays are lost while the employee recovers. In addition, hazardous energy-related accidents account for roughly 10 percent of all serious accidents in many industries.
While construction is one of the most dangerous jobs for Maryland workers, some areas of focus can be more risky than others. One of the most worrisome issues in a trenching job is the potential for a cave-in, but other concerns that could be dangerous or even deadly include the potential for drowning, being asphyxiated, or being exposed to dangerous airborne materials. There are also challenges in dealing with utility lines because of the possibility of an explosion or electrocution. Both employers and workers need to be aware of these risks so that they can effectively guard against dangerous situations.
Compared to the general working population, Marylanders who specialize in certain fields may be at higher risk of overexertion and related musculoskeletal disorders. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2014 showed that more than 30 percent of injuries and illnesses were related to MSDs even though the overall rate per 10,000 workers had decreased slightly from the previous year.