To control and prevent workplace hazards effectively, companies should always use a hazard control plan to guide the selection and implementation of controls. According to OSHA guidelines for hazard prevention and control, companies should take certain steps.

Here are these steps:

  • Develop plans with measures to protect workers during emergencies and non-routine activities. 
  • Emphasize possessing the proper equipment to do all jobs, particularly hazardous ones, safely. Not simply for the sake of it, but to protect workers, companies should stay in good standing with regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Ensure all established safety procedures are followed and up to date, appointing someone to ensure these procedures are followed and having a tracking system to determine whether or not the safety procedures indeed increase safety in your plant or warehouse. 
  • Involve in the trenches workers, who often have a better understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how they can be controlled. Keep up good employee training and continuing education regarding safety hazards and solutions, including having the procedures on paper or in manuals and making sure these manuals are distributed to workers. 
  • Put into place a program with appropriate quality assurance employees working to make sure routine maintenance and inspections are performed in your workplace, annually or as appropriate for the level of safety hazards in your industry or plant. Identify and evaluate options for hazard control using a “hierarchy of controls.”
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls to determine whether they continue to provide protection, or whether different controls may be more effective. 
  • Review new technologies for their potential to be more protective, more reliable, or less costly.

Workplace Safety Across the Industries

Some industries have a higher degree of risk than others. If your type of business is on this list, there is a good chance that the safety standards and the equipment you use have greater regulations and requirements than those that are not.

The industries with the most risk include:

1. Cotton Farming

Cotton farming can mean exposure to air contaminants and cotton dust. Exposure to raw cotton dust is recognized as a serious inhalation hazard by the CDC. Short-term health effects from cotton dust exposure include tightness across the chest and difficulty breathing. Long-term effects include asthma and byssinosis, also known as "brown lung" disease, which is permanent and disabling, according to OSHA.

cotton farming

 

2. Textile Milling

Safety realities of textile milling include prolonged standing, which can mean plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue that goes from the heel to the toe. Other hazards include risk of tendinitis and back pain, overexertion, carpal tunnel syndrome, tearing injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles, dangerous contact with machinery, and exposure to prolonged loud noise from machinery, which can lead to irreversible hearing damage and loss.

textile

 

3. Coal Mining

Safety hazards involved with coal mining include mine wall failures and vehicle collisions as well as underground mining hazards including suffocation, gas poisoning, roof collapse, rock bursts and outbursts (a sudden explosion of coal gas and dust) and gas explosions, which can consume an entire pit.

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coal mining

 

4. Warehousing

Warehouse dangers include physical strain from lifting, repetitive motions and simply moving a lot, exposure to moving machinery with dangerous parts, falling objects, exposure to asbestos and other harmful substances, and slips trips and falls.

warehouse

 

5. Meatpacking

Meatpacking workers work on lines that can speed up to 400 cattle packing per hour. Workers have to use hand-knives to prepare animal carcasses for the automotive portion of the job. This subjects them to repetitive-motion ergonomic injury and to knife bladeinjuries.

meat packer

 

6. Construction

Construction workers leave themselves open to falls, injuries using saws and equipment with moving parts, and other hazards.

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construction

 

7. Health Care

Health care workers have always experienced a greater risk of contracting the diseases the patients they care for have, but in today’s climate they are subject to exposure from COVID-19.

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healthcare

 

8. Food Service

Food service workers are subject to equipment hazards, high decibel noise exposure, chemical spills, and other biological hazards.

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food service

 

9. Manufacturing

Manufacturing workers are subject to falls, equipment hazards, machine guarding, forklift and truck crashes, and electrical hazards.

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manufacturing

 

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Industries with the Highest Rate of Injuries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the top industries with the highest rate of injuries are:

violation

  1. Construction
  2. Transportation and warehousing
  3. Professional and Business Services
  4. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  5. Government
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Retail Trade
  8. Leisure and hospitality
  9. Wholesale trade
  10. Other services (i.e. Public Administration)

Industries with the Most Safety Violations

Across the industries, annually businesses receive 64,946 citations per year at a penalty rate of $3,351 per citation.

Within the aggregate collection of industries in operation today, there are some industries that experience more fatal injuries than others annually.

Here is a list of such industries.

logging

  1. Logging: 97.6 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  2. Fishing: 77.4 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  3. Airplane Piloting and Engineering: 58.9 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  4. Roofing: 51.5 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  5. Waste Collection: 44.3 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  6. Driving & Truck Driving: 26 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  7. Farming & Ranging: 24.7 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  8. Iron & Steel Working: 23.6 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  9. Construction Supervising: 21 fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.
  10. Landscaping Supervising: fatal injuries per 100,00 full-time equivalent workers.

Industrial Safety Products to Help

Workplace safety across industries is a hot button issue today. We have seen the different industries that come with safety hazards and the ones with the most fatal injuries, and they are not few. But safety assurance requires hiring staff to implement the programs put in place to ensure workplace safety and regular creation and review of plans to ensure workplace safety. Using industry-specific safety supplies, tools, gear, and equipment is not only a foundation for staying industry compliant, avoiding work stoppages and costly fines, but it is also, most importantly, a way to minimize the health risks to employees, the general public and the surrounding environment.

 

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