Electrical Systems, Forklifts and Machinery round out OSHA’s “Top 10” worker safety hazards

As our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys noted in a prior post to our North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog , the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 9,554 workplace fatalities in the U.S. in 2009.

While traffic accidents and falls remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports they are not the only threats Carolina workers face on the job each day.
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In finishing our two-part review of OSHA’s “Top 10” 2010 most frequently cited safety standards list, our Rock Hill injury attorneys note that Carolina workers face a host of other workplace hazards. Dangers range from exposure to caustic chemicals to electric shock to regular contact with heavy machinery capable of crushing bones and severing limbs.

Concluding OSHA’s “Top 10” citable safety violations for 2010, are:

6. Control of Hazardous Energy (i.e. lockout/tagout) – general industry: This OSHA standard refers to protocols that protect workers from the unexpected startup of equipment and the release of hazardous energy during servicing activities. OSHA estimates that 3 million workers are at risk of a hazardous-energy injury and that compliance with the lockout/tagout standard saves 120 lives and prevents up to 50,000 injuries each year.

7. Electrical (wiring methods, components and equipment) – general industry: Electricity is a deadly and serious workplace hazard linked to electric shock, fires, electrocution and explosions. It is estimated that about 1,000 people die each year due to fatal contact with electricity.

8. Powered Industrial Trucks – general industry: Also known as “forklifts”, these trucks are linked to tens of thousands of U.S. workplace injuries each year. While most forklift accidents involve only property damage, workers can be injured or killed by being struck by a forklift, impaled upon a forklift tine or forklift driving accident, among other things.

9. Electrical System Design – general industry: As noted above, electricity can be a killer, claiming an estimated 1,000 American lives each year. Risk of injury spans beyond electricians and other construction workers and has been tied to causing both injury and death among office and administrative workers.

10. Machines – general industry: Machines and heavy equipment have been linked to amputations, crushing injuries, burns, blindness and workplace deaths. To diminish the chance of a machine-related workplace accident, guarding, personal safety devices (like gloves, goggles, etc.) and proper use and safety training are all part of OSHA safety standards.

For Carolina workers stricken with a work-related illness or injury, workers’ compensation attorneys with Lee & Smith know recovery and adjustment can be a lifelong battle. If you have been injured, or someone you love has been injured or succumbed to a work-related illness anywhere in the Carolinas, call us at 1-800-887-1965 or contact our law offices online to discuss your rights.

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