Silverstein outlines safety challenges of today’s workforce
Philadelphia – Current laws do not address some of the new features of today’s workforce, according to Michael Silverstein, assistant director for industrial safety and health at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
The issue was one of four strategic priorities Silverstein identified during the occupational keynote at the 2011 NSC Congress & Expo on Nov. 1.
Some of the features not addressed by law include a workforce that is multicultural, multilingual and aging, as well as new technologies such as nanotechnology, he said. Other concerns Silverstein pointed out include lack of coverage for public workers in some states; lack of a regulatory structure for musculoskeletal disorders; and “ancient” hazards that still have to be addressed, such as trench hazards. He suggested that trench violations may need to automatically be considered a willful violation because the hazards and protective measures are well known.
Silverstein also noted the measurable impact of his agency’s work, citing a study that found companies that had been inspected and cited by L&I had lower workers’ compensation costs.
Post a comment to this article
Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)