Shift work is a way of life for nearly 15 million Americans, spurring numerous studies that link the practice to health problems and chronic conditions. “It’s really important to recognize these risks, and we need to understand them and we need to treat them,” a leading researcher says.
"When improving safety for the merit of just having a safer workplace is not enough, it's often a very powerful argument with leadership to help explain the cost of safety by showing the economic benefits of safety," one expert says. The challenge: lack of a universal formula.
Which violation is making its first appearance on OSHA’s annual list of most-cited violations? Safety+Health presents the data on OSHA’s “Top 10” for fiscal year 2018. Also: An exclusive Q&A with Patrick Kapust, deputy director of the agency’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs.
OSHA data shows 23 workers were killed in trench collapses in 2016 – surpassing the combined total from 2014 and 2015. “Employers need to realize that any excavation has the potential for exposure to serious injury and fatality,” one expert says.
Hazards associated with working in traffic, handling materials, and moving on and off garbage trucks put sanitation workers at risk. In the first two days of 2018 alone, seven sanitation workers were killed, according to the Solid Waste Association.
The Hierarchy of Controls helps safety professionals identify and mitigate exposures to on-the-job hazards. “You can’t eliminate every hazard, but the closer you can get to the top, the closer you can reach that ideal and make people healthier and safer,” one expert says.