According to federal safety regulations governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers nationwide, including in New York must protect workers from known safety hazards. One area in which control is often neglected is roof work. When workplace safety plans are not in place for working at elevated levels, the consequences could be devastating.
Many employers in New York focus on nothing but the bottom line. They might not realize that prioritizing workplace safety can significantly improve company profits. Every workplace injury has a negative impact on productivity, and every workers' compensation claim increases insurance premiums. Safety authorities also suggest that employees who feel safe in their work environments are more productive than those who are always concerned for their safety.
Window washers in New York have some of the scariest jobs there are. Nevertheless, the skyscraper window washers seem quite happy to be working on scaffolds that are suspended hundreds of feet off the ground. The city's department of labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have strict regulations when it comes to workplace safety for window washers. It starts with thorough inspections of the scaffold and its rope-descent systems before the start of any job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes specific safety regulations for particular industries in New York and across the country. However, it also provides guidelines under a general duty clause to prevent injuries that can happen in any work environment. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says one such a general workplace safety risk is back injury, which makes up almost 20 percent of all reported occupational illnesses and injuries.
It is often said that many employers in New York prioritize profits over the safety of employees. This could be because many business owners might feel that placing the focus on workplace safety can jeopardize profits by distracting attention from production. However, rapid technological changes have started to provide safety options that can be practical without compromising productivity.
Some New York workplaces are minefields of dangers despite compliance with safety regulations. Safety management entails more than the elimination of known hazards. All employees must be responsible for workplace safety, and monthly safety reviews should involve all workers, including new employees. Caution signs play an essential part in injury prevention considering that so many workers suffer fractured bones or spinal cord and brain injuries because somebody neglected to put out a 'wet floor' sign.
New York workers who earn their income in the oil and gas industry may become somewhat complacent -- especially after long service. However, this is one industry in which workplace safety must always remain a priority. Fires and explosions can erupt in the blink of an eye, and the consequences of burn injuries can be severe.
Employers in New York must protect the safety and health of their employees, and they must inform workers of the hazards to which they will be exposed. Workplace safety is the responsibility of employers, but there are some hazards of which even they may not be aware. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published a bulletin to create awareness of ototoxicants, which are chemicals that can damage workers' hearing.