The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for protecting worker safety and health in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. One of its primary duties is to identify potential causes of job-related injuries or illnesses and formulate procedures, equipment and training that must be used by employers to keep workers safe. But even if no specific OSHA standard has been established for a particular hazardous condition, there exists a general duty for all employers to protect their employees from recognized hazards that are present in the workplace.
Retail employees in New Jersey and throughout the country may appreciate having extra work during the holiday season. However, it can also come at the cost of their emotional and physical health. According to a 2016 survey from NIOSH, 24 percent of respondents said that their work schedules got in the way of family and other obligations. Employers should note that this can be a source of stress, and stressed-out workers may be more prone to making mistakes.
An increasing number of people in New Jersey and across the country work in temporary employment, often through agencies or other intermediaries. As a result, many of these workers are confused about their rights and protections in case they are injured on the job. In particular, they could be worried if they face ongoing workplace safety violations that put them at risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made recommendations for practices to improve protections for temp workers on the job.
New Jersey workers often face dangerous environments on the job, especially if their employers violate federal workplace safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, a deputy director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed the federal agency's top 10 safety violations uncovered during a year of inspections. The statistics were gathered from October 2017 through September 2018, yet the results often mirrored those of previous years.
In response to the increase in worker injuries and fatalities from trenching and excavation operations, OSHA has revised the National Emphasis Program that it set up specifically for this field. The revised NEP went into effect Oct. 1, and now OSHA's area and regional offices are providing outreach. Employers in New Jersey will want to make sure they comply with OSHA's safety standards.
Most employers in New Jersey with 10 or more employees must fill out a 300 log from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when a worker illness or injury occurs. The details required by the 300 log could aid employers in spotting trends that are contributing to incidents that harm workers.
New Jersey construction workers know that they must be alert for on-the-job dangers at all times. There are five major hazards in construction work, but most accidents and deaths are preventable with knowledge, proper equipment and strict adherence to safety guidelines.
OSHA has addressed the topic of pinch point protection in its standards for general industries as well as agriculture, marine terminals, longshoring and construction. New Jersey residents who work around machinery should be familiar with pinch points and what OSHA has to say about them. Pinch points are areas in machinery where workers can get caught: between two moving parts, a moving and a stationary part, or a part and a material.
Employers and employees alike in New Jersey should be familiar with the results of the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which was published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics back in late 2017. Time Magazine has published an article that ranks the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America based on this data.
New Jersey employers and employees may be interested to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the International Safety Equipment Association made a formal agreement to improve workplace safety across the county on June 21. The alliance between the two will last for two years.