When temperatures soar and heat indices rise, Minnesota residents may be interested in knowing that they live in one of only three states in the nation that have heat-related illness prevention standards in place to protect workers. Under agreements with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Minnesota, California and Washington run their own safety programs. These programs require employers to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards, including excessive heat exposure, that could lead to the death or serious injury of their employees.
Minnesota workers may be interested in the story of a fatal workplace accident that may have been caused by improper training or faulty equipment. Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the matter, but the results of their inquiry may not be ready for months.
A: Minnesota residents interested in workplace safety issues may wish to know what responsibilities an employer has under the law regarding safety. Failure to adhere to these responsibilities could lead the employer to fines and other penalties as well as an unsafe workplace.
Minnesota residents may be aware that the labor practices of many fast food corporations have been under fire recently. The Service Employees International Union has been campaigning for workers' base pay to be increased to $15 per hour, and restaurant operators have also been accused of not doing enough to ensure that their employees have a safe working environment. The matter took another turn recently when 28 complaints were filed with OSHA against McDonald's locations in 19 cities over a two-week period.
Many workers routinely use lasers as a part of their jobs. However, lasers can pose various dangers to workers who use them. According to a report issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the federal agency tasked with regulating safety in workplaces, those in the medical, industrial, construction and research occupations are especially at heightened risk.
Minnesota employees may benefit from learning more about how to interpret data related to injured workers, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, any organization that has at least 10 employees is required to report workplace injuries. OSHA also requires employers to collect data related to near-misses and near-accidents.
Prevention is an important component of safety in the workplace. Workers in Minnesota should observe safety precautions in the workplace to avoid falls. This includes being careful while using ladders. Only ladders in compliance with standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration should be used in the workplace. A fall from a ladder can result in more than just a minor injury; it could be fatal.
The Hopkins Police responded to a 911 call about an incident inside the Supervalu Food Distribution Center on Sept. 21 resulting in one death. The 51-year-old man suffered serious injuries at about 2:35 p.m. in the warehouse on the 300 block of 2nd Avenue South and died before emergency personnel could assist him.
According to a recent report, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a state-run hospital over poor safety-related working conditions following an Aug. 1 inspection of the facility by OSHA authorities. The citation reflects an ongoing problem the hospital has had in relation to patient and employee safety issues in the past several years.
Minnesota readers might be interested in a recent article that suggests that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may face a number of limitations when enforcing workplace-safety standards. Because of employee turnover, underfunding and government regulations, OSHA primarily concentrates on investigating accidents that injure or kill workers rather than working with businesses to prevent such accidents.