There are workplace hazards that come with operating heavy machinery. Some examples of this type of equipment are cranes, front-end loaders, skid loaders, bulldozers, forklifts and tractors. Due to the size and weight of these pieces of equipment, they can be very dangerous. In fact, according to OSHA, about 404 people in America die each year in heavy equipment accidents. They also say the failure or misuse of heavy equipment is one of the top 10 causes of workplace fatalities. If you operate heavy machinery, it is important to know what to do and not do to best keep you safe.
Operating Heavy Machinery: Things to Know
The first step to safely operating heavy machinery is to be properly trained. This may be a long, involved process, but it is essential for safety. Each person using this equipment should be trained and certified on using the equipment. Even if it is just on how to do a simple task, training is so important due to the nature of the machines. Regular refresher training is good to do every few weeks.
Take it Slow
Another thing to consider when operating heavy machinery is to take it slow and safe. If you are on a tight deadline to finish a project, you may feel the need to go fast. Do not fall into a trap where you skip safety steps and rush. This could lead to you making mistakes. Employers should not try and rush workers while they are using these heavy machines. Errors when using big, heavy equipment could turn into life threatening mistakes. Rushing is not worth the risk of hurting yourself or someone else.
When operating heavy machinery, it is so important to communicate on the job site. For example, make sure that all workers in the area know when a vehicle is occupied and in use. Have others keep an eye out and keep any dangerous areas around the vehicle clear. Communication also applies to creating clear guidelines for operating procedures. This way everyone is on the same page.
Distractions bring in another dangerous element when operating heavy machinery. Phones and headphones should not be used or allowed while using these heavy machines. Construction sites can be dangerous on their own. There are many hazards, including people moving around. A distracted machinery operator may not pay attention or notice people around them, or other hazards.
By following these guidelines, you will be safer while operating heavy machinery. They are not hard steps to follow, but can make a huge difference in workplace safety.
A repetitive strain injury is an injury that occurs from doing the same motion over and over again. Examples of these include carpal tunnel, bursitis, and tennis elbow. This type of injury can occur from tasks at work. However, there are ways you can prevent or minimize the chance for this type of injury.
Repetitive Strain Injuries: What Are They
Carpal Tunnel is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. This repetitive strain injury is caused by repetitive motions. These include motions like typing, or any wrist movements that you do over and over again. For example, people who work in dentistry have a high risk of carpal tunnel due to repetitive wrist movements while working. Also, you increase your risk when your hands are lower than your wrists while doing the movement.
The typical symptoms of carpal tunnel are not pleasant. For example, burning, tingling, or itching numbness in your palm and thumb or your index and middle fingers are symptoms. Other symptoms are weakness in your hand and trouble holding things, shock-like feelings that move into your fingers, and tingling that moves up into your arm. Proper ergonomics can help reduce the risk of this injury, but wrist braces are a good early treatment.
Bursitis is inflammation or irritation of a bursa sac. These are fluid filled sacs that are all over your body. Bursitis is common around major joints like your shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee. This repetitive strain injury can be caused from workplace activities including carpentry, painting, and scrubbing.
Common places for bursitis to happen are your elbow, shoulder, hip, thigh, buttocks, knee, achilles tendon or heel. This injury can cause pain, and you may notice your joint is red, stiff or swollen. Take breaks often when you’re making the same motions over and over again, and use good posture. If you start to have pain, stop, and see your doctor.
Another repetitive strain injury is tennis elbow. This is a painful condition that usually comes from repetitive use of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and the elbow joint. Surprisingly, only 5% of tennis elbow injuries come from tennis.
Some workplace activities that could lead to tennis elbow include painting, working on cars or on an assembly line or playing a musical instrument. Other examples include kitchen work, such as cutting with a knife, or cutting trees with a chainsaw. This may cause your elbow to be sore. Treatment usually includes rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if the problem gets really bad, surgery may be needed.
Nearly half a million workers work a job which involves welding. As a result, they’re also exposed to many different types of welding hazards. Knowing what the most common hazards are can help you better know what to watch for and how to stay safe…
Welding Hazards: Helpful Precautions
Many of the welding hazards can result in physical injuries. For instance, the intense light and heat created by the welding process can hurt your eyes and cause burns. You may also have to get into awkward positions to perform your welds properly. Doing this for an extended period can result in muscle fatigue and even permanent injuries.
Therefore, you need to make sure you both wear the right gear and give your body a break. Things such as welding helmets, gloves, aprons, and boots can help properly protect you as you weld. You should also make sure you stop welding should you begin to feel any pain. Take a break to stretch before going back to work in order to help keep your body nice and loose.
Fumes and gases
Toxic fumes and gases are also some common welding hazards. The welding process itself does release these types of fumes and gases. Constant exposure to high levels can result in respiratory issues, problems with movement, and even cancer. As such, you need to make sure you properly limit your exposure when working.
Having proper ventilation goes a long way in helping keep these fumes and gases under control. This will ensure that there’s plenty of airflow which will keep the fumes under acceptable levels. If you are working somewhere with poor ventilation, then wearing a respirator can also work.
Many people don’t realize that electric shock is perhaps the most serious of the welding hazards. A sudden discharge of electricity into the body can be fatal. With how suddenly this kind of injury can occur, it’s important that they take steps to prevent this sort of situation.
In general, it’s always key to inspect any equipment before using it. This will ensure that everything is working properly and won’t give off any electricity. Any parts of the electrode holder should also be kept away from the skin and anything wet.
You may be looking at ways to make money while on workers comp. If you’re injured and unable to work, you will likely only receive two-thirds of your regular pay. Keep in mind, working a second job or a side-job could affect your benefits. Check with your policy and laws before deciding to proceed.
Make Money While on Workers Comp: Ideas to Make Money
Sell Your Clutter
You can make money while on workers comp plus clean out your house at the same time. Platforms like eBay, Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace are a great place to cash in on things you are not using. Poshmark is more focused on clothing items, while eBay and Facebook Marketplace are for just about anything.
Rent Out a Room
If you have a spare room in your home, and feel comfortable doing so, you could rent it out on Airbnb to make money while on workers comp. This works best if you live in or near a big city, or an attraction of some sort. Beaches, state or national parks, or other scenic areas are top spots for people to want to rent a room. Don’t forget to check the rules of where you live to make sure you are allowed to put your place on Airbnb.
There are plenty of websites where you can take surveys for cash. This is an easy way to make some extra money while on workers comp while on your phone or computer. Surveys will range in length and pay, but there’s money to be made.
Become a Driver
With rideshares growing in popularity, you can become a driver to bring in extra money. Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are options you can look into. These services have branched into food delivery as well, which will give another money making opportunity. Of course this is all dependent on what type of injury you have sustained.
If you’re crafty, you could make extra money by selling items on Etsy. This site is great for arts and crafts. From jewelry to paintings, and handmade cards to sticker decals, there is a little bit of everything on Etsy.
If you need to make some extra money while on workers comp, there are plenty of options available. Your options may be limited due to the type of injury you have, and the rules surrounding your claim.
There is much confusion on what a Right to Work principle is (we’ll call it them R2W states for simplicity’s sake). Most people look at these work rights as a “right to get fired”. This is simply not true. The R2W principle allows for every American to work for a living, without the pressure to belong to a union.
Work Rights: What are These Principles?
Right to Work Law
No person is made to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment. These work rights laws also ensure that employees are not forced or coerced into joining a union. Additionally, it’s important to notice that these states are not “anti-union”. Instead, R2W states focus on the freedoms of the individual employee.
Public Sector vs. Private Sector
In the public sector, every state is an R2W state. In the private sector, work rights are a little different. All states in the Southeast fall into this category, but major states like California and New York have forced unions.
Standard of Living
When states enact work rights, the quality of life is seriously considered. One of the positives of being in these states is the higher quality of life. Compared to those states that force unionization, R2W states have higher after-tax income. In addition to this benefit, families in these states have more buying power. Last but not least, there are lower unemployment rates.
Negatives of R2W Laws
Conversely, not all the work rights are positive. Those who oppose these specific laws point out that sometimes non-union employees benefit from their union counterparts. Additionally, Democrats have a lot of support from Union members. This means that most states that fall under this category endorse Republican parties.
Both forced unions and the R2W states have their positives and negatives. If you have questions about what your rights are in your states, consult with a lawyer. While you may live in one of these states, you still have rights regarding employment.
Advantages and Drawbacks
At the end of the day, no matter which category your work state falls under— there will be some benefits and some negatives. However, it is important to get familiar with your rights as an employee, an employer, or someone who plans to relocate for an employment opportunity. Do your research, be prepared, and make sure you have protections in place in case of any unexpected work injuries or unforeseen circumstances.
Since 2014, fatal workplace injuries due to fires have been decreasing. This is in large part due to better workplace fire safety. Knowing what you can do in your workplace to prevent and handle fires can help keep you and your coworkers safe…
Workplace Fire Safety: Setting Safety Protocol
Watch for fire hazards
It’s important to be aware of potential fire hazards in the workplace. After all, good workplace fire safety means taking a proactive approach. However, different workplaces can have different fire hazards. Therefore, you should be aware of the unique hazards you might find. Common fire hazards include flammable liquids, gases, and high-heat equipment. Dusty workplaces also pose a fire risk, especially if you’re using tools that cause sparks. Even piles of papers and cardboard can be fire hazards due to them potentially being fuel if a fire breaks out.
Have fire extinguishers ready
If a fire does break out in the workplace, you need to know how to handle it. Smaller fires can potentially be put out with the use of a fire extinguisher. That’s why good fire extinguisher knowledge is key for workplace fire safety. You should know where your workplace keeps their fire extinguishers at all time. Additionally, make sure you know how to properly use the extinguishers as well. If you don’t feel confident, you can ask your supervisor to go over how to use them just in case.
Have an exit plan
If a fire breaks out that can’t be controlled by an extinguisher, then you need to have an exit plan. Know where the quickest exit routes are and follow them in the case of a fire. You should also have other routes memorized just in case your main route is inaccessible. Try to go over your emergency workplace fire safety plan with your supervisor. This will help you know where you need to go and what you should do when you get there.
Many workplaces will also have diagrams posted with exit routes as well for you to check. Good workplace fire safety is important for keeping you safe in case a fire breaks out. Remember that your safety is the priority. If the fire is out of hand, evacuate and let the professionals handle it.