Texas workers who repair water pipes might be familiar with a method called cured-in-place pipe repair. A study says that this common method of pipe repair may not be as safe as it is believed to be. The study by Purdue University researchers was published on July 26 in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
Trench workers in Texas perform one of the most hazardous jobs in the construction industry. Fatal trenching accidents more than doubled in 2016, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that employers need to comply with safety standards to lower those numbers and make trench work safer.
Many teens and young adults in Texas find employment during the summer months. While summer employment is very beneficial to young workers, it also carries with it a variety of workplace hazards. It is important for even younger workers to be safe on the job and understand what to do if a workplace injury does occur.
Texas workers may be dismayed to learn that about 150 employees lose their lives daily because of a preventable occupational injury or illness, according to a report compiled by the AFL-CIO. However, the report also noted that since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed, the lives of roughly 553,000 employees have been saved.
In Texas, two bills have been introduced to help firefighters and law enforcement personnel. One bill would help first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder related to their jobs to get workers' compensation for PTSD if they can present evidence showing that their condition was largely caused by their job. The existing law states only that compensation can be obtained in the case of mental impairment. According to the representative who introduced the bill, this introduces financial obstacles and a stigma that could prevent some from seeking help. Another bill will create a liaison that assists first responders whose disputes over workers' compensation claims has caused them distress.
There are numerous state and federal regulations that employers in Texas and around the country must abide by, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began enforcing a new one on Dec. 1, 2016. OSHA uses workplace accident and injury data to identify areas of concern and develop strategies to address them, and it is crucial that this information accurately reflects what is going on in workplaces around the country.
Texas residents may be interested in an innovation that may revolutionize how companies identify and prevent workplace injuries. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are pioneering a computer algorithm that will analyze video information to give employers more accurate risk assessments than are available through human observations. If the technology works and is widely used, it could greatly help companies lower the costs of workplace injuries and protect their employees.
Employers and managers in Texas may be unclear about their record-keeping obligations when a workplace injury occurs. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule may help clarify the matter. Under the rule, which is scheduled to take effect in mid-January 2017, employers may be subject to citations for not properly reporting workplace illnesses and injuries as mandated.
Texans who work in the manufacturing and construction industries may be required to perform hot work as a regular part of their jobs. Hot work involves welding, burning, grinding, using power tools that produce sparks, soldering and cutting. All of these activities may expose workers to a risk of being severely injured from burns or explosions.
In Texas and throughout the US, cave-ins, also called trench collapses, at construction sites have killed dozens of workers and resulted in hundreds of injuries yearly. It is no surprise, therefore, that trenching and excavation work is one of the most perilous construction projects. Here are some points to help keep construction workers safe as they work at excavation worksites.