Regulators in Arizona have had their proposed fall-protection guidelines rebuffed by federal safety officials. Leaders at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a report in March indicating that the state's protections are not adequate for workers in a variety of industries. Those lax rules could lead not only to workers' compensation claims, but also to the federal government pulling a $2.4 million grant. At this time, the state is paid by the federal government to enforce OSHA rules. That could change, with federal regulators considering providing direct governance over construction safety in Arizona.
Construction work is among the most dangerous Arizona occupations. This is also true in other states. Authorities say they pulled a man out of a Texas river after two victims plunged into the water while working on a footbridge. The pair were working on the construction project that will span the Brazos River at Baylor University. The bridge is designed to connect the stadium to the university's main campus in Waco. One worker suffered hypothermia as a work injury, while the other perished in the accident.
Food processing and manufacturing plants throughout Arizona may not seem like dangerous workplaces, but they often pose significant hazards to those employed within their walls. This is evidenced by the fact that a national food manufacturer, Terrell's Potato Chip Co., has been cited for a whopping 23 workplace safety violations. Even though that company operates in New York, the case illustrates the risk of work injury that food manufacturing workers face every day.
In the ongoing battle related to the death of 19 Hotshot firefighters in Arizona this summer, new incriminating information has the Arizona State Forestry Division defending some of its fundamental safety practices. A new evaluation from the Arizona Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows that the forestry agency failed to implement appropriate workplace safety measures that would have prevented injury among the highly qualified crew. The official report issues a stinging rebuke, stating that the forestry agency prioritized non-defensible homes and ranchland over the lives of its firefighters.
Construction workers throughout the United States face a variety of hazards every day, not the least of which are those associated with cranes. These heavy pieces of machinery can pose a significant threat to workplace safety if training and other protocols are not followed. With the increased focus on crane safety since new Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates were implemented in 2010, a growing number of companies are receiving citations for crane violations, even in Arizona.
Family members of a deceased Arizona wildland firefighter are seeking compensation in connection with state and local shortcomings that led to the man's death. The Granite Mountain man suffered the fatal injury while fight a massive blaze at the Yarnell Hill Fire during the summer months.
The sawmill employee had made complaints to his supervisors about safety concerns at the plant, but they were never remedied. When the man sought the assistance of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - the U.S. governing body for workplace safety, he lost his job. The man's employer retaliated against him despite the man's six-year work history that was replete with promotions and positive reviews. If it happened to a single man, it could happen to anyone in Arizona.
All American employers are required to provide a safe working environment, whether through specific provisions or the general duty clause promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. We live in a dangerous working world, where workplace violence and other hazards are difficult to avoid. Arizona workers are encouraged to consider the recent violent incidents in the nation's Capital, which have renewed interest in workplace violence as a very real danger. Employers can take just a few simple steps to promote safety at their facilities, regardless of the industry.
A new report identifying the best and worst states for on-the-job injury shows that Arizona's rates match the national average. The most dangerous states in the country include Maine, Indiana and California, all of which have more than one illness or job restriction per 100 workers. The least dangerous states include Washington, D.C., and New York.
As craft beers become ubiquitous throughout the United States and Arizona, workers at the facilities are facing an increasing number of workplace injuries. The relative newness of the industry is causing a lack of awareness about basic safety issues, many of which are analogous to manufacturing plants of any kind.