In Cupertino stands the house of pane, which is part of the new Apple Park campus. The impressive circular building consists of curved glass panes that offer an open design that seems spectacular. However, the architectural design failed to address employee safety. Some time ago, an official at the building raised concerns about the potential threat of workplace injuries if employees walked into the glass, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently ordered the company to take preventative steps.
Operating a big rig requires specialized skills, and when things go wrong, the consequences can be severe. Drivers of large commercial vehicles are exposed to a variety of workplace injuries, and crashing such a large truck could be life-threatening. The California Highway Patrol reports that the swift actions of an off-duty firefighter and a deputy recently saved the life of a big rig driver after his vehicle rolled over.
In 2014, legislation was enacted in California that directed the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health to establish a standard to prevent workplace violence. By April 1 of this year, all the health care employers in the state that are covered must submit plans by which they intend to protect workers from workplace injuries caused by violence. At the federal level, a similar bill was introduced by lawmakers on March 8 requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to oversee the creation of unit-specific violence prevention programs nationwide.
The restaurant industry in California, just like most other sectors, poses its own unique safety hazards for employers and employees to consider. With its typical hustling and bustling of workers scurrying about to keep guests happy, many workplace injuries that occur involve the floor. Spills on the floors of restaurants are not unusual, especially in the kitchens.
Housekeepers in the hospitality industry in California who believe their hard work is not appreciated and the injury risks they face are disregarded will likely find comfort in learning that this will no longer be the case. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has recently approved a list of suggested safety rules to protect the health and safety of housekeepers. The plans include exposure to workplace injuries, heavy workloads and the risks of being harassed and assaulted.
Employees in California are said to be much safer at work than they were around the turn of the century. In 2002, almost 695,000 non-fatal workplace injuries were reported. Then there was a significant drop to a low of 441,000 at the midpoint of the recession. Since then the number increased to 471,000 in 2015 and an estimated 466,000 in 2016. However, the low point appears to reflect the lower number of workers during the years of recession.
Thousands of firefighters are fighting the devastating wildfires in California, putting their lives on the line to save others. Fighting fires is much more complicated than many people might think. A California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection spokesperson explained the different operations that are involved, and the risks of workplace injuries the firefighters have to face. Changing weather plays a significant role in strategizing, and humidity and temperature are monitored continuously along with wind direction and strength.
While each industry poses unique safety hazards, the risk of falls seems to be present in all workplaces, regardless of whether it involves falling to lower levels or the same level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says falls continue to be a primary cause of workplace injuries in California and other states. Safety advisers say addressing fall hazards involves a three-tier approach.
Workers in every industry face some type of occupational hazard. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health warned about a hepatitis A outbreak in California last month. This is a virus that attacks a person's liver, and it is highly contagious. Employers must take preventative measures to protect employees from workplace injuries or diseases.
Working alongside cobots, aka collaborative robots, will soon be par for the course in manufacturing facilities in California. Robotic technology has come a long way since the first robot was installed in a General Motors plant in the 1960s. That was a monstrous, caged machine that followed human commands. In contrast, cobots share the workspaces of humans and perform memorized tasks. They can even be programmed to respond to what is happening around them -- but will they pose a threat of workplace injuries?