Workplace fatigue is a serious and growing problem in New Jersey and around the country, and it is thought to cost U.S. employers more than $136 billion each year in lost productivity and increased health care costs. Workers who are too tired to perform their duties effectively are far more likely to be injured on the job, and some of the most deadly workplace accidents, such as the disasters at the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear plants, were caused in part by fatigue.
Healthcare workers in New Jersey and across the U.S. run a higher risk for musculoskeletal disorders than workers in other industries. However, there is a safety program that could help reduce these injuries in the healthcare industry. Called a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility program, it was brought up during the 2019 conference of the American Society of Safety Professionals.
Workers at McDonald's restaurants in New Jersey and around the country are often confronted with violent situations while on the job. After studying working conditions at McDonald's restaurants over the past three years, the National Employment Law Project found 721 media reports of violent altercations. Unfortunately, many more incidents are not reported in the media. The New York-based nonprofit group says that most of these incidents involve individuals brandishing guns.
As part of Workers' Memorial Week (April 22 to 29), the AFL-CIO called attention to several deadly trends in a report entitled, "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect." Employers in New Jersey may want to think about any areas where they may be neglecting the health and safety of their employees. They are also encouraged to go online and take the National Safety Council's Safe at Work Pledge.
Government safety regulators have issued a fall prevention fact sheet to support construction companies participating in the sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds injure New Jersey workers every year. Over 300 construction workers around the country on average lose their lives annually because of falls. The fact sheet from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health highlights fall prevention procedures and encourages employers to ensure that all workers receive proper safety training.
When people in New Jersey think about on-the-job hazards to eyes, they might imagine the risks faced by welders, construction workers or people who handle caustic chemicals. Although such occupations create risky conditions that result in thousands of eye injuries every year, people working on computers could experience eye injuries as well.
Fair treatment on the job could help to reduce the risk of physical harm to New Jersey nurses, according to one study. Researchers found that when nurses feel that they provide more support to others than they receive, they are at a greater risk for on-the-job injuries. The study measured several types of support, including help at work, advice and guidance or expressions of concern or empathy. One professor said that the physical demands of nursing work can combine with psychological stresses to make the job more burdensome. Nurses may find that their muscle and joint pain is exacerbated by feelings of anger.
Many workers in New Jersey are using wearable technology, which refers to any mobile electronic device that attaches to the body for a set purpose. Some of the common types of wearable tech in the workplace are "smart" personal protective equipment, hard hats with sensors and safety glasses with heads-up displays.
New Jersey hospital workers know how unsafe their job environment can be. One overlooked threat is workplace violence. For example, there have been many cases of psychiatric nurses being attacked by patients. Assault can lead to traumatic brain injuries, which in turn can result in permanent or lingering issues like speech problems and continual headaches.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a reminder to employers in New Jersey and the rest of the United States to do what it takes to protect their workers from the effects of carbon monoxide exposure. The reminder is in response to a number of incidents that show that there is a need to instruct both workers and employers about the hazards of carbon monoxide exposure caused by portable generators and other types of tools inside of enclosed spaces.