Workers in Arizona whose jobs expose them dangerous airborne contaminants must be protected. Employers must establish engineering controls such as scrubbing to remove contaminants and providing adequate ventilation to limit exposure, but if such controls are not sufficient, respirators must be provided to prevent work injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a respiratory protection standard that mandates medical evaluation of employees before they wear respirators.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported concern over the lack of studies focused on infectious diseases and potential outbreaks in workplaces nationwide, including Arizona. While strict standards and guidelines are in place to prevent incidents of work injury, authorities want to create more awareness of this threat. The studies were focused on particular industries such as public services, health care, laboratories and those that involve people working with animals, and they used data from articles in medical journals that were published from 2006 through 2015.
Forklifts are valuable pieces of equipment used to handle materials and products in various Arizona industries. Unfortunately, employers and workers often disregard the risks these machines pose. An uncertified forklift operator can cause a workplace accident in the blink of an eye -- often with devastating consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety standards to be enforced in facilities where lift trucks are used.
Nurses in Arizona and across the country are frequently treated with disdain by the patients for whom they risk their health and safety every day. One of the issues that makes nursing a dangerous job is the unpredictability of every shift. Nurses who report for duty have no idea what they will have to deal with during the next eight to 10 hours. Judging by the number of reported cases of nurses who were hurt at work by violent and abusive patients, it is clear that the patients or their visitors pose many of the dangers.
Workers in the paper and pulp manufacturing facilities in Arizona face significant health risks. While many occupational hazards involve physical injuries, the exposure these workers face can cause gradual injuries to their health. The work environment in this industry typically contain paper dust, sulfur dioxide, chlorine compounds, and there could even be risks of asbestos exposure.
An Arizona restoration technician recently met with those who provided emergency treatment and saved his life earlier this year. The man suffered injuries in a workplace accident that occurred while he was assessing a flood-damaged assisted living center to determine whether it could be restored or whether it had to be demolished. The building had extensive water damage, making it extremely hazardous for workers to be inside.
Based on information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the meat packing industry is exceptionally dangerous, with an injury rate that far exceeds all other sectors nationwide. In Arizona, these workers are exposed to knife cuts, falls, musculoskeletal disorders, cumulative trauma disorders, infectious diseases and toxic substances. The latter is often not given the necessary attention, and many workers are unaware of the work injury dangers posed by chemicals, one of which is known as the silent killer.
Employees in the landscaping and tree care industries are more vulnerable than most to be struck by lightning. This is a work injury that could be fatal, and all possible precautions must be taken to avoid the outdoors during thunderstorms. Stormy weather patterns are common in Arizona during the summer months, and employers must ensure that employees know the risks, and know what to do when they are caught in such hazardous weather conditions.
Most people take their hands for granted. Workers in Arizona protect their heads with hard hats, eyes with safety goggles, ears with plugs and feet with safety boots, but they often forget to wear safety gloves. Every occupation poses some hand injury risk, ranging from bruises and minor cuts to amputations in a serious workplace accident.
The summer heat in Arizona poses risks to all, especially those who work outdoors. Although safety authorities issue warnings about prevention of heat exhaustion, dehydration or any other heat-related work injury, the long-term damage caused by the sun does not receive enough attention. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer -- the most common type of cancer.