Heading into 2020, Guy Burdick of EHS Management discussed the top issues affecting the workplace. Here are a few that we felt were worth sharing:
- OSHA continues rulemaking although there have been some rollbacks of Obama administration rules under Trump.
- OSHA continues to enforce existing rules, with six figure fines for violations especially for construction and fall hazards.
- The workforce is aging. The number of over-65 workers has grown by 117% in the last twenty years. One in four workers is over 55. Older workers have less injuries, but their injuries are more severe and more often fatal.
- With warming temperatures - 18 of the past 19 years have been the hottest on record according to NASA - heat stress is a growing problem. Expect more OSHA citations for violations. Public Citizen and 111 other groups have called on the Secretary of Labor and OSHA to establish a federal standard protecting workers from heat stress. Legislation requiring OSHA to issue a standard has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
- Fatigue is a growing problem. A business with 1,000 employees can expect to lose over $1.5 million due to absenteeism, "presenteeism" and healthcare costs from fatigue.It is a factor in industrial accidents and a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes.
- 34 states and the District of Columbia now legalize medical or recreational marijuana. Whatever the health benefits, the consensus is that marijuana in the workplace (and on the road) is a safety hazard.
If you are concerned about these or any other workplace safety topics that could affect your business in 2020, feel free to schedule a 10 minute introductory call with our of our Risk Management experts and we would be happy to discuss them in more detail.