New Jersey welders should be aware of the various health risks posed by harmful welding fume byproducts. All types of fusion welding produce potentially harmful gases and byproducts, which can lead to such serious medical issues as cancer and central nervous system damage. Lung and larynx cancer are commonly associated with welding fume exposure, as is kidney damage.
Those who work outdoors in New Jersey may be vulnerable to heat-related illnesses or injuries during the summer months. That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launches a campaign every year that reminds employers to provide their outdoor workers with shade, regular breaks and ample amounts of drinking water.
While some jobs have more inherent risk than others, there are hazards in every workplace that could lead to injuries and medical and financial setbacks. More than one-third of the 3 million job injuries that happen annually around the country are serious enough to require time off from work. New Jersey employers and employees alike may want to learn about common injuries that happen while on the job and ways to avoid getting hurt.
Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have found that construction workers are at the greatest risk for traumatic brain injuries compared to workers from all other industries. Data collected between 2003 to 2010 showed that over 2,200 construction workers around the country died due to brain injuries during this period.
Risk assessors and health and safety personnel in New Jersey will likely know that the insurance firm Liberty Mutual releases a report every year ranking the most common causes of nonfatal workplace injuries. The latest Workplace Safety Index was released on Jan. 14, and it revealed that injuries related to overexertion were the leading cause of workers' compensation claims in 2013. This finding will come as no surprise to safety advocates who are already familiar with a November 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report revealing that musculoskeletal disorders accounted for almost a third of all illness and injury cases among American workers in 2014.
By 2022, it is expected that about 25 percent of all workers around the country will be 55 years of age or older. While older workers provide companies with a wealth of knowledge, they are also more likely to get hurt after a slip, trip or fall. For those who are 65 and older, the incidence rate is 49.5 per 10,000 workers, which is about double the rate for workers under the age of 45.
Many businesses in New Jersey are at their busiest during the holiday season. As more customers rush in and out of the doors, there can be safety hazards from overcrowding. At the same time, workers are often pushed to their limits during the winter months as the increase in business means more work for them.
New Jersey workers might want to be aware of a troubling trend in both Texas and Oklahoma. In those two states, businesses lobbied for legislation to allow them to opt out of the workers' compensation system, instead providing their own alternative injury benefits plans.
Workers in New Jersey should keep in mind that they may be unable to claim workers' compensation if they file a claim more than two years after the occurrence of the injury or illness. A man who worked at McDonald's from 1995 to 2005 is struggling to receive compensation for a rotator cuff injury diagnosed in 2006. At issue is whether or not the injury is related to an earlier diagnosis of tendonitis from 2001.
New Jersey residents may be aware that prescription medication abuse has become a serious problem for many Americans. Opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin are among the prescription medications most commonly abused, and many workers recovering from an injury suffered while on the job are prescribed these highly addictive drugs. The issue was investigated by the National Safety Council, which found that these painkillers account for more than a quarter of workers' compensation drug costs.