The oil and gas industry in Colorado is expanding rapidly. Sadly, as more wells open, more workers are injured at work -- sometimes fatally. Safety advocates are increasingly concerned because there seems to be no enforcement when explosions and fires in the oilfields cause death and injuries to workers and the public because many activities are taking place in close proximity to communities.
According to a new study, not getting enough sleep can result in impaired memory and visual perception. The authors of the study likened the effects of sleep deprivation to those of intoxication. This implies that driving, operating machinery, or using power tools without enough sleep can be as dangerous as performing those activities while under the influence of alcohol.
Colorado workers in their various occupations are all exposed to the dangers inherent to their industries. Many of these hazards can cause injuries that could lead to permanent disability. Hearing loss is often overlooked because others cannot see the injury. However, it is a traumatic injury that could develop over time and be detrimental to the victim's quality of life. Millions of workers in different industries nationwide suffer occupational hearing loss every year.
Throughout Denver, there are many manufacturing facilities and warehouses that require employees to operate a forklift as part of their daily job responsibilities. Operating a forklift comes with its own set of risks, so it's critical that employees receive proper training and safety resources prior to utilizing this equipment.
As with any other industry, automotive repair shops and mechanics in Colorado are subject to safety regulations as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Reportedly, the majority of injured workers were denied their right to know specified safety information related to their employment. OSHA rules provide that workers have the right to know the details of any hazardous chemicals they might encounter on the job, along with the regulations related to the labeling, information inventories and storage of dangerous products.
Winter will soon be here in full force, and Colorado workers in some occupations will be susceptible to a variety of seasonal injuries called "cold stress." Affected employees can be any of those whose occupations keep them exposed to cold weather. These include outdoor construction workers, sanitation employees, law enforcement officers, snow removal workers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters and more. Without proper precautions, cold stress can cause severe bodily harm -- in fact, it could even cause permanent disability or death.
Roof workers in Colorado are at as much risk as other roofers nationwide. Extreme weather like high winds or excessive heat along with fall risks has led to many employees being injured at work -- some fatally. These jobs will always have hazards, and it will be the ability of employers and employees to identify the hazards that may prevent injuries and save lives.
Authorities say there are now more older workers in the U.S. workforce than ever before. It is reported that many baby boomers nationwide, including in Colorado, choose to continue working past the typical retirement age. The government estimates that one in four workers will be older than 55 by 2024. Some find that fact disturbing, considering the higher rate of injured workers among the older employees in many industries.
There is undeniable evidence that trenches pose life-threatening risks to construction workers nationwide, including in Colorado. Nevertheless, death benefits claims continue to be filed by family members whose loved ones died in collapsed trenches. The president of a risks management company in another state says three aspects are common to cave-ins of excavations -- inadequate safety training, cutting corners to speed up projects and failure to establish a safety culture.
Construction worker safety is of utmost importance in Colorado, and ladder safety is one aspect that has recently received a lot of attention. The U.S. Department of Labor says roofers are at a particular risk, and between 75 and 100 of them are killed in workplace accidents every year. Around 75 percent of those deaths resulted from falls, some of which were no higher than four feet. It is not uncommon for a fall survivor to end up with a permanent disability.