Many business owners and managers at workplaces in Colorado think they have their fingers on the pulse, but in some cases, the employees are the ones who are more aware of the existing hazards in the environments in which they earn their incomes. Workers are accustomed to the areas in which they spend many hours every day, and they will likely immediately notice if a new hazard arises. Employers may have to deal with fewer workplace injuries needing medical treatment if they consult with employees when they establish safety protocols.
Forklifts are an important part of various industries in Colorado and pose safety hazards wherever they are used. For some reason, forklifts often form part of horseplay, and employers who fail to enforce strict forklift safety protocols may find that serious injuries result. Significant increases in insurance premiums can also follow because every workers' compensation claim may cause an increase.
Colorado workers in different industries are exposed to safety hazards every day. Some of these are not injuries that are immediately evident; rather, they develop over time. One such hazard is exposure to excessive noise, which can cause permanent disability after frequent exposure over a number of years. High noise levels in the workplace can profoundly affect a victim's quality of life as the ability to hear diminishes until most sounds become mumbled and subsequently disappear altogether.
Fatigue is an often-ignored workplace hazard. It can take a toll on Colorado workers in several ways. Employers who fail to take fatigue seriously may end up with injured workers that can affect the company's bottom line. Fatigued workers typically struggle to plan when faced with complex tasks because their decision-making skills are compromised. Fatigue can have an impact on a worker's attention span, jeopardizing his or her ability to recognize safety hazards and react quickly.
As in all other industries, employees in the marijuana industry deserve to be safe in their workplace environments. Although it has been legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes since 2012, safety regulations in this industry are only now receiving attention. Injured workers in the marijuana industry have the same rights to workers' compensation benefits as those with other injuries have.
When looking for a job, the insurance coverage an employer carries for workplace accidents may never come to mind. An employee may not know whether or not an employer has the proper coverage until the medical bills start to pile up. If an employer does not carry the otherwise lawfully required insurance for employees, where can an injured worker turn for help?
Colorado employers must provide fall protection to all workers that work higher than six feet above a lower level. However, while harnesses and securely hooked lanyards can arrest workers' falls, there are other dangers to contemplate. If employees slip and fall from significant heights, their fall protection will keep the injured workers suspended in the air. It is what happens to the body of the person dangling at the end of the lanyard that can lead to his or her death.
For those who find US highways to be chaotic and full of activity, imagine life on the ground crew at Denver International Airport (commonly referred to as DIA). Instead of cars and trucks zooming past, the runways have a mix of all manner of vehicles. Gigantic airplanes scorch past, demanding the most attention, but fuel trucks, cargo vehicles and maintenance carts all use the same pathways. There are rules in place for the different equipment but accidents still happen.
The harsh weather conditions in Colorado at this time of the year are threatening to the lives of all workers who have to do their jobs outside. Tow truck operators and their assistants are particularly busy in adverse weather. They are kept out in the cold by cars landing in ditches, dead batteries and burst tires caused by extreme pressure changes -- often leaving injured workers.
Construction workers in Colorado and elsewhere put their lives on the line every time they climb onto a scaffold. Thousands of construction workers are injured at work every year due to the collapse of scaffold structures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported the shocking details of a contactor in another state that continues to expose employees to life-threatening hazards -- despite being issued with citations for scaffolding hazards on 41 previous occasions.