Have you checked the Louisiana OSHA 300 form in your workplace lately? There are policies and regulations in place in American to protect workers from potential workplace hazards. The federal government in most states runs these policies. But about 45 percent of the states run their own workplace safety plans.
In Louisiana, employers are legally required to post a form called a Louisiana OSHA 300. The form lists work-related illnesses and injuries. It must be made public for the months of February through April every year.
Alaska is one of the states that runs its own occupational safety and health program. It and 21 other states have opted out of the federal OSHA program. A few of the other states with their own OSHA programs include Kentucky, Iowa, Hawaii, and Virginia.
In order for a state to qualify for its own OSHA plan, it needs to get federal approval first. To get federal approval for a state occupational safety and health plan, the state needs to have an OSHA plan equally as good as the federal plan. The state must also prove to the federal OSHA that it will have all elements necessary to run an effective OSHA program within 3 years.
This means that the state needs to show the federal government that it will have proper regulations and procedures, appropriate legislation, citations and penalties, and enough qualified people to enforce the plan.
Most states with state OSHA plans adopt standards identical to federal ones. Standards include workplace safety education programs and programs to help employers identify, avoid and correct possible workplace dangers. Employers are also required to make public workplace illnesses and injuries for any given calendar year.
The other states have similar forms, regardless of whether they follow a state OSHA program or a federal one. California, one of the states that opted out of the federal program, has taken informing the public a step further. It makes public standards covering hazards not covered by the federal OSHA standards.
ATV accidents at work are increasing. So are injuries and deaths as a result of those accidents.
A Louisiana OSHA alert warns employees they should take steps to protect themselves from accidents when they’re working on ATVs. The All-Terrain Vehicles are becoming more common in the workplace, especially in police work, farming, construction, and facilities management.
ATVs can be tricky to drive. Combine low-pressure, fat tires with handlebar manipulation and a motor, and you’ve got a recipe for accidents. Even expert drivers with car and truck licenses may find them difficult to maneuver.
The All-Terrain Vehicles may be quick to overturn on steep inclines, and sharp turns can result in rollovers as well. Overloading is a problem with ATVs. They are not designed for heavy moving, and are usually equipped with racks for luggage or other light loads. The overloaded ATV is particularly hazardous on a steep hill or other incline.
The Louisiana OSHA alert suggests drivers in the workplace follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight loads and numbers of allowable passengers. It should be noted that ATVs are designed to be operated by a driver alone, with no passengers. OSHA also urges every driver to wear a helmet and obtain training specifically for the ATV. The OSHA guidelines refer to the operation of any off-road, motorized vehicle with handlebars, a seat straddled by the driver, and handlebars for steering.
The dangers of driving an ATV in the workplace are clearly not theoretical. OSHA statistics show that the number of fatal accidents has climbed steadily upward since 1992. In 9 years alone, there were 113 workplace deaths on ATVs. Injuries in accidents are often severe enough to require an employee to miss a day or more of work. In the past 9 years there were 1,625 such mishaps.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission also keeps statistics. According to that organization, which has compiled numbers of ATV accidents during recreational use, fatalities were up significantly in a 22-year period – from 29 in 1982 to 470 in 2004.