The new public safety campaign titled “Stay Out – Stay Alive” is designed to worn workers and those who love the outdoors about how dangerous it can be to trespass on mine property. This warning comes straight from the MSHA, Mine Safety and Health Administration. Now that the weather is heating up, it is time to remind everyone to be safe when out enjoying the weather.
South Carolina worker safety can be protected if people remember “Stay Out – Stay Alive.” Workers, rock climbers, hikers and other explorer types should steer clear of active or abandoned mines. Since 1999, more that 200 people lost their lives in mine related accidents. Wandering children have been victims because they were playing in a restricted area. Other victims include workers of other professions have had accidents on mine property, including falling into shafts.
According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor Mine for Safety and Health, Richard E. Stickler, the United States has approximately a half million abandoned mines. Besides that, there are an additional 14,000 active ones.
The “Stay Out – Stay Alive,” campaign is in its ninth year running. Several private organizations, state and federal agencies, and businesses have played a role in its continuation. With at least 30 fatal injuries occurring last year, the need to promote mine safety is still relevant today.
As part of the program, public service announcements are made to warn people about mine property trespassing. Federal mine safety and health professionals visit schools and inform the youth about the dangers of playing on mine properties.
A mine shaft is not something that you can easily spot from a distance. They are usually covered by rotten or decayed boards and can’t support much weight. These shafts can cause someone to drop hundred of feet below ground. Even if a person doesn’t suffer from a fall, deadly gases, poisonous snakes or flooding can harm or kill an unsuspecting worker or child.
Overloading is one of the principal causes of accidents with All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), according to a recent South Carolina OSHA alert. These vehicles have limited capacity for passengers and equipment, and overloading them can cause injuries or even fatalities. Most ATVs were manufactured to carry only the driver, with no passengers. They have fat tires, with low pressure, and tend to flip over when they turn sharply.
This is very important to know because, according to the South Carolina Worker Safety alert, ATVs are increasingly being involved in lethal accidents in workplaces. Years ago, they were only used for recreational purposes. But today in many industries, are used as a working device. Some examples are farming, law enforcement, facility maintenance or construction.
In the past 9 years, 113 people died in ATV accidents in workplaces and more were injured. The number of people hurt rose to 1625 in the last 9 years. This represents an annual average of more than 180. Some of the employees became seriously injured and lost several days of work.
As it has been said previously, one of the major causes is the overloading of the ATVs. Many people forget that these vehicles are fun and attractive, but not easy to drive, and unstable. The drivers must follow the guidelines of the manufacturer about how many passengers and how much weight is permitted.
Using a helmet is mandatory for responsible drivers. They also must receive special training to use this type of vehicle. The fact of having a driver’s license does not preclude training, because ATVs are different to drive.
Accidents involving ATVs are a general problem in South Carolina and other parts of the country. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that the sum of all accidents, including recreational, were 800,000 in the last 10 years. In 1982, the total of deaths was 29. In 2004, only 22 years later, became more than 16 times higher, with a 470 died people.
Because of recent changes to the South Carolina USERRA regulations, now is a good time to update your South Carolina USERRA posters if you’re an employer. The USERRA is there to protect service members, clarify the law, and improve and enforcement, so it’s important that all workers know its regulations.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 has been updated. The final USERRA regulations were recently released by the Dept. of Labor.
Employees are also often entitled to the same annual salary increases and raises to cover the cost of living that they would have received had they continued working at their civilian jobs.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects service members, clarifies the law, and improves enforcement. It’s full of regulations that cover job rights for veterans and members of the Reserve and National Guard. Recently these regulations have been updated. The final regulations were recently released by the Dept. of Labor.
These changes affect all employees throughout our nation, including those in North Carolina. The law requires that employers make sure their USERRA posters are updated so that their employees know what the USERRA can do for them.
Two important new features of the USERRA regulations include:
- Veterans and members of the Army, Navy, or Air Force reserve have their civilian jobs protected for up to five cumulative years while they serve their country. An employee can serve two years and then an additional three years and still be covered.
- A soldier whose initial enlistment lasts for more than 5 years can still have his or her civilian job protected as long as basic eligibility criteria are met. Timing, frequency, duration or nature of an individual’s service are irrelevant. Periodic National Guard or Reserve training is not included in this five-year total.
According to some test cases, returning veterans were awarded promotions that they would have received based on the length of service.
Now a great time for employers to update their South Carolina USERRA posters due to these recent changes. It’s important to make sure employees have correct information at their fingertips regarding the USERRA.