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Other physical/chemical hazards with high prevalence rates in the construction industry were frequently working outdoors (73%) and frequent exposure to vapors, gas, dust, or fumes (51%). Falls are also a common cause of occupational injuries and fatalities, especially in construction, extraction, transportation, healthcare, and building cleaning and maintenance.
In addition, pursuant to Section 5, the General Duty Clause of the Act, employers must provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Employers can be cited for violating the General Duty Clause if there is a recognized hazard and they do not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard. However, failure to implement any specific recommendations in this guidance is not, in itself, a violation of the General Duty Clause. Citations can only be based on standards, regulations, and the General Duty Clause.
This document will not replace the need for such professional expertise in certain situations. It is intended to serve only as useful guidance as to the basic considerations and operational aspects involved in the conduct of hazard determinations.
Other related members of the multidisciplinary team are ergonomists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, human resource specialists, and industrial/organizational psychologists. In Denmark, occupational safety and health is regulated by the Danish Act on Working Environment and cooperation at the workplace. The Danish Working Environment Authority carries out inspections of companies, draws up more detailed rules on health and safety at work and provides information on health and safety at work. National management system standards for occupational health and safety include AS/NZS for Australia and New Zealand, CAN/CSA-Z for Canada and ANSI/ASSE Z for the United States.
Association Française de Normalisation in France also developed occupational safety and health management standards. In the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body Health and Safety Executive published Managing for health and safety , an online guidance.
In Germany, the state factory inspectorates of Bavaria and Saxony had introduced the management system OHRIS. In the Netherlands, the management system Safety Certificate Contractors combines management of occupational health and safety and the environment. The 2010 National Health Interview Survey Occupational Health Supplement (NHIS-OHS) identified work organization factors and occupational psychosocial and chemical/physical exposures which may increase some health risks. Prevalence rates for exposure to physical/chemical hazards were especially high for the construction sector. Among nonsmoking workers, 24% of construction workers were exposed to secondhand smoke while only 10% of all U.S. workers were exposed.
- The fatal injury rate was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, also down from 3.6 in 2016.
- Number of occupational fatal work injuries in the U.S. from 1992 until 2014.
- As the number of service sector jobs has risen in developed countries, more and more jobs have become sedentary, presenting a different array of health problems than those associated with manufacturing and the primary sector.
- Victoria has retained its own regime, although the Model WHS laws themselves drew heavily on the Victoria approach.
Machines have moving parts, sharp edges, hot surfaces and other hazards with the potential to crush, burn, cut, shear, stab or otherwise strike or wound workers if used unsafely. It contrasts, for example, with the promotion of health and safety at work, which is concerned with preventing harm from any incidental hazards, arising in the workplace. This guidance document will not provide detailed methods that must be followed. However, a basic framework for hazard determination is provided, along with a description of a process that can be used to comply with the requirements of the HCS.
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The goal of a multidisciplinary occupational health and safety team is to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive health and safety program that will maintain and enhance health, improve safety, and increase productivity. Such programs often provide similar results for the families of workers, with resultant financial and other benefits for the corporation. Occupational health and safety professionals include occupational and environmental health nurses, occupational medicine physicians, industrial hygienists, safety professionals, and occupational health psychologists.
This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. Pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must comply with safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan.
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Health impacts as a result of biological, chemical, physical, safety and ergonomic hazards can have significant impacts on an individual’s wellbeing. For example, exposure to a blood-borne virus as a result of a sharps injury can result in months of stress and anxiety for the individual involved and their family. Therefore, almost all of the hazards outlined in this article could also result in psychosocial impacts.