With some workers returned to work in person and others whose jobs require them to be on-site, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has released the Top 10 Risks For public sector occupational safety and health reported in 2021, to raise awareness of the most common workplace hazards.
This list was compiled by the Office of Occupational Safety and Health of Public Employees (PEOSH) of NJDOL, which is responsible for inspecting, investigating, consulting and helping to mitigate risks at the site. work, and educate workers and employers on occupational safety to ensure the safety and health of public employees. .
“The aim of this annual compilation is to raise awareness among public workers and employers about the most common hazards in the workplace, so that everyone can take action to ensure a safe workplace,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Our Public Service Occupational Safety and Health Office exists not only to seek out and find hazards in the workplace, but also to proactively prevent accidents and tragedies. “
Here are the top 10 health and safety risks for NJDOL in public sector workplaces for 2021:
- Lack of escape routes or emergency plans – no emergency evacuation plan or consideration of employees evacuated in an emergency; blocked or poorly signaled outputs.
- Electrical problems – risk of electric shock, electrocution or electric fire; overloaded circuits or power cords; electrical exposures in wet or damp places; exposed electrical conductors and ungrounded electrical connections or equipment.
- Uncontrolled dangerous energy – power supply not disengaged or locked before the start of maintenance on heavy machinery; the stored unreleased energy of the machine before performing maintenance, such as air released from an air compressor.
- No machine guard – machine operating points or moving parts not covered to avoid injury (no safety shields on saws, for example).
- Walking risks – open holes in the ground or the ground; no guardrails on raised platforms; no handrails on the stairs; risk of tripping and slipping.
- Incorrect storage – materials stacked unstably or improperly stored; move materials without proper training (eg forklift certification).
- Lack of communication regarding hazardous substances – insufficient communication concerning toxic or dangerous materials present on the site and their use; lack of instruction for users on how to handle materials or what protection to wear (eg gloves, face shield, respirator); no instruction on what to do in case of accidental exposure.
- Insufficient fire prevention efforts – flammable or combustible materials improperly stored; no plan to prevent unintentional ignition.
- Problems in confined spaces – lack of permits or inappropriate mitigation of risks in confined spaces (a potential build-up of gas, for example) that could create a hazardous work area; confined spaces constructed in such a way that an entering person could be suffocated or trapped. These spaces require a permit to ensure that measures have been taken to mitigate the risk, that air quality is monitored, and that an attendant and emergency personnel are on standby in the event of an emergency. employee does not enter space.
- Danger for the firefighter – Non-compliance with New Jersey Administrative Code NJAC 12: 100.7 for firefighters, which covers regulations regarding protective equipment, appliances, fire department organizational structure, special duties and services performed, training, self-contained breathing apparatus and safety protocols.
Free site tours may include, but are not limited to, assessments of physical hazards, electrical safety, slip hazards, air quality, and noise. Consultations are conducted in accordance with Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, but will not result in any citation, penalty, or fine.
Additionally, NJDOL can assist companies interested in a host of safety training courses, safe electrical work practices, forklift safety and hazardous energy control to material handling, back safety. and lifting techniques.
For more information on the NJDOL Public Safety and Occupational Safety and Health Division, including how to report a workplace safety concern or register for a free consultation or training on occupational health and safety, please visit the division’s newly improved website:
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