North Carolina residents know they shouldn't be texting and driving, but do they know about cellphone regulations on the job? With 61 percent of people across the country owning a cellphone, and 3 billion text message being sent during a single day, chances are that more and more people are using their cellphone while working. And even though people assume using a cellphone while driving is the only unsafe behavior, the reality is that using a cellphone while working is just as big a distraction and can lead to someone getting hurt on the job.
As the country is covered by relentless snow storms, and children are kept home from schools one snow day after another, not every North Carolina worker may have the luxury of sipping warm coffee at home in front of a fire. Many have to go into work, and their work is even more necessary because of the snowstorm;their jobs facilitate others when it is snowing, such as clearing snow from the road, removing damaged power lines or fallen trees.
Finding a job is hard enough, but when North Carolina residents are employed in jobs for which they do not have adequate training, they may end up sustaining injuries on the job. This is the risk that temporary workers face routinely-the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fears that these workers are placed in a variety of jobs for which they have not received proper training, sometimes even doing the most hazardous jobs in the workplace. According to them, temporary workers are more susceptible to workplace safety issues.
Usually, when a North Carolina employee is injured on the job, they can file a workers' compensation claim to recover costs associated with their injury, including medical bills and lost wages. A workers' compensation claim is usually available for full-time workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in charge of ensuring safe workplace conditions for all employees, so when a work accident takes place, the agency also sends inspectors to investigate the accident and hold the employer accountable if necessary. This is usually the case when a full-time worker gets hurt on the job. But what happens when a temporary worker is injured?
Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970, workplace deaths have dropped consistently. However, their efforts are not enough, according to a recent report from the agency's Inspector General, as the agency is only reaching a fraction of the more than eight million workplaces under its purview.
The recession has taken a toll not only on consumersm but also on businesses-letting go of full-time employees, businesses increasingly have turned to temporary workers to fill employment vacancies. The temp industry now has 2.8 million workers, but these workers face a significantly higher chance of getting hurt on the job.
Losing a loved one in a tragic workplace accident can place many burdens on family members -- emotional, physical and financial. Though it may not be possible to quantify their loss, the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Division does just that when they fine businesses for safety violations that lead to workplace injuries or deaths. However, as an investigative report recently learned, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration often reduces or even removes these fines, allowing businesses to get away with their violations in the eyes of safety experts.
North Carolina residents likely remember the State Fair ride called The Vortex that injured five people recently. There was an article posted about the incident on this blog, which detailed the ways the ride operator might be eligible for workers' compensation.
Here is a thought-provoking editorial on this topic from labor advocate Joe Atkins, published in "Facing South."
As North Carolina residents may know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may launch an investigation into a workplace accident and fine an employer for creating an unsafe working environment for its employees. When workers suffer injuries on the job, they may become eligible to receive workers compensation from their employer.