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November 2015 Archives

Researchers say OSHA fines are effective

Employers in Minnesota will soon have to pay higher fines if they violate workplace safety regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be increasing fines in 2016. OSHA fines have not changed in 25 years, so the fines are being raised to catch up with inflation. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015 will increase fines by 80 percent for 2016 and then raise fines higher each year after that.

The dangers working under constant high noise levels

Many Minnesota residents who work in the field of construction are no doubt aware of the potential dangers from a constant exposure to high levels of noise. Besides possibly causing permanent hearing loss that cannot be corrected by surgery or hearing aids, noisy working conditions can also lead to on-the-job accidents and reduced productivity. Additionally, overexposure to constant loud noises increases the chances for workers to develop severe heart disease, according to the latest reports.

Recognizing symptoms of HAVS

While carpal tunnel syndrome may be familiar to Minnesota construction workers, hand-arm vibration syndrome may be unknown. Numbness, tingling and pain might cause a worker to seek treatment for carpal tunnel issues. However, this might be an indication of HAVS, one of the most common neuromuscular issues for construction and manufacturing workers. The deciding factor could be the discoloration of one's fingers, as blanching is a symptom of HAVS.

High costs associated with warehouse worker injuries

Warehouses in Minnesota tend to be out of sight and out of mind. Significant numbers of people work in them, however, and they face numerous workplace hazards. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, warehouses produce an above-average number of worker injuries when compared to other industries. Citations against employers for safety violations begin at $7,000 each, and costs run high for medical care and legal battles related to injured workers.