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Top Occupational Safety and Health Issues in 2020

January 21, 2020

Heading into 2020, Guy Burdick of EHS Management discussed the top issues affecting the workplace. Here are a few that we felt were worth sharing:

  1. OSHA continues rulemaking although there have been some rollbacks of Obama administration rules under Trump.
  2. OSHA continues to enforce existing rules, with six figure fines for violations especially for construction and fall hazards.
  3. The workforce is aging. The number of over-65 workers has grown by 117% in the last twenty years. One in four workers is over 55. Older workers have less injuries, but their injuries are more severe and more often fatal.
  4. With warming temperatures - 18 of the past 19 years have been the hottest on record according to NASA - heat stress is a growing problem. Expect more OSHA citations for violations. Public Citizen and 111 other groups have called on the Secretary of Labor and OSHA to establish a federal standard protecting workers from heat stress. Legislation requiring OSHA to issue a standard has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
  5. Fatigue is a growing problem. A business with 1,000 employees can expect to lose over $1.5 million due to absenteeism, "presenteeism"  and healthcare costs from fatigue.It is a factor in industrial accidents and a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes.
  6. 34 states and the District of Columbia now legalize medical or recreational marijuana. Whatever the health benefits, the consensus is that marijuana in the workplace (and on the road) is a safety hazard.   

If you are concerned about these or any other workplace safety topics that could affect your business in 2020, feel free to schedule a 10 minute introductory call with our of our Risk Management experts and we would be happy to discuss them in more detail.