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How to work with multiple generations at once

Employers in Minnesota and throughout the country may have employees of all ages. This may require tailoring a working environment that caters to a variety of experience levels and backgrounds. Although older people may not use technology as frequently as younger generations, they tend to be able to master it quickly. For example, a Pew Research Center survey in 2013 found that 55 percent of Americans own smartphones while only 18 percent of those aged 65 or older had them.

In general, younger people tend to use the internet more often than younger people. However, 71 percent of older adults who said that they used the internet reported using it every day. For training purposes, it may be best to put older and younger people together as part of a team to help get the most from each person. When dealing with older workers, there is no harm in acknowledging that older bodies tend to break down physically.

Construction workers have highest fall risks says OSHA

Fall protection remains a persistent problem in workplaces in Minnesota and across the country, and the data suggests that workers in the construction industry face the greatest fall risks of all. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that almost 40 percent of the construction workers killed on the job in 2015 died in incidents involving falls, and four of the agency's most commonly cited violations deal specifically with construction sector safety regulations.

Construction companies are routinely cited for not providing their workers with the proper equipment or training needed to reduce fall injuries and fatalities, and the penalties can be severe for employers with troubled safety records. Other common violations include not installing guardrails on scaffolding and allowing ladders to be used improperly. In August, a Florida roofing company was ordered to pay a $1.5 million for failing to address fall protection issues, and it was also added to the list of employers subjected to additional scrutiny under OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Safety tips for professional painters – Part 2

When working as a professional painter in St. Paul, it is very important to follow certain safety procedures. This means you should always wear the right kind of clothing and protective gear as well as using the proper equipment.

Since safety should your top priority when you set foot on the job site, you should always take the necessary precautions to reduce your chances of a work-place injury. Read below to learn more about safety tips for professional painters.

Safety tips for professional painters – Part 1

As a professional painter in St. Paul, you may think that your job is not overly dangerous. However, it only takes one uncovered keyhole in the door to a furnace and a paint sprayer to cause an explosion. Like with any job, painting comes with its own unique set of hazards.

Since staying safe on the job is important, taking certain precautions is a must. Below are some safety tips for professional painters.

Hazards abound for all hospital employees

Many people think of hospitals as places where patients go to find out what ailments they have and get moving on a treatment plan. For the employees who work at hospitals, the hazards that they encounter on a daily basis are shocking.

Safety tips for hospitals often center around patient care safety, such as proper lifting techniques. While these are important, you should also think about some of the hazards in hospitals that are lesser known.

The importance of fall protection in the workplace

Minnesota workers could be putting themselves at risk if they do jobs without the necessary training and safety equipment. One 33-year-old man was killed when he fell 7 feet from a pallet that had been raised by a forklift onto a concrete floor. At the warehouse where he worked, using the forklift and a pallet in this way was common practice.

The pallet and forklift were being used to lift employees up to high shelves where they could reach inventory, but this was not the way it was supposed to be used. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the accident and found that it was caused by a lack of adequate training and failing to provide employees with a safe system for reaching high shelves.

New OSHA silica exposure rules address serious health threat

Construction workers in Minnesota who routinely cut into concrete block products risk exposure to silica dust. This summer, new regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came into effect. They require employers to make written plans to prevent workers from breathing the hazardous dust. Someone needs to be specifically assigned the task of putting the safety plan into practice. Employers should also offer medical exams to workers whose duties include wearing a respirator more than 30 days in a year. Medical checks could alert a worker to dust exposure before serious sickness develops.

The hazardous dust arises from the silicon dioxide inside concrete products. In addition to the fatal threat of silicosis, breathing the dust could cause a worker to suffer from bronchitis, autoimmune disorders or lung cancer. OSHA recommends that workers use a wet saw to cut silicate materials because the water flow will greatly reduce dust.

OSHA standards for worker fall protection

Employers in Minnesota are required to protect employees from fall hazards along unprotected edges that are 4 feet or more above the level below. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, adequate fall protection may include any device, system or equipment that prevents employees from falling or mitigates the consequences of a fall. Employers may choose to make use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems or safety net systems.

A guardrail system is a barrier built along the edge of an area where employees walk. Personal arrest systems usually consist of a body harness and wire suspensions. These systems are designed to prevent or mitigate employee injuries by stopping the person from falling to the ground or slowing the speed of descent before impact. OSHA forbids employers to use body belts in personal fall arrest systems. Safety net systems consist of horizontal barriers that use netting to catch falling employees before impact with the ground or lower level.

Focusing on potential serious injuries to improve worker safety

Working people in Minnesota could face dangers at work no matter what type of job they do. Businesses take precautions to keep their employees safe, but strategies for workplace safety vary. Many safety experts are advocating for a change to the general belief that companies should just be reporting accidents. They believe that the potential for serious injuries should get special focus, even if workers have a narrow escape from actual injury.

The usual method of handling work accidents, according to the vice president of safety organization DEKRA Insights, has been to treat all injuries equally, but he says that there should be focus on potentially serious or life-threatening injuries, even if a potential injury was avoided. Identifying serious injury or fatality (SIF) precursors can help organizations improve their safety programs.

Computer vision syndrome may be a problem for office workers

When Minnesotans think about workers' compensation, they might normally imagine injury accidents that happen while they are on the job. However, some work-related injuries and conditions do not involve traumatic incidents. Like other work-related injuries, conditions and illnesses that arise because of job requirements and conditions are also compensable under the workers' compensation system.

A common condition that some office workers develop is called computer vision syndrome. This is a term that refers to several different eye disorders that are caused by long-term digital eyestrain from staring at electronic devices and computer screens. When workers have jobs that require them to use computers, tablets and other devices for hours each day, they are at a greater risk of developing these eye disorders, which include blurred vision, headaches and neck pain.

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