Warehouse workers must pack and ship the orders placed on Amazon when consumers in Florida shop at the online retail giant. A media investigation of warehouse working conditions has revealed how the company buried information about worker injuries. Up until 2015, three safety managers formerly employed by Amazon said that they were instructed by upper management to find reasons to avoid recording injuries.
Workers' compensation can be critically important for Florida workers who have been injured on the job. These payments cover lost wages and medical treatment when an employee is unable to work due to an accident or injury. Workers' compensation can also cover funeral costs when a worker is killed due to an on-the-job-incident. Most workers' compensation benefits go to cover medical costs, including emergency care, testing, ongoing treatment and health care transportation. In some cases, workers may be directed to go first to a specific list of doctors for non-emergency care.
Employers in Florida and around the country must meet standards laid down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and obtain permits before asking workers to enter confined and potentially toxic environments, and the penalties for failing to meet these requirements can be severe. An industrial contractor and a petroleum refiner in Alabama were recently reminded of this when OSHA proposed that they be fined more than $100,000 for not securing an area where a worker asphyxiated after losing his air supply.
Florida workers know how there are different forms of employment in the modern economy. In addition to traditional full-time jobs with regular hours and job security, there are gig economy jobs, jobs with short-term contracts and jobs with flexible employer-worker relationships. The employment conditions of each of these, taken altogether, can have a big impact on employee health and job safety.
In September 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a case involving the right interpretation of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard. Florida employers may be interested to learn that the court ruled in favor of OSHA and against the owner of a marine vessel repair facility in Alaska who argued that it's unnecessary to evaluate respiratory hazards until after it's clear that respirators are needed.
To improve the operation of their facility, employers in Florida are encouraged to lay down the appropriate floor markings. They will find that floor tape is especially easy to use as well as affordable; it can mark not only floors but also walls, pipes and work equipment. The point is not just to create a more efficient workplace, though. Workers' safety must also be taken into account.
Nursing is among the world's most noble professions, but the job can be genuinely hazardous. Luckily, there are several safety tips nurses in Florida can follow to help reduce their risk of work-related injuries and illnesses.
During the summer months, workers in Florida and most other states contend with hot and humid weather. Employers need to create safety plans to ensure that workers don't get hurt or sick because of heat stress or heat stroke. To keep workers safe, they should be allowed to work during the morning or evening hours when it tends to be cooler outside. Furthermore, they should be allowed to work in shaded areas.
In many Florida industries, electrical hazards are common. However, injuries from electrical accidents can be extremely serious or even deadly. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is hoping to raise awareness among electricians, engineers and other employees who regularly perform electrical operations.
Workers in Florida should know that one of the standards for which worksites are cited for most frequently by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is that for respiratory protection. The OSHA estimates that five million workers in 1.3 million workplaces in the United States are required to wear respirators. Respirators protect the workers in shops from hazardous mists, vapors, dust, gases and sprays. If workers do not wear the protective respirators, they can incur lung impairment, cancer and even die from the effects of the harmful materials they breathe in. Employers should make sure that workers are wearing respirators when necessary.