Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Those that don’t will pay a heavy price. Their workers’ compensation and other liability insurance costs will rise, workers may sue, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may impose heavy fines.
In 2011, workplace fatalities declined to 4,609, and private-sector construction deaths were down for the fifth consecutive year, according to the DOL. The most hazardous occupations were construction, transportation, fishing, farming and forestry.
The threats to worker safety come on many fronts: domestic violence carried into the workplace, drug use, hazardous materials and terrorism. Note: In 2011, OSHA has issued its first enforcement instructions regarding incidents of. Officials will use the directive to decide whether allegations of workplace violence warrant an investigation. For employers, it details methods they can use to minimize the possibility of workplace violence. Read more about the new rules at www.theHRSpecialist.com/violencerules.
Increasingly, employers are facing a tougher web of workplace regulations and must coordinate activities with more federal, state and local agencies. Also,frequently intersects with other issues, such as disability discrimination, privacy rights, retaliation and homeland security.
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