Want a snapshot of the biggest safety and health issues facing LIUNA members and signatory contractors in workplaces across the U.S. and Canada? Our list of the top 10 articles of 2022 touches on many issues that we’ll need to keep addressing throughout 2023.
1. Infrastructure Bill Increases Opportunities for Work Zone Safety Funding
The generational investment represented by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also provides construction contractors and project owners with new mechanisms to secure safety funding and better protect workers in highway work zones.
2. OSHA Launches First Ever National Emphasis Program on Heat Illness
While federal OSHA continues work on a formal standard, their heat illness national emphasis program acknowledges the extreme weather that many outdoor workers are facing across the country. Meanwhile, Oregon set the bar by passing the strongest heat illness and wildfire smoke rules in the country.
3. Is Construction the Obvious Solution to Young Workers’ Career Crises?
It’s estimated the construction industry needs at least two million more workers. At a time when happiness among young people is lower than it’s been in years, a union construction career offers a stable income without college debt, comprehensive training, phenomenal health and retirement benefits as well as career opportunities.
4. Digital Alerting Could Reshape Work Zone Safety
Given the right information, onboard navigation systems and cell phones using driving apps can deliver advance warning about what’s on the road ahead. Sensors attached to equipment or worn by workers can broadcast messages directly to drivers about the need to slow down and stay alert.
5. Meet 988, the New National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
The three-digit Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, 988, aims to make accessing mental health services easier to remember during an emergency. Find out what you or a loved one can expect when you call, text or chat and get connected to a trained crisis counselor.
6. Opioid Management Guidelines for the Construction Industry
Construction workers are more likely to be prescribed opioids, become dependent on opioids and overdose on opioids than the average worker. That’s why employers, unions and health and welfare funds in the construction trades should take the time to develop policies around opioids, including how to support workers who develop a substance use disorder.
7. The Importance of Critical Incident Stress Management in Construction
After a traumatic event – where most of the attention naturally goes to the victims – it can be easy to overlook the mental health needs of other impacted workers. The LHSFNA can help provide stress debriefing services to LIUNA signatory contractors following a critical incident to help workers cope and feel comfortable returning to work.
8. Examining the Medical Uses and Risks of Marijuana
Cannabis has been shown to reduce chronic pain and is often used to relieve stress and anxiety as well. However, growing evidence shows significant risks from regular use, including changes in the brain that affect memory, increased risk for stroke and the potential for addiction.
9. Supporting Workers Following a Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury
Construction workers suffer more traumatic brain injuries than any other occupation. Taking steps to prevent TBIs, training supervisors to recognize symptoms, ensuring prompt treatment and having flexible return to work programs are all recommended steps for construction employers.
10. Understanding Voluntary Use of N95 Respirators on the Job
The LHSFNA encourages employers to support voluntary use of N95s. Know the differences between voluntary use and use required under OSHA standards so workers can protect their health and employers can follow all legal requirements.
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