One of the main reasons why many workers, in the steel industry in Wisconsin, get injured is the lack of attention or lack of following safety rules that are written by Law.
Sometimes, even the employer doesn’t give proper instructions to his employees about possible injuries that may happen during work time.
Loud noise, damaged ears, and other distractions at work can lead to loose concentration and this can be a result of many accidents.
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Risk Factors and Accidents at Steel Industry in Wisconsin
It is very important to be more careful and aware of the environment and work activities. In some steel industries in Wisconsin, workers can get injuries through welding fumes, chemicals, or lubricant emissions. If there is no proper ventilation or exhaust systems, these odors and fumes can result in disorientation in the human body.
Since metal is the major component used in the steel industry, workers may get injured by lifting heavy materials. During these activities, if you don’t follow proper lifting methods, you can get a severe injury. Also, some excess metal parts can result in deep cuts if they are not taking with care.
Metals can also produce flying sparks and shards during the operating period. The sound of metalworking can also damage our hearing and lead to its loss over time.
Continue Reading: Hearing Loss among US Steelworkers >
Frequent Risk Factors that Usually Happens In Steel Industry in Wisconsin
Many injuries can occur in the steel industry in Wisconsin due to a lack of attention or carelessness.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries have various physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.
Traumatic brain injuries can affect the life of a worker. If it is not diagnosed on time it can become something more serious. Steelworkers can get brain injuries as a result of falling or slipping from high places or buildings. Steelworkers can get injuries from falling objects too, so be careful at your workplace.
Some of the signs of traumatic brain injury include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
The steel industry and construction places are not a very quiet environment for the workers. Sometimes workers are not even aware of the noise that surrounds them until they see the consequences of ringing in their ears. This ringing is called tinnitus.
In the steel industry in Wisconsin, tinnitus is a very common problem, among workers, especially, when a worker doesn’t use adequate hearing protection during his work time.
Usually, workers don’t pay attention to the noise that surrounds them. Also, sometimes employers don’t give the proper instruction about possible consequences that can happen if you don’t wear protection. Loud and continuous noise for a long time, also has a psychological cost, resulting in tinnitus, anxiety, fatigue, and sometimes it can result in a hearing loss.
Continue Reading: Tinnitus: Dealing with sound in-ear at work >
Many steelworkers in Wisconsin use power tools and heavy machines every day. For a very long time, vibration and sound from these machines can damage the nerves and ears, especially nerves from fingers and hands.
It can also wear down the ligaments Vibration can cause changes in tendons, muscles, bones, and joints, and can affect the nervous system. Collectively, these effects are known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
Risk factors in steel industry commonly reported by workers affected by HAVS:
- Attacks of whitening (blanching) of one or more fingers when exposed to cold.
- Tingling and loss of sensation in the fingers.
- Loss of light touch.
- Pain and cold sensations between periodic white finger attacks.
- Loss of grip strength.
- Bone cysts in fingers and wrists and tendons, resulting in decreased mobility and chronic pain.
Airborne toxins and hazardous chemicals in the steel industry can affect the life of every worker. Inappropriate treatment can be a result of blindness, chemical burns, and lung damage. Also, for years and decades, exposure to some toxins can be a result of cancer and life-threatening lung disease.
Three common toxic chemicals to watch out for in steel industry are:
Benzene is a recognized carcinogen that has been proven to lead to leukemia cancer. When people are introduced to potent amounts of benzene short term, they may experience unconsciousness, confusion, headaches, and nervous system dysfunction.
It may also aggravate other sensory areas like the eyes and skin. Characteristically, benzene is a liquid–one that has a sweet scent and is both colorless and combustible.
It is used in many industries because it is an ingredient for producing other chemicals: detergents, drugs, rubbers, plastics, etc.
Workers prone to coming in contact with benzene are steel-workers, firefighters, and gas station employees.
There are six types of asbestos, but together they have the same qualities: the ability to break because of their tiny, fibrous crystalline structure. The chief threat linked to asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, cancer that can develop in the lungs, heart, and lining of the stomach.
As asbestos is useful in many processes, construction workers, those in the military around ammunition storage rooms, aircraft, boiler rooms, military vehicles, and mess halls, home renovators, engineers, and agricultural workers are all in jeopardy.
Sourced from the earth’s crust, crystalline silica is fundamental to a variety of home and construction products. Natural materials such as sand, concrete, and stone have silica.
A few products that employ these materials are ceramics, glass, and bricks. When it deteriorates or is broken, it can be reduced to particles 100 times smaller than sand grains. Silica can create serious health conditions, including lung cancer, silicosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Occupations revolving around silica include pottery, concrete, or drilling for buildings.
5. Heavy lifting
Jobs in the steel industry are very demanding, and that increases risk factors. They require repeated lifts and other forms of stress. When workers carry out difficult tasks day by day, their bodies get weaker. Later it can be a result of the neck, back, shoulder, and knee injuries.
Crashes, the collapse of scaffolds, the collapse of steel columns, and other common accidents during construction can be a result of spinal cord injuries. This type of injury can make the body paralyzed most of the time.
Grinders and other electric hand tools used for working can also cause eye damage, due to material removed from the grinding wheel. It is impossible to eliminate the risks of getting injuries in the steel industry. However, it is possible to reduce the risks and make your workplace safer.
Continue Reading: Work Injury Lawyer >
Safety: How to Reduce the Risk Factors in Steel Industry
The best way to prevent accidents at work is to follow strict safety protocols. It is useful for plant supervisors to conduct routine safety seminars, emphasizing the importance of adhering to safety instructions.
Also, some procedures will help reduce the risk of injury in each area with a large number of potential risks. Direct ways to reduce injuries in metal production include the proper use of cranes or forklifts for unloading heavy raw materials, proper training and use of efficient lifting methods, and the use of trucks to transport materials between stages during the production process.
The steel industry in Wisconsin should guarantee that the ventilation system is working properly and, if it is necessary, offer some personal protective equipment, such as ear and eye protection, and gloves.
Also, all potentially dangerous parts of every machine should be regularly examined to ensure that the required safety measures are in place and working properly. Hand tools should be selected based on proper construction, and the correct tools should be checked before commissioning.
Noisy workplaces are found in a wide range of industries, and Johnson Law Offices can help You with that problem. This is a fairly quick and painless process for hearing impaired workers and the Wisconsin hearing aid dispensers that assist them. Johnson Law Offices does all the paperwork, coordination, and negotiation (working closely with the client who makes the final decisions on settlement or trial).
Due to injuries that may happen in the steel industry in Wisconsin, the manufacturing metal industry can be probably the most dangerous, if the employees or employers are not careful.
Fortunately, the non-fatal injury rate has decreased in the last few years, because of the safety equipment and adequate safety regulations that have been helping many workers to prevent common and fatal injuries. Apart from this, a worker can still get injured if he/she is not careful during work time.
Continue Reading: Can I claim for industrial hearing loss? >