Safety in Field Service: A Top Concern for NY
The Northeast United States is a major hub for field service operations. With its vast number of businesses and industrial sites, as well as its dense population, the region is a key market for companies that provide on-site service and support.
This high concentration of field service activity means that safety is a top concern for businesses in the Northeast. There are a number of dangers that field service workers face on a daily basis, from tripping and falling to being struck by vehicles.
To better understand the landscape of field service safety in the Northeast US, let’s look at three news events that have occurred in this region in the past year.
New York Power Authority focuses on safety in 2022
Providing a safe work environment is a top priority for the New York Power Authority (NYPA), as evidenced by the Authority’s ambitious health and safety ambitions for 2022.
The NYPA has been coordinating to protect employee health, including when it comes to COVID-19 and the flu. This includes offering vaccines for COVID-19 and the flu at on-site clinics, ensuring employees are following safety protocols, and collaborating on health and safety programs.
One such program is the NYPA’s Occupational Health Program, which is being reviewed for improvements. The NYPA also aims to develop an enhanced Electric Safety Program and an Incident Review Board.
Further, NYPA will procure employee health and safety technical software. Clearly, the health and safety of employees is a top priority for the NYPA.
New York Cracks Down on Unsafe Construction Sites
In what New York City officials are calling a “Zero Tolerance” crackdown on construction safety, the city has shut down 322 sites in the past six months. The move comes in the wake of several high-profile construction accidents, including a crane collapse that killed seven people in March, 2021.
City officials say that the crackdown is aimed at preventing future accidents, and that they will not hesitate to close more sites if safety violations are found. “If you are putting people’s lives at risk, you are going to get shut down,” said Building Commissioner Rick Chandler.
The crackdown has been met with mixed reactions from the construction industry. Some argue that the city is going too far in its efforts to enforce safety regulations, while others say that the crackdown is long overdue.
So far, the city has issued over 1,700 violations and levied more than $2.3 million in fines.
Waste and recycling collection is one of the deadliest occupations in America
Waste and recycling collection worker fatalities decreased last year, but the occupation remains the sixth deadliest occupation in America. The waste and recycling industry, researchers and federal agencies all agree that distracted driving is a huge part of the problem behind collection worker fatalities. U.S. collection workers have been killed in several crashes this year. In April in New York City, a van driver struck and killed a Cogent Waste Solutions collection worker while swerving around his garbage truck. And collection workers are not the only victims. In November, a passenger near San Diego died when a driver rammed a car into the back of a trash truck, then fled the scene.
These are some recent examples, though vehicle-related fatalities are not a new phenomenon for waste and recycling materials collection workers. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists “transportation accidents” as a significant cause of death for solid waste collection workers. While the factors leading to such accidents are not always recorded, distracted driving is believed to be a big contributor.
Safety steps to reduce accidents
In order to keep workers safe, businesses need to take precautions to protect their employees. Some steps that can be taken include:
- Establishing safety protocols and procedures. Every field service operation should have a set of safety protocols in place. These protocols should be followed by workers at all times, and should include instructions on how to safely navigate the work area, use of personal protective equipment, and safe handling of hazardous materials.
- Training workers on safety procedures. It is essential that workers are properly trained on how to safely carry out their duties. This includes not only understanding the safety protocols, but also knowing how to respond to potential emergencies.
- Installing safety features in the work area. There are a number of safety features that can be installed in the work area to help protect workers. These include things like pedestrian warning systems, safety signage, and fall prevention measures.
- Regularly inspecting the work area. It is important to regularly inspect the work area to ensure that it is safe for workers. This includes checking for potential hazards and ensuring that safety features are working properly.
- Encouraging safe work practices. One of the best ways to ensure worker safety is to encourage safe work practices. This includes things like wearing personal protective equipment, reporting any safety concerns, and using caution when walking in the work area.
- Installing dashcams on field service fleet vehicles is shown to reduce risky driver behaviors by up to 50%.
Safety is a top priority for businesses in the Northeast United States. By taking steps to protect workers, businesses can help ensure that their employees stay safe while on the job.
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