It seems like the whole country is going green! A lot of jobs are going green, too! These are the kinds of jobs that help to revitalize our resources and our economy and they help to get people back to work. These kinds of jobs aren’t necessarily safe though! Employees that work in green industries can also face some serious accident hazards, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These workers are at risks for fire, electrical, confined spaces, falls and other hazards. These are the kinds of hazards that might be new to a lot of workers who are just now entering the green industry. In addition to these new hazards, these kinds of workers can be exposed to carcinogen, known as Cadmium Telluride, if they right safety precautions and controls are not used.
Our Boulder workers’ compensation attorneys understand that employers are required to comply with federal health and safety regulations and standards that have been set forth by OSHA. There are also statewide OSHA safety programs. Under these regulations, employers are required to make sure that all hazards are pointed out on the job and are fixed. When there is no OSHA regulation in place, OSHA can enforce a General Duty Clause to cover it and to make sure that workers are safe. In the growing green industry, this clause is being used more and more often as we’re facing work hazards many of us have never seen before.
One of the most important things to remember in this kind of industry is the “Prevention through Design (PtD)” concept. This is when employers design safety programs and procedures as new work practices are introduced to workers. It’s important that all companies and employers have an effective system in place to make sure that health and safety professionals can “design out” any of these hazards as they create and design new products.
A lot of the new jobs that are covered under this new green industry deal with wind energy, weather insulating/sealing, hydrogen fuel cells, green roofing, recycling, biofuels, geo-thermal energy and solar power. Let’s make these new and efficient energy sources safe to produce and create for workers nationwide!