Most Michigan residents probably believe that they have a good idea of what types of industries are thought of as the most hazardous. They know that the mining, farming, petrochemical and construction industries can be pretty dangerous places, and unfortunately these industries suffer many on-the-job injuries every year. But, a recent report by the Michigan Occupational Safety Health Administration has identified a top ten high hazard industry that many people in the state would probably not initially consider. In their winter 2015 newsletter, MIOSHA has recognized the Support Activities for Transportation as a new top ten high hazard industry. Accordingly, MIOSHA has identified SAT as one area of employment that the safety organization will work on to actively seek to reduce the injury and illness rates.
As indicated by its name, the SAT industry encompasses men and women who work in the highway, airline and railroad professions. These are the people who move cargo and baggage at the airport and train station, and fuel and maintain aircraft and railroad cars. This industry also includes the packing and loading and unloading industries. According to MIOSHA, these employees are exposed daily to different kinds of health and safety hazards, including working from aerial buckets and ladders, inhaling carbon monoxide gas from different kinds of vehicles, being subjected to high noise levels and receiving repetitive injuries from the continuous lifting of heavy objects.
This industry has other potential hazards as well. These are related to the use of ladders, portable hand tools, metal cutting equipment, flammable materials and power tools used by groundskeepers.
By targeting this industry for enforcement, MIOSHA hopes to be able to reduce the Michigan workers’ injury and illness rate. According to statistics used by MIOSHA, SAT had a national non-fatal injury and illness incidence rate of 4.0 cases per 100 workers in 2012. However, the rate of injury and illness was 4.2 in Michigan for the same year. MIOSHA hopes to reduce this rate by 15 percent within the next four years.
Michigan workers who suffer a work accident or an in-the job injury should be aware of their rights under Michigan law, including the fact that employers in the state are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
Source: MIOSHA News. “Series on the 10 High-Hazard Industries in Michigan” Winter 2015.