Green Jobs & OSHA Safety Standards: What Employees Should Know
In today's world, many businesses and private citizens are "going green," in an attempt to help preserve our planet. They're recycling, driving more environmentally friendly vehicles and watching their consumption of natural resources. What's more, there are a growing number of "green jobs" being chased after by states looking to improve their economic outlook. Not only do these green jobs help to create a better community for everyone, but they also create new employment opportunities.
According to a recent report from Forbes, the website SimplyHired.com is currently listing about 4,000 jobs that are tagged with the keyword "environmental compliance" - that's a 24% increase compared to August 2010. Even more staggering, the site lists approximately 11,000 jobs associated with "energy efficiency," which marks a 500% increase compared to November 2009. Suffice to say, the green industry is continuing to grow.
Unfortunately, however, with new jobs come new risks. The Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration (OSHA) has expressed concerns that while these companies focus on the preservation of our planet, they may also present certain unique hazards that can result in workplace injuries.
Risks associated with the green industry are of special concern because the industry has experienced such explosive growth in recent years. Some of these new jobs could potentially expose workers to new hazards that may have not been previously identified in other industries. For example, a worker in a solar energy plant may be exposed to Cadmium Telluride, a known carcinogen, if the factory does not implement adequate controls.