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A Guide to Preventing Workplace Injuries

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Work-related injuries are any injury or illness suffered by an employee during their employment, which is related to their job duties. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. private industry employers reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2020.

The types of workplace injuries vary in nature and severity. In addition to any pain suffered, an injury of this sort can inhibit an employee’s ability to continue working and live a normal life. Some common workplace injuries include:

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls can occur when there is insufficient traction between an employee’s feet and the walking surface. According to Industrial Safety & Occupational Health Markets, 85% of compensation claims are attributable to employees slipping on floors.

Some of the causes for slips and falls include wet or oily floors, loose carpeting, hazardous weather conditions such as icy walkways, and improper footwear.

Overexertion

According to the  Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index overexertion costs businesses $13.98 billion each year. Examples of overexertion include back injuries from manual labor and lifting heavy objects, working too long without sufficient breaks, and working without proper training.

Overexertion also encompasses injuries suffered from repetitive movements such as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). RSI injuries result from performing the same motion over and over putting severe strain on the muscles.

The debilitating pain suffered can eventually impair an employee’s ability to perform their work-related duties such as constant typing, which can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you have been injured at your place of work you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your treatment, medical expenses, therapy, loss of income, and other losses.  Law firms such as Hach and Rose offer a free confidential case review and can also take on your case on a no win no fee basis.

Caught in or Struck by Equipment

Businesses such as farming or construction which require heavy or moving machinery can pose a risk to employees, especially if the equipment is unguarded.

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Accidents can typically involve a body part such as hair or an arm being caught in a piece of equipment or being compressed between heavy machinery. Workers can also be struck by low beams or be exposed to flying objects or moving parts from machinery.

Injuries should not be viewed as simply the cost of doing business and employers ought to put in place measures to ensure the safety of their staff. With serious, nonfatal workplace injuries accounting for nearly $60 billion in U.S. workers’ compensation costs it is important to do all you can to protect your staff.

The best way to make your workplace a safe environment and protect your business from a work-related claim is by following the tips below:

Review Your Policies and Procedures

Conduct a regular review of your organization’s policies and procedures regarding health and safety at work. Are they up-to-date and do they cover all of the risks that your employees might face?

If your business has acquired new equipment or machinery, ensure safety and control measures are included in your policies and procedures. Whenever safety protocols are amended or renewed make sure to communicate these changes to all of your employees and where necessary, provide staff with relevant training.

Provide Protective Equipment and Training

Protective equipment should be mandatory and time must be taken to teach employees how to properly use this.

Without proper training, workers are more likely to put themselves or other coworkers in danger. Establish a training program to ensure your staff receives the education needed to help prevent employees injuries in the workplace training them on the importance of following safety rules.

Regular training sessions which keep employees updated on policy and procedure ought to be included as well.

Perform Regular Inspections

Regular inspections of all machinery, tools, and equipment ought to be conducted to ensure it meets the correct standards of safety required by law. Broken or worn-out items should be fixed or replaced immediately.

These three tips can ensure a safe working environment that benefits both the employer and their employees.

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