After learning more about preventing serious workplace injuries, reach out to Prince Law Firm if you need help with a workers’ compensation claim. Our personal injury law firm advocates for victims of workplace accidents in Marion and surrounding areas of Southern Illinois.
Ways To Make the Workplace a Safer Place for Everyone
Below we’ll discuss some of the measures all employees can take to help prevent serious injuries in the workplace. We understand that occupational hazards depend considerably on the industry in which you are employed. These general guidelines can be applied to all lines of work, but you may need to take specific steps to prevent serious injuries at your particular place of employment.
Evaluate Workplace Hazards
Every workplace contains different hazards. Before you or your employer can take steps to mitigate those hazards, it’s necessary to conduct an analysis of the biggest risks workers face.
For example, the dangers to a processing plant’s employees will differ from those that workers confront on a construction site. Occupational risks to office employees differ greatly from those that commercial truck drivers experience. These factors must be considered when planning for workplace safety.
Questions such as these can help identify the areas most in need of targeted safety measures:
- How have workers been injured in the past?
- What equipment do workers use daily?
- Is any equipment outdated or at risk of failing?
- What risks will workers face if a piece of equipment fails?
- Are there emergency escape routes at the facilities?
- What concerns do current employees have about their safety and wellbeing?
- Is there an effective emergency response plan?
- What protocols are in place for when something goes wrong?
- Is safety equipment easy to access, in good working order, and sufficient for all workers?
Even if conducting a workplace safety evaluation is not part of your job description, it’s a good idea to be aware of all potential risks for your own sake. This is especially important when you begin a new job, but should also be done from time to time no matter how long you’ve held your current role.
Continually reminding yourself about potential job hazards, emergency escape routes, and how your actions in the workplace could endanger yourself or others is always good practice.
Safety Training for New and Current Employees
Preventing serious injuries in the workplace begins with proper safety training. Without this critical knowledge, employees have no way to defend themselves against the hazards inherent to their occupation. Cultivating a safety culture is one of the best ways to prevent workplace injuries.
If you did not receive adequate safety training when you began your employment, notify your employer. It violates Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations to fail to provide comprehensive safety training to all employees.
Safety training should cover topics such as:
- Occupational hazards and how to mitigate them
- Proper handling of materials and equipment
- Fire safety
- Violence prevention
- Cybersecurity and online safety
- How to correctly use personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Medical services, first aid, and health resources for employees
- Environmental safety
- Exit routes and emergency plans
- Proper storage techniques
- Toxic and hazardous substances
Implement, Learn, and Follow a Safety Plan
Commit your company’s emergency safety plan to memory. If something goes wrong, the last thing you want is to be scrambling to figure out what to do. Make it a daily practice to do a quick mental review of the steps you would take if there was a fire, chemical leak, explosion, electrical malfunction, or another dangerous event at work. If something does happen, you can be the one to see to it that everyone escapes unharmed from a potentially life-threatening situation.
Never Cut Corners or Act Carelessly
Regardless of your job title, work can be stressful, monotonous, fatiguing, physically exhausting, and sometimes downright boring. It’s the human condition to want to find the fastest and easiest way to accomplish a task, even if it means cutting a few corners to get there.
Before you take the path of least resistance at work, stop to think about how your actions may affect your own safety or the safety of others. Most serious work injuries could have been prevented if an employee or supervisor was more careful and considered in their actions.
These are just a few of the types of serious accidents that can result from carelessness in the workplace:
- Slips and falls from spills or objects left lying in walking areas
- Falls from heights when scaffolding and ladders are hastily assembled
- Injuries when tools aren’t returned to their proper locations
- Accidents when safety guards aren’t set on equipment
- Injuries or illnesses when an employee fails to use the PPE they should have
- Violence committed by intruders when doors are left open or unlocked
- Falls in dark stairwells when light bulbs aren’t changed, or broken railings aren’t fixed
- Dangerous equipment failure because of negligence in inspections and maintenance
Report Anything Dangerous, Suspicious, or Negligent
It’s always better to err on the side of caution regarding workplace safety. If you notice any dangerous conditions, report what you saw immediately to a supervisor. The same is true if you observe any suspicious behavior at work, or become aware of an employee’s habits that seem to be negligent and dangerous to others.
It can be difficult to be the one to stand up and say that something’s not right. But remember, your diligence could save someone’s life. Don’t be afraid to call attention to a practice that puts people at risk, even if none of your coworkers seem to have a problem with it. As we’ve mentioned, most workplace accidents are preventable. You can do your part to prevent them.
What To Do if You Are Injured at Work
Suffering a workplace injury can change your life completely. You may have swapped normal working hours for hospital stays, doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, and recovery time at home. All of these changes are necessary to recovery —but are unfailingly expensive. On top of your lost wages, you’re now receiving costly medical bills you don’t know how you’ll ever pay back.
Workers’ compensation is a great help to employees who have been injured in their job. But receiving the benefits you need for a full physical, emotional, and financial recovery isn’t always easy. At Prince Law Firm, we understand the challenges of securing economic stability after a workplace accident. Let us handle getting you the benefits you need while you focus on recovery.
Contact our office today for a free legal consultation to discuss how we can help you.