Safety precautions can lessen workers' compensation claims

Workers in all industries in California and elsewhere are at risk of suffering occupational injuries -- some of which can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 5,000 people lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries or work-related illnesses in 2016, and many more suffered nonfatal injuries. Safety authorities say the picture could look entirely different -- and the number of workers' compensation claims can be lessened -- if employers and employees carefully follow existing safety precautions.

Slips and trips can cause falls that can cause muscle injuries, bone fractures, open wounds and even brain injuries. Wet areas from spills or traffic carrying snow or ice from outside pose slip-and-fall hazards. Debris, randomly placed objects or cords snaking across the floor are trip threats. Uneven surfaces and damaged walkways can also cause trip-and-fall accidents.

Appropriate personal protective equipment for each job is essential -- from fall harnesses and hard hats to respiratory equipment and safety goggles. Using correctly fitted PPE that is approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is essential, and compliance with lockout/tagout regulations can prevent activation of machines during maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, a general culture of always disconnecting electricity when it is not in use may avoid electrical shocks.

Dehydration can be prevented by drinking enough water, and musculoskeletal injuries that result from lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling can be reduced by learning and using proper lifting techniques and making ergonomic changes to the workplace. Despite all the good intentions and measures taken by employers to protect employees, injuries will still continue to occur. Injured workers in California can utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the complicated claims process. A lawyer can work to secure recovery of all applicable benefits.

Source: nibletz.com, "6 Safety Measures That Dramatically Reduce Injuries", Jane Brown, March 1, 2018

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