Each year, there are as many as 50,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in Pennsylvania, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with nearly 200 fatalities in the state. That rate is slightly higher than the national average. Workplace injuries cost employers and employees hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in profits, income, benefits, and productivity. You can see that it’s not only the right thing to do to practice safety, but it is also cost-effective for employee and employer.
While employees and employers can’t control everything that happens in the workplace, there are some things that they can do to help lower the risk of injuries occurring. The following five actions can greatly reduce the chances of workplace injuries and illnesses.
#1 – Wear Appropriate Protective Equipment
Employees should be provided with appropriate protective equipment related to the specific duties they are responsible for. Even more importantly, employers must properly train their employees about the proper use of personal protective equipment and enforce the wearing of those items when they are present on the worksite.
Some examples of protective equipment include:
- Protective eyewear or goggles
- Hard hats
- Steel-toed or other protective footwear
- Earplugs or other forms of ear protection
#2 – Perform Vehicle Maintenance and Safety Checklists
For organizations that use company vehicles, employers should strive to ensure that all vehicles are kept in good working order. That means that employees need to use a safety checklist before operating any company vehicle and obey all traffic laws while driving. It is up to the employer to encourage driving safety, proper maintenance of vehicles, and vigilance to keep employees safe.
#3 – Wear Appropriate Clothing for Extreme Conditions
Some workplaces may require that employees work in extreme conditions like cold or hot weather, ice and snow, or rain. Extremely low or high temperatures can cause workplace illnesses or injuries such as heat stroke or hypothermia. To avoid these types of injuries, employees should wear appropriate clothing, including the proper number of layers for the specific weather. Additionally, it’s important that employees stay hydrated when working outside. In areas where there is extreme cold, employers should provide heating devices or areas where employees can warm up when needed. Conversely, in extremely hot conditions, employers should provide areas where employees can cool down and have access to drinking water.
#4 – Report Safety Issues or Violations Immediately
When employees recognize that there is a safety issue, defective or malfunctioning equipment or unsafe conditions, they should report it to employers immediately. They cannot assume that their employer knows about the condition or that someone else has already made a report.
Additionally, employers need to create an environment of accountability. That means they need to let their employees know that everyone in the workplace is responsible for helping keep each other safe. Employees should be trained to report any violations of safety protocol immediately, and without repercussions or retaliation.
#5 – Fix Any Safety Issues in a Timely Manner
Employers are responsible for providing employees with a safe work environment, which means that any safety issues or dangerous conditions must be resolved quickly – even immediately. If this isn’t done, employers could face a civil lawsuit for intentionally ignoring a hazardous condition that may cause injury or death.
If safety issues cannot be immediately fixed, employers should conspicuously mark malfunctioning equipment as out of use.
Have You Been Injured at Your Workplace? Call a Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it’s important that you seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. When workplace injuries or illnesses occur, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits through Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws. These types of claims can be complicated, and there is a lot of paperwork that must be filed. Having a legal representative will help you and your family receive the benefits and compensation that you deserve.
Worker’s compensation attorney, Rand Spear, can help you get started on your claim. If you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, Mr. Spear can assist you in making sure that you are getting all that you deserve for your injuries. Contact the law office of Rand Spear for your free case review and help with how to proceed with your workers’ compensation case.
Philadelphia Worker’s Compensation Attorney Rand Spear
Two Penn Center Plaza, Suite 200
1500 J.F.K. Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney-client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim, please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.