National Safety Council: Tips for Safe Workplaces
September 21, 2017
The National Safety Council (NSC) recently partnered with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prevent injury-causing and fatal work injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its 2014 census that nearly 5,000 workers were killed while on the job. The OSHA-NSC Alliance aims to implement different safety training programs in order to help keep workers safe and limit preventable accidents.
The NSC reports that 12,900 workers are injured in the United States every day – that means that someone is hurt every 7 seconds. Altogether, 4,700,000 workers suffer injuries each year. Many of these injuries and fatalities are preventable when employers maintain a safe workplace and provide proper safety training to employees. The NSC finds that the three most common injury events that result in lost time from work are overexertion, contact with objects or equipment and slips, trips and falls.
35% of all workplace injury events are the result of overexertion, typically from repetitive motions and lifting or lowering heavy items. To avoid overexertion, the NSC recommends that workers:
- Take frequent, short breaks, and:
- Avoid reaching, bending and/or twisting when lifting
Coming into contact with equipment or objects as well as slips, trips and falls each account for 25% of all workplace injury events. Workers can fall victim to contact injuries when they get stuck in or against equipment, are caught in or get crushed by objects or equipment or are struck, crushed or caught in collapsing equipment, structure or material. Some helpful tips to decrease these kind of injuries include:
- Maintain a compliant workplace – this means using good housekeeping practices;
- Set ladders on solid, even surfaces;
- Store heavier objects close to the floor;
- Wear proper protective equipment and gear, and:
- Be aware of objects and equipment around your work area
Workers typically lose time from work after sustaining strains, sprains, tears, lacerations, puncture wounds, muscle soreness or pain. According to data from the NSC, people who work in emergency services, manufacturing/production, installation, maintenance and repair, transportation/shipping as well as construction are the most likely to get injured and lose time from their jobs. Although some industries may have higher rates of worker-related injuries, illnesses and deaths, all different types of employment can be dangerous, particularly when employers fail to fulfill their legal responsibility to provide safe workplaces free from foreseeable hazards.
When a person is injured on the job, workers’ compensation may be available to them. Benefits are awarded to those who become disabled as a result of a work-related injury, illness, disease or condition. Workers’ compensation also applies in cases when a person’s previously existing health condition is worsened or aggravated by his or her job. In the case of at-work injuries, it is crucial to immediately report an injury to a supervisor or to the personnel department.
The BLS monitors work injuries and fatalities, and finds that the most common events associated with fatal accidents in the workplace are:
- Highway incidents;
- Assault/homicide, and:
- Being struck by objects/equipment
Prevention and safety measures are key components in decreasing at-work injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Employers can help limit all different types of injuries by taking the necessary steps to maintain compliant workplaces, as well as by offering safety training to employees. Through the NSC-OSHA alliance, employers can also participate in the Journey to Safety Excellence. The program helps employers determine safety concerns and improvements they can make in their workplaces, and also provides access to various safety resources.
The majority of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths are preventable. Defensive driving courses can help keep workers safe from highway accidents and first aid training can better prepare workers for unexpected emergency situations.
To find out if you should consider applying for workers’ compensation benefits, please contact a representative at our firm.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Pursue Recoveries for Work-Related Injuries and Accidents
If you sustained injuries while at work, please contact our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.