Medical emergencies in the workplace are, unfortunately, relatively common. While many such accidents come about through worker error or dangerous procedures, many of these emergencies are unavoidable. If steps are taken to at least prevent the avoidable accidents, then the number of injuries in workplaces would certainly go down. Many accidents could be effectively avoided simply through adequate training for all employees.
Best Practices to Prevent Workplace Accidents
- First and foremost, workers and managers should take the time to adequately identify and eliminate all high risk activities. If people have been hurt in the past while climbing the shaky ladder in the basement to reach a box of envelopes, then that is obviously a high-risk activity and steps should be taken to eliminate the risk involved.
- Educate employees about the dangers of overconfidence. When we have performed certain job tasks over and over, day in and day out, we begin to think that an accident could never happen to us—after all, we’re highly experienced in this particular task. Unfortunately, this type of thinking can lead to sloppy or improper procedures, or to distraction or daydreaming during the task making the situation ripe for an accident. When safety procedures are ignored, all workers are endangered, so a casual attitude toward safety rules is never good.
- Caution workers about taking shortcuts. Most of us take shortcuts during tasks we are familiar and comfortable with, however in some cases these shortcuts can lead to unsafe conditions, which in turn lead to an increased chance of injuries. Map out whether implementing a time saving idea will in any way compromise safety, then determine if it’s really worth it. It’s also important to limit the mental distractions in the workplace, as focus is important in avoiding injuries.
- Emphasize that instructions are there for a reason. Some workers routinely neglect to read instructions for a new machine or procedure. Others are intimidated about asking for better verbal instructions, and end up “winging it” rather than asking for clarification. New employee training is essential in the prevention of accidents. While a person who has been in the company for some time considers the tasks easy or routine, a new person has no knowledge of the procedure and can end up either being in an accident or causing an accident due to lack of proper training.
- Always keep the work space neat and clean. Poor housekeeping is the cause of a tremendous amount of workplace accidents. Trips and falls over a box left in the way, or a chair which is out in the walk place can cause serious injuries. Everyone in the workplace should be well-trained on the importance of keeping everything tidy.
Components of a Good Safety Program
Every workplace should have a comprehensive safety program in place which has the support and involvement of top management. Specific job descriptions should be in place, and, if warranted, physical examinations for certain jobs. There should always be a comprehensive policy detailing the company’s commitment to safety, and employees should have the opportunity to offer input regarding safety in their workplace.
Contacting an Attorney
Should you suffer a workplace accident which causes serious harm or injury, you should immediately notify your supervisor, and seek medical attention. Most all accidents which occur at work are covered under Worker’s Compensation, however there are specific procedures and time limits you must follow in order to collect. If your employer is not being cooperative in helping you file paperwork regarding your workplace injury it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable Worker’s Comp attorney immediately who can counsel you on your options for proceeding with a claim in order to receive compensation for your injuries.
Workers Compensation Claims: 1-800-734-3771, 913-681-5566, or 816-966-0099
Contact Mike Lawless today to discuss your workers’ compensation initial claim or denial with an experienced lawyer. We offer a free initial consultation, with evening and weekend appointments available.