One of the keys to avoiding trouble with a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado is to avoid getting injured on-the-job in the first place.
Numerous state and federal regulations help ensure factories, offices and warehouses are safe places to work. Accidents do happen but there are prudent steps each of us can take to minimize the risk of an on-the-job injury.
Generally speaking, workplace injuries occur because of unsafe work practices, hazardous conditions or improperly handled or stored chemicals. Data from the National Census of Fatal Occupation Diseases shows that 6,000 employees die each year in the U.S. from a workplace injury while another 50,000 die from illnesses caused by exposure to workplace hazards. Over 6 million workers suffer non-fatal injuries and illnesses each year, costing businesses billions.
Continue reading for 6 things you can do to prevent a workplace injury to yourself or your co-workers.
1. Be informed of potential risks
Education programs and training are essential to knowing how to properly operate machinery in your workplace. If you feel you haven’t been properly trained, tell your employer immediately. If you or a co-worker discovers a potential hazard, be sure your employer and fellow co-workers know immediately.
2. Use proper equipment
Be sure you have all of the proper equipment to do your job safely. If you’re handling chemicals, wear gloves, eye protection and be sure the area is properly ventilated. Only use equipment or tools that have the manufacturer’s safety protections in place. Be sure equipment is properly maintained. Wear shoes with good gripping to avoid slips and falls.
3. Get plenty of sleep
We all know the value of a good night’s sleep. Without it, we lose focus and are not as alert. An overwhelming majority of people say they do not get enough sleep according to a National Sleep Foundation study. It is estimated that workers’ tiredness is a contributing factor in 18% of all workplace accidents.
4. Don’t overexert yourself
Repeatedly and improperly carrying large objects can cause back strain as well as lead to overexertion of heart and lung muscles. Try using carts, hand trucks and other methods to help you move heavy objects. If you must lift something, bend your knees and keep your spine straight. Keep the object and your elbows close to your body.
5. Avoid repetitive motion
Stressing and straining yourself repeatedly can cause significant injury. If you work at a desk all day, be sure you get up, move around and stretch. Maintain proper posture by having all tools and supplies within a comfortable distance.
6. Be careful while driving
Auto accidents are a big source of on-the-job injuries. Like your personal vehicle, take extreme care when driving for your job. Don’t talk on your cell phone…focus on the road and other drivers instead. If you’re feeling tired, pull over and take a 20 minute power nap.
While our Denver workers’ compensation law firm is here to help you handle all aspects of obtaining your benefits, following these 6 steps can go a long way toward preventing a workplace injury in the first place.