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Ways to prevent workplace accidents

Workplace accidents injure thousands of people a year and cost billions of dollars. Minnesota workers might be interested to learn that 73.1 percent of workplace injuries in 2010 were caused by one of five things, according to Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. These included falling to a lower level, falling on the same level, being hit by an object, excess exertion and bodily reactions, such as bending or reaching. Thankfully, there are ways to help prevent workplace injuries linked to the aforementioned causes.

Wearing proper protective gear could decrease injuries from both types of falls. Shoes that are anti-slip are one example of something workers could wear to prevent falling. Ensuring that work spaces are not cluttered, floors are dry and ladders are well maintained might also reduce falls and subsequent injuries. Cleaning up clutter might help reduce bodily reaction injuries as well. Ensuring that tools are put away when not in use and removing any hazards are also important for maintaining a safe workplace. Workers could also lower their risks by getting in shape and improving their posture.

The final two contributors to workplace injuries are overexertion and being hit by objects. Workers who are overexerting themselves might benefit from training designed to teach learn proper technique to reduce strain. Sometimes, devices are available to assist workers and relieve stress. For preventing injuries from falling objects, everyone should wear appropriate safety gear for their environment, such as goggles and hardhats. Taking care to stack objects securely might also prevent objects from sliding out of place and striking someone.

Workers who are injured on the job might fear reprisal if they try to claim workers' compensation. An attorney can assess the situation to determine whether workers' compensation applies and then assist throughout the claims process in order to get the benefits the client is entitled to.

Source: EHSToday, "Preventing the Top 5 Workplace Injuries", Langdon Dement , November 16, 2014

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