According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 50,000 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in Pennsylvania in 2015, with 173 total fatalities in the state. During 2014, Pennsylvania's rate of workplace accidents totaled 3.7 cases per 100 full-time employees—just slightly above the national average of 3.2 percent. Workplace injuries and illnesses cost employees and employers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in income, benefits, profits, and productivity. It's not only right for employees to be safe; it's also more cost-effective.
Employees and employers cannot control everything that occurs while on the job; however, both employees and employers can take steps to reduce the risk of workplace accidents.
Read below for 5 actionable ways to reduce the risk of being injured on the job!
#1: Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Employers should provide each employee with protective equipment required pursuant to the type of industry and job. More importantly, employers should train employees in the proper use of personal protective equipment, and employees should wear these items whenever they’re at the work site.
Examples of personal protective equipment that reduce the risk of injury include:
- Eye protection
- Hard hats
- Ear protection
- Steel-toed boots
#2: Enforce Vehicle Safety Checklists & Maintenance
If employees use company vehicles, employer should ensure that all vehicles are maintained in top working order. Employees should check the safety of the vehicle before driving and obey all traffic laws while driving. Employers should develop and implement a safe-driving policy for all company-owned vehicles. Encouraging safe driving, frequent maintenance, and constant vigilance is one of the most effective ways to keep yourself (or employees) safe—and it doesn’t require new equipment.
#3: Wear Layers Appropriate for Extreme Conditions
Some jobs may require employees to work in extreme conditions (i.e. hot or cold weather, snow, ice, rain, etc.). High and low temperatures can result in serious workplace illnesses and injuries. To prevent injury employees should wear the proper number of layers of clothing for the weather and stay hydrated when working outdoors. Employers should install heating devices or provide cooling stations when necessary. Employers should also reduce the number of work hours during extreme weather conditions.
In extremely hot areas, frequent water breaks (and easy access to drinking water) is an absolute must. Create policies and install machines to encourage better water drinking habits.
#4: Immediately Report Safety Issues
Employees should report safety issues to the employer immediately. Do not assume that an employer is aware of a dangerous or hazardous situation.
Employers—create a culture of accountability. Let your people know that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep each other safe and informed of potential hazards. Create policies that reward or encourage the fast reporting of safety issues.
#5: Immediately Fix Safety Issues
Employers are required to fix or resolve any dangerous or hazardous situations on the jobsite. As soon as an employee reports a safety issues, the employer would resolve the situation immediately. A failure to do so could result in the worker having a civil lawsuit for purposefully ignoring a dangerous situation that could result in an injury or death.
Injured On the Job? Call a Pennsylvania Worker's Comp Attorney.
Contact the experienced worker's compensation attorneys of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP for a free consultation. If you are injured at work or you develop an illness because of the work that you perform, you have the legal right to receive compensation through Pennsylvania's worker's compensation laws.
Worker's compensation claims are not always easy to file—they are complicated and involve many time constraints. You need an experienced legal advocate to ensure your rights are protected. Contact our office now to discuss your workplace injury. Waiting could jeopardize your ability to receive compensation for your workplace injury. There is no obligation to meet with us. We will answer your questions about Pennsylvania worker's compensation laws and explain the steps you need to take to receive benefits for your workplace injury.
Call (888) 498-3023 or contact us online today for a free review of your case.