For many families, Labor Day weekend signals the unofficial end of summer. Vacation is over, the kids are back in school, and it is time to shift your focus back to work.
Unfortunately, with more people going to work every day, the risk of suffering a job-related injury increases. Each autumn employees and contractors in all occupations are injured in accidents that could – and should – have been avoided.
What Can You Do to Keep Yourself Safe at Work?
Given the increased risk of suffering a work injury after Labor Day, what can you do to stay safe this fall? Here are seven tips for avoiding work injuries from Bakersfield personal injury lawyer Mickey Fine:
Tip #1: Know Your Risk
Statistically, some workers are at a higher risk for suffering work-related injuries than others. While statistics are not necessarily determinative of whether you personally will suffer an injury on the job, knowing your risk can help you make informed decisions about avoiding hazards and staying safe at work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- California has the second-highest number of fatal work injuries in the country.
- Employees who receive a wage or salary from a company are about four times as likely as self-employed individuals to get hurt at work.
- Individuals who are between the ages of 25 and 64 face a roughly equal risk of suffering injuries on the job.
- Men and women face a roughly equal risk of suffering serious or fatal work injuries involving:
- Construction workers are the most likely to suffer serious or fatal work injuries, followed closely by employees in the transportation and warehousing industries.
Tip #2: Know What Types of Accidents Can Lead to Work Injuries
According to the National Safety Council, excluding vehicle collisions, the substantial majority of work-related injuries result from three types of accidents:
- Overexertion (including lifting, lowering, and repetitive motions) – 34% of work injuries
- Contact with objects and equipment (including being struck by, crushed by, or caught in moving equipment, materials, or other objects) – 26% of work injuries
- Slips, trips, and falls (including falls on the same level and falls to a lower level) – 26% of work injuries
The BLS identifies the other leading causes of work injuries as violence, animal attacks, exposure to harmful substances and environments, fires, and explosions.
Tip #3: Know How to Spot Work-Related Injury Risks
When you are at work, it is important to be able to spot risks that have the potential to lead to serious injuries. While it won’t always be possible to tell whether a situation is dangerous, overcrowded work places, non-adherence to safety protocols, and coworkers who appear to be inexperienced or under the influence are all common factors in work-related accidents.
Tip #4: Wear Appropriate Clothing and Safety Gear
For many workers, the type of clothing they wear can either increase or decrease their risk of suffering a job-related injury. For example, employees who work with power tools and industrial machinery generally should not wear loose-fitting clothes.
Likewise, if you can wear protective equipment to reduce your risk of suffering a work injury, then you should wear safety gear while you work. Earplugs, safety glasses, hardhats, harnesses, and other types of safety equipment can all greatly reduce the risk of suffering a debilitating injury on the job.
Tip #5: If You See Something, Say Something
If you see a safety issue at work, you should tell your employer promptly. You do not have to work under dangerous conditions, and your employer cannot legally take action against you for speaking up about a legitimate safety concern.
Ideally, your employer will acknowledge the issue and address it promptly so that you and your coworkers can get back to work safely.
Tip #6: Follow Safety Protocols and Take Care of Yourself
Even if your employer or your coworkers are taking unnecessary risks in the workplace, you should still continue to prioritize your own safety. Be careful, take your time, and follow any safety protocols that you are supposed to follow.
Tip #7: Do Not Ignore Symptoms of Chronic or Repetitive Stress Injuries
Finally, if you are experiencing symptoms of a chronic injury (i.e., lower back pain) or you begin to have concerns about a repetitive stress injury, you should seek medical attention promptly. Not only will this help ensure that your condition doesn’t get worse, but it will also help ensure that you do not suffer another injury as a result of working in pain or with other physical limitations.
Injured at Work? Contact The Law Offices of Mickey Fine
Attorney Mickey Fine has been serving injured workers and other clients in Bakersfield, and other areas of California for decades. The Law Offices of Mickey Fine has helped multiple clients recover just compensation for their job-related injuries.