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Reducing workplace accidents

Oklahoma workers may be familiar with the various types of accidents that can occur in the workplace. According to data provided by the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the top five causes of workplace injuries in 2010 were overexertion, falls on the same level, bodily reactions, falls to lower levels and being struck by objects. These injuries constituted approximately 73 percent of costs associated with workplace injuries. It may be possible to minimize the occurrence of these and other workplace accidents by instituting some basic safety procedures.

The occurrence of falls and being struck by objects can potentially be minimized by making improvements to the workplace environment. For example, ensuring the cleanliness of a space and the removal of obstacles can prevent someone from tripping and falling.

Minimizing the incidence of overexertion and bodily reaction injuries may require more systemic changes to workplace safety procedures. In order to prevent employees from suffering injuries related to poor posture, for example, management may wish to invest in forms of ergonomic consultation. If overexertion is a problem, changes may need to be made to the number of employees, the quantity of tasks they are assigned or the manner in which they are trained.

When employees suffer workplace injuries, they may be entitled to receive workers' compensation in some cases. However, since accepting workers' compensation may remove the possibility of securing compensation through civil litigation, someone who has been injured while working may wish to consult with an attorney before making their decision to accept workers' compensation or not. An attorney may offer guidance to their client in such a situation and help them make a more informed decision.

Source: EHS Today, "Preventing the Top 5 Workplace Injuries", Langdon Dement , December 08, 2014

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