Every day, 14 Americans go to work and never come home. Every year, 2.6 million more suffer debilitating injuries. Do you have one of the most dangerous jobs in America?
Logging and commercial fishing are the US’s most dangerous jobs, and their notoriety is increasing thanks to the popularity of reality TV shows like Deadliest Catch and Big Timber.
And even though logging was America’s most deadly job in 2021 at 82.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, you don’t have to get tangled in a runaway fishing net or whacked by a falling tree to get hurt on the job.
Ways Employers Can Keep Their Employees Safe
According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2021. What’s worse is that 4,472 of those deaths were entirely preventable! All workers deserve a safe workplace and yet, the number of fatal work injuries increased by nearly 9 percent from 2020 to 2021.
Workplace safety should be a top priority for all employers. Here are some ways employers can and should keep their employees safe:
- Engage employees in your safety process.
- Identify, report, and educate on all safety hazards.
- Make sure managers and supervisors make safety a priority.
- Put all safety practices in writing and post in an accessible area.
- Be prepared! An emergency plan should also be part of your safety process.
The National Safety Council says that “employers who show they care about the safety of their employees see improved morale, increased productivity, lower costs, and fewer injuries.” Here are additional resources to help you gauge whether workplace safety is a priority for your employer.
Ways Employees Can Keep Themselves Safe
And it goes without saying that employers, employees, health and safety professionals, and government officials must continue working together to keep workplace safety top of mind. There are things employees can implement to create a safer work environment for themselves and others. Start with these 10 safety tips:
- Be aware. Know the hazards particular to your workplace.
- Learn good posture. While at your desk, keep your shoulders in line with your hips. And use good form when lifting.
- Take regular breaks. Many work-related injuries occur when a worker is tired. Schedule tough tasks when refreshed.
- Don’t take shortcuts. Skipping proper procedures when using dangerous tools and machinery is the leading cause of workplace injuries.
- Keep emergency exits clear. And make it easy to reach emergency shutoffs.
- Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor. Don’t be shy if you see a workplace hazard. Your supervisors are legally obligated to ensure your safety.
- Use mechanical aids whenever possible. Don’t carry something heavy when you could use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, forklift, or other aid.
- Stay sober. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that alcohol use contributes to 18% of workplace injuries.
- Reduce stress. Stress can make it hard to concentrate.
- Wear proper safety equipment. Earplugs, hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, etc., significantly reduce the risk of workplace injury.
All Workers Deserve a Safe Workplace
Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. Your safety is ultimately your employer’s responsibility and every precaution should be taken to spare workers needless pain and suffering.
Under federal law, every employee has the right to a safe workplace. If you believe your workplace is dangerous, you can request an inspection from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency.
If you are hurt at work, report your injury to your employer immediately so they can start the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Then, contact your state workers’ comp office for additional guidance.
Penalized for filing a claim? Insurer denied the claim? Please contact us today to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer.