Everyone cares about safety, but it’s not something most people spend much time pondering. We typically just expect to be safe — and are then surprised when we get hurt. Injuries at work are a perfect example. We step across that frayed carpet everyday without giving it a second thought, use that wobbly banister, walk past that tall stack of boxes that no one’s found time to unpack. If we stop and think about these things, we realize they’re hazards. But in the clutter of the day, they sometimes blend in.
A safe workplace is not something to be lax about. Like keeping your house clean, it requires a proactive, ongoing approach. You can’t make everything safe in one day, and you can’t expect those standards to maintain themselves. That’s one of the reasons the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was established. OSHA provides training, outreach, education, and an enforced set of safety standards for the purpose of assuring everyone a safe and healthful work environment. No one wants to get hurt on the job, and no employer wants that for their employees. Safety is a team effort.
In 2014, the US Department of Labor published a list of the 10 most frequently violated OSHA safety standards. Most of them occurred because of a failure to maintain a level of safety from day to day. Of course, each workplace is different, but consider if any of the violated standards could apply to your job site: fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, respiratory protection, powered trucks, lockout/tagout, ladders, electrical equipment, machinery, or design of electrical systems. Related statistics have shown that the No. 1 most common (and most expensive) workplace injury is due to overexertion, which includes injuries caused by excessive lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying, holding and throwing. The second most common is slipping or tripping. This encompasses wet floors, slippery floors, or trips over something on the floor. Even spilled water in the kitchen while you’re washing your coffee cup should be cleaned up or someone could end up hurt.
Identifying and fixing problems before someone gets injured ensures that every worker can go home safely at the end of their shift. Prevention is as easy as setting up a routine, and being communicative about the routine with everyone involved. It doesn’t do any good to have a set of rules if no one is aware of what they are. In an effort to get employers to show their commitment to safety as well as bring awareness to the importance of safety programs, OSHA has initiated a nationwide event called Safe + Sound week. The major concepts encompass management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing workplace hazards. Every industry can benefit from establishing procedures to collect information about known or potential hazards in the workplace, investigating their root causes, and prioritizing solutions. If you are thinking about participating, some great tools can be found here.
Going to work should not be a dangerous experience. If you are trying to put your life back together after a work-related injury, if you have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, or if you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the attorneys at The Mann Law Firm. To review your circumstances and discuss available legal options, call us at (478) 742-3381 or fill out our online form. In addition to cases in Macon, we are prepared to handle claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville and other Georgia communities. We would like to meet with you to talk about your case, and we are proud to offer free initial consultations.