They are a common complaint for all industries: workplace-related injuries. While traditionally believed to be the domain of high-risk jobs involving a great deal of heavy lifting and the operation of heavy machinery, wounds and disorders sustained due to workplace activities are relatively common across all fields. Despite the most attentive safety measures, something can still go wrong at some point that causes you or a fellow employee to become injured.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that there should be no constructive discussion centred on creating a culture of safety in the workplace and minimising hazards. If you’re feeling at a loss about the suggestions you can bring to improve security and welfare during the next team meeting, here are a few valuable suggestions to help you out, from the basic to the more peripheral.
Ascertain The Risks
The best way to prevent workplace injuries is to be aware of them. In this sense, you should assemble a list containing the injuries most likely to occur in your occupations. All jobs are not equal, so if you work in construction, you can be more susceptible to knee or ankle injuries and broken bones.
In contrast, a job in tech comes with the dangers of chronic conditions resulting from poor posture and the repetitive motions of typing on a keyboard all day, which puts strain on the joints and ligaments. Many employees are unaware of the damage their bodies can sustain as a result of their work, so knowledge is essential to understand the situation.
If there have been unusual injuries at your job in the past, such as electrocution or a slip and fall that resulted in significant harm to health, then it’s worth mentioning it to ensure that the cause of the accident has been adequately addressed.
Propose a Guide
While common, workplace injuries are reduced if everyone remembers to follow a few simple rules. It’s not always easy. After all, there are many important things to keep in mind when you’re at work. But without clear guidelines, employees are more likely to sustain injuries.
Whether minor or life-threatening, the damage will impair normal day-to-day life, cause you to miss work, and perhaps be confined to bed rest until your physician gives you the green light to resume your usual activity levels. In a few dramatic cases, workplace injuries never heal completely, and they can result in permanent damage and even death.
After conducting a risk assessment, during which you establish the most common physical, mental, biological or chemical hazards, it’s time to ensure that you have the proper training necessary to do your job. Don’t shy away from giving advice to other employees as well if you notice them practising unsafe methods, or taking shortcuts that could provoke injurious accidents.
Avoid generalised clutter on your desk and in the general office space, and clean any spillages you may cause. These are well-established tripping hazards, only coming behind entangled wires trailing over walkways. If an area of the building is under construction or the flooring has recently been cleaned, it should be marked with the adequate signage.
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Know Your Legal Rights
Despite safety practices increasing in recent years, with employers paying more attention to the welfare of workers, accidents haven’t been eliminated. If you happen to be the victim of one as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to monetary compensation.
Hire an injury claims attorney to help you navigate the legal proceedings, as the laws related to workplace injuries can be tricky. A successful case will require a significant deal of expertise. A lawyer can also calculate accident compensation figures, so you get a realistic number of what you can expect.
Workplace accidents that are eligible for compensation are the ones in which the injured party can prove that the duty of care has been breached and they’ve sustained injuries as a result. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Lack of adequate training: Your employer must provide you with the necessary training that minimises your likelihood of becoming injured. They should also equip you and every other employee with adequate gear. If you aren’t supplied with any of this, it will likely be considered an infringement on your right to safety.
- No risk assessment: If the manager never carries out risk assessment discussions, then it’s close to impossible to be aware of the possible risks. If you’ve been kept in the dark about the dangers of a particular activity, it is grounds for a legal case that can turn out in your favour.
In order to get the total amount of compensation that you are owed, you must be sure to provide all the necessary evidence. This encompasses medical records that can show an objective, medical professional-approved view of the injuries you experienced, and witness accounts of the accidents and even CCTV footage if you can obtain access to it.
Over the years, the office space has become more relaxed, with workers able to don more casual attire without risk of being told off for breaching dress code rules. And while that’s a fantastic idea, by and large, there are still certain fields where the wardrobe is of significant importance.
For example, footwear is essential in the construction of manufacturing work. Specially designed shoes help avoid the risk of wounds to the feet and toes should you drop a heavy object or a corrosive chemical substance. If your job involves operating machines, you should avoid jewellery, particularly long necklaces or bulky earrings that can get trapped in devices and cause severe physical damage.
Creating a safe environment at work is a continuous task. As the workplace changes and evolves, so will the challenges, and the safety policy should be updated to fit the new realities. Prevention is key to avoiding unpleasant situations, but for the instances where injuries can unfortunately not be avoided, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone and that many professionals are ready and well-equipped to help you.