Despite strict regulations aimed at preventing workplace accidents, on-the-job injuries are alarmingly common in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,821 work-related fatalities in 2014—which marked the first workplace fatality rate increase since 2010.
The vast majority of these deaths were preventable. Employers and workers can significantly reduce their risk by:
- Cleaning up slipping and tripping hazards.
- Removing fire hazards.
- Securing objects so they do not fall.
If you were injured while working in Mississippi, contact Morris Bart, LTD. You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, medical expenses, and non-economic damages. Call for a free consultation with a Gulfport injury attorney.
Actions You Can Take to Reduce Workplace Injury Risks
Getting hurt at work can require medical treatment, time away from your job, and stress in addition to the pain and suffering you endure from your injuries. While compensation may be available, avoiding an accident is best when possible. Let’s take a closer look at four simple and effective ways to prevent workplace accidents:
Clean up Slipping and Tripping Hazards
In 2013, trips, slips, and falls were the second leading cause of non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries in the United States, according to Safety and Health Magazine. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that workplaces must be orderly and clean to prevent these accidents.
Workplace floors should be free of debris and tripping hazards. Employees should understand that spills must be addressed immediately to prevent slips. This is particularly important in restaurant kitchens and supermarkets with slick floors, as well as construction sites. Workers in these professions should wear shoes with slip-resistant soles to minimize their risk.
In locations and jobs where fall hazards may be particularly common, such as construction, fall safety equipment may be required when workers are at an elevated height. Using the right personal protective equipment and ensuring everyone is well-trained on how to remain safe on ladders and scaffolding is especially important.
Remove Fire Hazards
Employers and employees must handle combustible materials with care. These items should remain in the areas where they are needed and be stored in safe containers – away from ignition sources. Datasheets on all chemicals should be kept onsite and all employees who handle or encounter any combustible or caustic substance should be familiar with them through training and supervised experience.
Also, workers should change their clothes after handling flammable liquids. All smoke detectors must be in good working order at all times, and workers should know where there are fire extinguishers and how to use them. Finally, employers should ensure that passageways and fire escape routes remain unobstructed.
It’s easy to associate workplace injuries with truck accidents, exposed electrical wires, and heavy machinery. However, many employers overlook the fact that dust can cause respiratory complications and pose a fire hazard if it builds up significantly. All workplace surfaces should be kept clean to minimize these risks.
Some workplace injuries do not occur in the way we normally think of injuries. Instead, those injuries are diagnosed illnesses that stem from workplace exposure. Breathing in chemicals without proper protective equipment, inhaling too much dust, or other types of exposure may cause lung infections, allergies, or other issues.
Secure Objects So They Do Not Fall
There’s a reason why OSHA requires construction site workers to wear hard hats: Falling objects can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death. In fact, more than eight percent of construction site deaths in 2014 involved struck-by-object accidents—making this the third most common cause of construction fatalities.
Unfortunately, falling items pose a threat in many professions, including restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, warehouses, and more. If you store items on high shelves, make sure they are secure.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Getting Help If You Are Hurt at Work
Mississippi, like most states, requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation for their employees, including part-time, hourly, salaried, and full-time workers. Any worker hurt on a job site or injured because of their job should qualify for this compensation. The worker will need to see a doctor who will determine if it is a workplace injury.
The worker should qualify to receive:
- Coverage of their medical treatment and care
- Lost wage benefits, usually about two-thirds of their normal income
There may be additional vocational therapy or job training benefits to help them get back to work if they cannot return to their previous job because of their health concerns or lasting injuries. In addition, there is a death benefit for families whose loved one passed away.
While getting workers’ compensation benefits should be an easy process following a workplace injury, this is not always how it works. The employer or the insurer may dispute the claim or refuse to approve the expected benefits for another reason. If this happens to you, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you pursue benefits or a settlement.
Workers’ compensation law firms generally offer free consultations and work based on contingency fees. At the Morris Bart law firm, we never ask our clients to pay anything upfront. If we do not secure compensation for you, we will not charge you for attorney’s fees.
Speak to an Attorney to Learn More About Your Options for Compensation
If you or a family member was injured at work, contact a Gulfport accident attorney from Morris Bart law firm. We will help you claim compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. We also represent injured workers in Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Our firm has been representing the injured for more than 30 years, and we will give your case the individual attention that it deserves. Call for a free initial consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.