Have you noticed the increase in construction? It seems there are construction workers everywhere you look. You pass by road crews wearing bright yellow and orange vests cleaning up and improving our highways. You watch laborers in hard hats and tool belts frame up and slowly build new homes around your neighborhood. Businesses are moving into town and hiring crews to gut old buildings, renovating for new, modern office spaces and factories. It is a welcome sight – an enormous sign of our country’s improving economical health after the 2007 to 2009 recession years.
An increase in construction, however, means an increase in workplace accidents. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports work injuries are up 2 percent since 2013. That is about 4,600 workplace accidents last year.
Types of Workplace Accidents
A workplace injury is when you are injured during the course of your employment. There are lots of types of workplace accidents. Incidents can result in illness, injury, or even death. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the top 10 causes of serious, nonfatal workplace injuries recently are:
- Overexertion involving outside source
- Falls on same level
- Falls to lower level
- Struck by object or equipment
- Other exertions or body reactions
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle
- Slip or trip without fall
- Caught in compressed by equipment or objects
- Struck against object or equipment
- Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports seem to concur with Liberty Mutual’s index, reporting a 10 percent increase in slip and fall accidents nationwide. For Arizona, slip and fall accidents were the only category in which labor fatalities increased. Workplace deaths decreased by 16 percent from 2013 statewide, even though about a hundred workers died on the job in the Phoenix area.
Workplace Safety Tips
Slip and fall attorneys agree that the statistics show safety should be a major focus for employers. By law, every employer in the United States is required to maintain a safety program. If they do not, they are subject to fines, lawsuits, or worse. Regardless of your job, your employer should heed these workplace safety tips recommended by lawyers:
1. Reinforce Training – If you or another employee is failing to understand and apply any safety training, an employer should reinforce the training. Managers should be monitoring employees’ progress after safety training. This ensures workers follow safety rules and apply them to their duties.
2. Materials – Your safety training should include materials presented to you in the order of the steps needed to safely complete each job. Receiving the training in chronological order will help you remember it.
3. Adjustments to Safety Programs – Even with the best safety programs in place, an accident can still happen. Anytime there is a workplace injury, accident, or illness, your employer should adjust the safety program to prevent the incident from reoccurring. Adjustments are usually made following a thorough investigation.
4. Supervision and Leadership – All workers affected by any change to safety policy or procedure should be notified immediately by their manager. Communication is key. Through routine safety meetings, managers can stay on top of communicating adequately to their employees.
5. Increased Safety Risks – Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Employees at higher risk for injury should receive regular refresher courses for safety training. This helps them keep safety top of mind.
6. Open Door Policies – Safety officers and company executives should remain open to communication. Workers should feel comfortable approaching them with their safety concerns. Their feedback should be taken seriously.
7. Action Training – Safety training should involve action and real life examples. Lecturing and PowerPoint Presentations should be left to the executives upstairs. Hands-on training is more compelling and engaging.
8. Feedback – Managers should provide feedback with how you are doing at safety in your job. This way, you will know if you are safely doing your job, or whether you need to adjust. This is also a great way for manages to identify best safety practices.
9. Provide Real-Life Examples – Supervisors should tell true stories of workplace accidents. Such mental images create an impression on workers. They will see that not taking safety seriously can have serious consequences.
Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney
It is important for employers to promote safe work practices in all industries to avoid unnecessary injuries and fatalities. If you are injured at work, you should contact an injury attorney as soon as possible, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Most law firms offer a free consultation where they will evaluate your case from top to bottom.
Aaron Crane, an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney from Cantor Crane, has represented hundreds of slip and fall injury clients. High cost medical bills from these kind of injuries can be a serious burden. Contact an attorney today for a free consultation.