On-the-job accidents happen with alarming frequency in the U.S. each year. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported in 2015 that an average of 93 workers were killed on the job each week with a total of 4836 U.S. workers being killed at work that year.
As a manager, you may know how to prevent or protect against many of the most common on-the-job injuries. However, you can keep your workers comp statistics down and spare your employer expensive settlements by looking out for these three unexpected worker’s compensation liabilities.
Misuse of Equipment
OSHA warns employers to be on guard against accidents that it dubs the Fatal Four. These incidences include falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught in-between, which is described as being caught or crushed by a moving object.
However, the simple act of accidentally or purposely misusing a piece of industrial equipment itself can create a lesser known and unexpected hazard at work. Workers who are not trained in driving forklifts or sidewinders, for example, are more apt to get hurt on the job than people who are licensed and required to keep up with this type of equipment training.
If you are not sure of what kind of training or licensing is needed in your state for this equipment, you can always consult with outside sources for information and help. A workers comp law firm, for example, could point out what kinds of cases it routinely takes because of this oversight and what safety codes and regulations managers like you are expected to implement in the workplace to minimize the risk of injury.
People who work in certain industries like rubber or plastic manufacturing or pharmaceutical production expect to come into contact with and be exposed to chemicals on a daily basis. However, you may inadvertently put your own workers at risk of chemical exposure by asking them to use even the mildest of commercial cleaners on the job without proper protection.
Employees who inhale bleach fumes or expose themselves to ammonia, for example, can develop deadly lung conditions like non-specific or chronic chemical pneumonia. They may be unable to return to work after their diagnosis and rely on workers comp and disability payments to replace their work income.
Finally, workers who use their fingers, hands, elbows, knees, or other body parts every day for years on end can develop work-related stress injuries. If you are concerned that you have developed a stress injury, or other injury from work, consider working with a professional like those at Oxner + Permar, LLC.
To minimize this physical damage from occurring, you can have your workers do stretches and exercises to keep their limbs and joints limber. You can also invest in ergonomically designed office equipment.
You may know what common injuries can afflict your employees on the job. It’s important that you try to lessen the risk of their injuries as much as possible, as well as inform your employees. You can protect them better by also learning about unexpected liabilities that can put your workers at risk.