Lovins Trosclair has helped many people who have been severely injured at work recover compensation for their injuries. We are honored when we get to help injured workers. But we would rather that you never get injured in the first place! So, here are some tips to keep you safe and injury-free at work:
- Clean up spills immediately. In many job, spills are inevitable. Slipping and falling is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Clean the spill up immediately to reduce the chances that a spill causes you or one of your co-workers to fall and get injured!
- Use mats in areas with slippery floors. In many job, spills are inevitable. (I know, I already said that. But it’s true and worth repeating!) In areas where spills are common, using special mats either to absorb the liquid or direct it to where it won’t cause injuries can be a big help. If you notice areas where there are frequent spills, talk to your boss or supervisor about getting a safety mat (sometimes they are even legally required by OSHA regulations).
- Wear non-skid shoes. In many job, spills are inevitable. (Perhaps I already mentioned that!) And sometimes, a spill happens while you aren’t there, it doesn’t get cleaned up, and when you walk into the area your eyes are busy on other tasks so you don’t see the hazard. Non-skid shoes can be an effective last line of defense to keep you safe.
- Notify your supervisor of safety problems. Supervisors are legally obligated to keep the work environment reasonably safe, but they can’t do that if they aren’t aware of problems. Plus, if you notify the company and they don’t do anything, and someone gets hurt, the company can’t say they didn’t know about the problem! It makes the injured worker’s case against the company stronger in court. (But more importantly, it can keep the injury from ever happening—which is the real goal)
- Document safety problems, and follow up until they are fixed! Just telling someone there is a problem may not be enough to fix the problem. Sometimes people forget. Maybe they just don’t realize how important it is. Gently following up (not being belligerent or confrontational) until the problem is corrected is a great way to take ownership of your own safety. It’s also a way to save your company money, make the company more productive, and make yourself a valuable asset they will want to promote!
- Wear personal protective equipment. Depending on the type of work you do, you may need safety goggles, gloves, hard hats, chemical suits, or other safety equipment. Some of this equipment may be legally required by OSHA regulations. Sometimes it’s a hassle to use it, or it’s uncomfortable. But using it is a lot better than suffering a life-altering injury. And if your company failed to provide you personal protective equipment, demand that they do.
- Use tools and equipment properly. This means making sure you have been trained in the proper use of the equipment. If you have questions, ask. It’s the best way to learn—and it makes you more valuable to your company.
- Use correct posture when lifting. Use your legs to lift heavy objects, not your back. Improper lifting can cause serious back problems. If something is too heavy to lift safely, get someone to help you, or use special equipment to assist.
- Take breaks. Breaks are very important for safety, and the law requires that your employer permit breaks. Fatigue is a major factor in accidents involving poor judgment, and also in physically demanding tasks. A rested worker is a safer worker!
- Get first aid training. Workplace injuries happen, but knowing first aid can be the difference between a major and a minor incident. Ask your employer if you can help organized training for the whole crew. This can save the company money, and also establish you as a trusted leader.
- Make sure new workers understand the risks and also safety procedures. If you have worked someplace for a long time, it’s easy to forget that others don’t know the risks involved in your job. When a new person comes into the work environment, make sure someone is giving them good safety training that is specific to the job they are doing and the work environment you’re working in. Never assume that safety risks and procedures are obvious to a new person!
You may have read through these tips and thought, “I knew all of that.” That’s probably true. So why would we send you information that you already knew? Well, countless studies—as well as our experiences helping injured workers—have shown that most workplace injuries result from people who just weren’t thinking about safety enough. Workplace safety meetings are really important, and that’s not because they necessarily teach workers new safety information, but because they make sure everyone is thinking about safety.
Knowledge doesn’t keep us safe. Knowledge that we use keeps us safe!
If you or someone you love has been injured at work, call Lovins Trosclair right away at 214-484-1930. We are here to help!