In 2017, there were 882,730 occupational injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Your chances of being involved in a workplace accident depends heavily on the industry that you work in, your particular job role, the company that you work for, how seriously they take workplace safety, and your training and guidance. But, generally speaking, accidents at work, which can lead to illness or injury, are a lot more common than we might imagine.
Your employer has a responsibility to protect you while you are at work, and even while you are carrying out work-related tasks outside of the workplace. To do this, they should be training their staff members effectively, doing regular risk assessments, providing the necessary safety equipment and keeping machinery working at its best. Failing to do these things can expose employees to injury.
While you’d hope that as an employee, your safety would be one of your employer’s top concerns, many business owners are primarily motivated by other factors. Business owners should place employee safety over all other factors in their business. However, sometimes they place profit over safety. Employers who want to keep their staff safe will actually save their business money, to reduce costly staff turnover, to attract better employees, and in short to make more money.
While it would be nice to believe that we’re all protected at work, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. So, we need to learn how to defend ourselves, what to do after a workplace accident, and where to find the best Workers Compensation lawyer in Las Vegas if the worst should happen. Let’s learn a little more about workplace accidents.
What is a Workplace Accident?
When most of us think of accidents at work, we automatically think of high-risk industries and jobs. But, the truth is most accidents happen because of simple slips, trips or falls, which can occur almost anywhere. A workplace accident isn’t just a huge event, it’s anything that happens to you at work, or while carrying out your work, which causes you illness or injury, no matter how mild.
Common Types of Workplace Accidents
Knowing more about common accidents in the workplace gives you a much better chance to protect yourself. You’ll know what to look for, have a better chance of spotting and dealing with risks before they cause harm, and you’ll be able to report issues to your manager if you are worried about something.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017 reported the following incidents:
- 11% involved overexertion in lifting or lowering.
- 64% of bone fractures were from accidents in the service industries.
- 62% of slips, trips, and falls were on the same level.
- 20% of slips, trips, and falls were from a worker falling between two or more levels.
- 15% of all non-fatal workplace injuries were from workers being struck by equipment or objects while on the job.
- 35% of cases across all industries resulted from sprains, strains, and tears.
Finally, across all industries, over 25% of injuries were caused by slips, falls, and trips. Many of these accidents in the workplace were caused by ladders, roofs, and scaffolding, with others caused by slippery surfaces, obstructions, broken equipment or a lack of safety signage.
Keeping Yourself Safe At Work
Your manager should have comprehensive plans in place to keep you and your fellow employees safe and free from harm. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you can do to take care of yourself.
Firstly, pay attention to training, and ask questions if you need to. Spend time learning how to use the equipment and asking for help if you need it. Go back to your training tools and guides if you need to and make sure you receive further training if any equipment or methods change.
Next, use your common sense. Be sensible at work, use the safety equipment that is provided correctly, and ask for more if it’s needed. Take your own safety seriously, and look after your teammates by using wet floor signs and other essentials when you need to, cleaning up spills as they happen, and communicating effectively.
You should also wear the appropriate uniform, keep it clean and in good repair, read safety signs and updates, take your time with tasks at hand, and complete one job fully before moving on to the next.
What to Do if You Spot a Potential Risk
Another thing that we can all do to protect ourselves at work is to speak up when we are worried. If you spot a potential risk, whether it’s damaged equipment, poor signage, a general lack of training, or other members of staff not adhering to safety regulations, or not doing their jobs properly, don’t keep it to yourself. Speak to your manager about the risks that you might have spotted, and ask them if changes can be made to ensure your safety.
How You Can Avoid Workplace Accidents
You can never completely eliminate the risk of accidents in the workplace. But you can take the steps that we have talked about to minimize them significantly. A big part of this is being mindful of potential hazards in your workplace. Understanding the risks, and thinking about how you carry out your day to day tasks can help you to stay out of harm’s way.
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Accident at Work
If you are involved in an incident at work, even if it’s your fault, you should immediately report it to your supervisor. Don’t admit to any fault, take care of your health and well-being, and get legal help as soon as you can. Contact the experienced Las Vegas workers comp lawyers at Edward M. Bernstein & Associates in Las Vegas today for your free consultation by calling 702-240-0000.