Hazards are unfortunately all too commonplace in industrial settings. Among the many potential dangers are machinery and chemicals which can crush, cut and burn and dust and fumes that can damage the respiratory system. Even if your employer is following regulations and has safety procedures in place, has proper protective equipment for all employees and has a good training program, the reality is that industrial jobs are more dangerous than other occupations, and accidents occur in these settings more often.
Unfortunately, safety precautions can also become relaxed in many work areas as employees become complacent or feel rushed to complete tasks. Company culture is often a bigger factor in an accident-prone workplace than faulty equipment or the presence of hazardous materials. When risk management is not taken seriously, incidents are more likely that could have been avoided. According to a recent report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the top 10 reported safety violations are:
- Falls, especially in construction
- Not communicating hazards
- Poorly stabilized scaffolding, especially in construction
- Lack of respiratory protection
- Inadequate tagout or lockout procedures for energy sources
- Poor machinery procedures
- Incorrect use of ladders, especially in construction
- Wiring electrical equipment incorrectly
- Lack of training on powered machinery
- Improper electrical system design
As can be seen from this list, workers must understand the environment they are working in, and all the various equipment and materials being used as well as how to properly use them. Awareness of potential risk and employee training are key to avoiding most workplace accidents.
COMMON INJURIES IN INDUSTRIAL SETTINGS
Forklift injuries happen frequently in warehouses; forklifts can move faster than you think, and the driver’s view can easily be obstructed. Even when a forklift is not moving forward, injury can occur from being hit by the lift or heavy objects falling off of it. Other kinds of injuries develop over time and may not be noticeable, such as stress injury from repetitive motion; exposure to chemicals may also show as an illness many years later, as toxins slowly build up in the body. Some contaminants are breathed in, but others are absorbed through contact with the skin. Some will burn on contact, but many do not cause any bodily reaction at first. It may be that you experience unusual fatigue and don’t know why, but it could be the toxins in your body, slowly damaging you internally.
COMPANIES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SAFETY
All employers are responsible for keeping their workers safe on the job, but some industries clearly are more dangerous than others. Construction, agriculture, transportation and warehousing jobs have reported the most fatalities in recent years. Understanding your employer’s safety rules and standards will go a long way to keeping you safe. Ultimately every industrial company has a responsibility of safety to its employees and everyone deserves to be safe at work. At Dugas Law Firm, we are committed to helping you understand and protect your legal rights. If you’ve been injured at work you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and income, and other damages. Please contact us for a consultation to discuss your case.