An occupational accident is a discrete incident that occurs at work and leads to mental or physical harm. According to statistics documented by the International Labour Organization, over 337 million industrial accidents happen every year. Work injuries, combined with occupational diseases due to work risk factors, result in about 2.3 million annual deaths. At work, employees depend on their employers for their safety. Workers trust that they can receive proper training, and that the company they work for will maintain high safety standards that will protect them while they are working. Many accidents that happen could possibly be prevented if certain safety measures were followed.
INJURIES FROM MACHINERY
Machinery should be inspected regularly to prevent accidents. Not only should equipment be maintained on a regular basis, but it should be checked before every use to make sure everything is intact and functioning correctly. For instance, if a saw blade or grinder is attached improperly, it could cause a tragic mishap. Some machine-related accidents result in cuts, amputations, or muscular injuries. Employees that work around large equipment are at risk for getting caught or pulled into the moving parts of the machine, causing severe injury or even death. Machine guards, and other protective devices can help protect employees; in addition to routine equipment checks and maintenance.
ACCIDENTS FROM FALLING OBJECTS
Many industrial areas contain things that could fall on employees, causing head injury, muscle damage, broken bones, paralysis, or death. Sometimes another employee can drop an object on their fellow-worker due to negligence of safety rules or other factors. Paying attention in the work environment and following safety regulations set by the employer, will help prevent these types of accidents. Also, employees should be required to wear hardhats and other protective gear.
Refineries and chemical plants are more susceptible to having explosions than other industries. Explosions can cause brain injuries, nerve damage, burns, crush injuries, and death. Employees and employers should be cautious of the extreme risks and hazards that exist in the work place. Workers should be trained properly, and equipment should be maintained with the highest regulations to prevent corroding pipes and other equipment failure that can cause gas leaks. Companies should make sure that fire escapes and exits are clear of debris, and that equipment is checked regularly.
TOXIC CHEMICAL EXPOSURE
Exposure to toxic chemicals by inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion can result in acute or chronic illnesses or injuries. Some chronic illnesses, like cancer, can take place years later, after employees are exposed to low doses of toxic substances over a long period of time. Toxic chemicals can cause burns, irritations, inflammation, shock, collapse, and systemic poisoning. Some chemical exposure can even be fatal. Occupational safety regulations should be at their highest to prevent exposure to harmful substances. Proper protective gear should be worn, and the equipment should be maintained and updated regularly for ultimate safety.
FALLING FROM HEIGHTS
Employees can fall from heights, or scaffolding can collapse, causing broken bones, muscle injury, paralysis, or death. Employees should be trained to use a ladder instead of standing on boxes or other unstable surfaces to reach something high. Wear protective equipment when using a scaffold, and check the scaffolding to make sure it is secure before using it. Don’t take risks that could result in tragedy.
Many jobs require physical labor. Employees can become injured from excessive lifting, or carrying things that are too heavy. Even carrying paper boxes, or pushing light-weight carts or equipment can result in back, leg, or arm pain. Workers should make good judgment when determining whether the load is too much for them. They should ask for help if needed. Back braces can be used to help keep backs safe from constant lifting. Employees should be properly trained on how to lift things without injuring their body.
Many times when an injury does take place at work, employers will assure the victim that they and their family will be taken care of. In some instances, the accident is forgotten or overlooked, and the victim suffers the consequences. If you are ever injured on the job you should take precautions to protect your rights. Make sure you follow certain steps to avoid mistakes so that you will be rightfully compensated for the accident.
GET MEDICAL CARE
It is important to get the right medical care following your injury. Follow the doctor’s orders so that you can recover and heal properly. It is important that you do get medical care and do not let it lapse or else your employer’s insurance company may refuse to accept that you are still hurt and need compensation.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
Evidence can disappear in time and memories of the incident can fade. You should seek the help of an attorney to ensure your case will be followed through with. An attorney specializes in knowing what evidence of liability to collect; and making sure that damaged equipment is preserved to determine who was at fault. They can direct you in what you need to do to assure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Make sure you understand and follow the rules of your workers’ compensation carrier. If you violate any assignments, your benefits may drop.
Dealing with an injuring on the job is difficult in itself. By making sure you cover your basis, and protect your rights, you can get through the troubled times and hopefully return to the lifestyle you knew before.