At Parrish DeVaughn, we work hard to protect the rights of injured workers who suffer on-the-job injuries. But even the best legal outcome isn’t as preferable as avoiding an injury in the first place. That’s why we always urge people in our communities to take whatever steps are necessary to keep themselves and others safe, whether it’s while driving, taking prescription medications, or working.
The next time you’re at work, keep these tips in mind to better protect yourself and your coworkers:
Ask for Help When You Need It
Many on-the-job injuries occur when workers needlessly perform two-man jobs by themselves. For example, they may operate heavy machinery that typically requires an operator and a spotter by themselves, they may climb a ladder without anyone else securing it, or they may lift a heavy object that needs an extra pair of hands. In addition to asking for help, you should also step in when it’s safe to do so to help your co-workers when they’re putting themselves in harm’s way by taking on dangerous jobs alone.
Read All Manuals and Safety Documents
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to operating heavy and dangerous machinery. Even if you have years of previous experience operating similar equipment, it still helps to read manuals and other safety documents before using them. If possible or available, watching safety videos and even attending hands-on training sessions for new equipment can further reduce the risk of serious injuries or death. Keep all safety-related materials on hand for future reference, especially when employees are being cross-trained or new hires must operate the machinery.
Use All Available Safety Equipment and Gear
Jobs that put workers in harm’s way often involve the usage of many types of safety equipment. Eventually, some workers may start to use less safety equipment or forgo it altogether as they become more adept and comfortable using machinery or doing their jobs. But all it takes is one shift of not wearing or using all adequate safety equipment for an accident to occur and lead to devastating or even fatal injuries.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
Overexertion is one of the most common causes of serious injuries on worksites. Workers who are fatigued and exhausted are more likely to make serious and dangerous mistakes, or to injure themselves when performing manual labor such as lifting or moving heavy objects. Never work through your breaks or overexert yourself to finish a job or task faster. Instead, take your allotted breaks to give your body a chance to rest and recover.
Rotate Jobs or Tasks if Possible
When many people think of work-related injuries, they think of falls, being struck by falling objects, or even accidents involving heavy machinery. All of these are causes of work accidents, but a huge percentage of work-related injuries involve tiny amounts of damage and inflammation that build up over time, often months or even years, before becoming debilitating, painful, and even disabling. Repetitive stress injuries can be avoided by rotating tasks or cross-training in other jobs and assignments to reduce the wear and tear on your joints.
Look for Another Job When Conditions Are Unacceptably Dangerous
Unfortunately, not all employers and workplaces value employee safety. To maximize profits, some employers provide the bare minimum of safety equipment and training, if they provide any at all. In addition, they may purposely understaff to cut costs, which can also put employees at risk. If you feel that your health and safety are being disregarded by your employer, consider looking for another job. Workplace injuries can be devastating, and finding alternative employment where safety is a higher priority is always worthwhile.
When Workplace Injuries Occur, We’re Here to Help
Unfortunately, even workplaces that are dedicated to employee safety can still be dangerous, and workers who are dedicated to avoiding accidents can still suffer serious injuries. Some occupations are more dangerous and likely to result in injuries than others, but ALL workers can be hurt on the job—including office workers who rarely leave their desks!
If you or someone you love was injured at work, it’s important to have an experienced Oklahoma workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. Getting workers’ compensation benefits isn’t always easy, even when there’s plenty of evidence that your injuries occurred at work. We have the experience and resources you need to prove your claim and get the checks you need as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.