Workplace Injury … Good News/Bad News

By Gary E. Adams

The good news is America’s workplaces are safer now than ever. Injuries in 2012 were at an all-time low and fatalities were the second lowest on record, according to the 2014 State of Safety report from the National Safety Council. “Through collaborative education and outreach efforts, and effective law enforcement, these numbers indicate that we are absolutely moving in the right direction,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

That being said, there were still 4,383 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and nearly 3 million injuries. Employers, employees, health and safety professionals and government officials must continue working together to keep workplace safety top of mind.

10 Safety Tips for Employees

Here are 10 tips to help employees create a safer work environment for themselves and others:

  1. Be aware. Know the hazards particular to your workplace.
  2. Learn good posture. While at your desk, keep your shoulders in line with your hips. And use good form when lifting.
  3. Take regular breaks. Many work-related injuries occur when a worker is  tired. Schedule tough tasks when refreshed.
  4. Don’t take shortcuts. Skipping proper procedures when using dangerous tools and machinery is the leading cause of workplace injuries.
  5. Keep emergency exits clear. And make it easy to reach emergency shutoffs.
  6. Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor. Don’t be shy if you see a workplace hazard. Your supervisors are legally obligated to ensure your safety.
  7. Use mechanical aids whenever possible. Don’t carry something heavy when you could use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, forklift or other aid.
  8. Stay sober. About 3 percent of workplace fatalities occur due to alcohol and drug use.
  9. Reduce stress. Stress can make it hard to concentrate.
  10. Wear proper safety equipment. Earplugs, hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, etc., greatly reduce the risk of workplace injury.

Click here for complete details. The National Safety Council also offers 25 steps to a safer office. And here are seven safety tips for employers

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