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Tips for a Safer Workplace

Posted on March 30, 2023

Every year, workers in Alabama and around the country lose their lives in fatal workplace accidents. Those who survive may suffer serious and lasting injuries or permanent disabilities. Although employers have a legal obligation to ensure reasonably safe work environments, many cut corners and violate safety policies to save time or money. Protect yourself from an occupational injury or illness by being aware of potential risks and knowing how to avoid them.

Follow Safety Rules and Regulations

Safety regulations and workplace rules are in place for a reason. Most are designed to keep workers safe. Even if your coworkers are breaking the rules, obey any regulations that apply to you. Carry out each step that is required every single time, no matter how repetitive or unnecessary they seem as you gain experience. If you are required to put on protective gear before entering a certain work zone, for example, take the time to do so every time. Construction accident attorneys in Birmingham recommend always taking the proper precautions which are extremely important in preventing injury, especially in dangerous industries like construction.

Respect Dangerous Machinery

It can be easy to become desensitized to the dangers presented by your job. Over time, you may grow accustomed to working with and around dangerous equipment or heavy machinery, for example. However, you should never let your guard down or let safety regulations slide. Just one moment of distraction or a single mistake could lead to a disaster such as a limb amputation in a machine. Always respect dangerous machinery and take all precautions necessary to protect yourself and others from harm.

If You See Something, Say Something

Many workplaces in Alabama contain serious injury hazards and safety risks. While it is an employer’s responsibility to keep workers reasonably safe, you should take your safety into your own hands. If you see a safety violation or injury risk, say something. Report careless coworkers, poorly maintained equipment, broken ladders, missing warning signs and other dangerous conditions to your employer right away. If your employer does not remedy the hazard, take your complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Note that your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting a safety issue.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Our Birmingham workplace accident attorneys know that work injuries can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute, you could be loading a forklift and the next you could be crushed beneath it in a rollover accident due to a coworker’s negligence. You must remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Do not assume that the people around you will follow the rules or practice due care to prevent accidents. Take charge of your personal safety by identifying potential injury risks and taking proactive steps to protect yourself from harm.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

If your job requires personal protective equipment (PPE), such as goggles, a face shield, a mask, a gown, gloves, a respirator, earplugs or personal fall protection, wear it at all times. PPE could protect you from severe injury, such as chemical burns or exposure to a toxic substance like asbestos. No amount of workplace experience makes you immune to disasters, such as a sudden explosion sending shrapnel into your eyes. If your employer has not provided the gear that you are entitled to according to federal safety regulations, you have the right to request the equipment that you need or file a safety complaint.

Leverage the Tools at Your Disposal

Don’t make your job harder than it has to be. It may seem simpler or faster to perform a task on your own, but if there are tools you can substitute, use them instead. If you know you are physically strong enough to lift an object but a hoist is available, for example, use the equipment to save wear and tear on your body. This can protect you from repetitive motion injuries, such as pulled muscles and back problems. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, when needed.

If you get injured at work in Birmingham, contact a Birmingham personal injury attorney at Drake Injury Lawyers for advice. We offer free case consultations to discuss unsafe work environments and your rights as an accident victim. Working with a specialized Birmingham workers’ compensation attorney can be helpful to file a claim and seek compensation if you have suffered an injury on the job.