Litigation for injuries suffered at a workplace is a constitutional right guaranteed to every US citizen, provided that the employer was indeed at fault. Therefore, if you wish to avoid workplace safety lawsuits altogether, you need to make sure that legal compliance is maintained in respect to the safety of your business operations. To that end, let us now take a look at four common workplace injuries which are oftentimes associated with employer negligence.
Here are the Common Workplace Safety Lawsuits
Be it construction, mining work, roofing, packaging, warehousing or any other industry where workers have to often work from elevated heights, there is always a chance of them falling and getting injured. Sometimes, they may just slip and fall by stepping on spilled liquid, while carrying a heavy load, or when handling a delicate operation.
To reduce the chances of serious injury, or even death, in your workplace, ensure that all the necessary PPE is made available and is mandatory for every worker on the site. This includes everything from hard hats and fluorescent safety jackets, to quality harnessing equipment and slip-resistant shoes.
PPE should be used without fail as soon as workers step into a situation where they are in potential danger. Put your employees’ safety first by actively introducing toolbox talks into the work culture. It’s a collective term that can be attributed to any short, safety meeting, which focuses on teaching and reminding workers about specific, essential safety precautions related to the project at hand or the job in general.
Back, Shoulder and Neck Injuries
Common injuries at any work site with jobs that involve heavy lifting, back, shoulder and neck injuries are usually not lethal but they can be debilitating. If they occur because the warehouse, packaging facility, or construction site is making workers lift weights above the maximum weight limit set by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the owners will have to pay for their injured workers’ medical bills and missed wages, in addition to hefty compensation.
If you do maintain the correct standards and provide all your employees with adequate training for lifting safely, you can reduce the frequency of such injuries to a great degree. Don’t forget to take out workers’ compensation insurance as well, even if it isn’t mandatory in your state.
Repetitive Stress Injury
Repetitive stress injuries are as common among construction workers as they are for office employees. Nearly anyone and everyone can suffer from a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow or HAVS. A number of strictly employed measures as follows, can decrease the rate of such injuries among your workers, but they may not be able to prevent RSI completely:
- Shifts and the workload should be changed periodically to reduce continuous stress
- To prevent vibration injuries, workers should alternate between using vibrating and non vibrating machinery
- A mandatory 10 – 15 minutes break every hour can be extremely effective in decreasing the chances of RSI
There needs to be a protective shield in between workers and machines that are used for cutting, melting, molding, compressing, and any other machine that can shoot projectiles. The shield also has to have the proper certification for withstanding projectile hits without shattering. In the absence of such shields, serious injury and possibly death is quite likely.
There are, of course, plenty of other injuries that a workplace needs to protect their employees from, but these are the top four most common accidents that lead to lawsuits. It is highly suggested that you maintain video surveillance at the worksite and check the footage regularly for any discrepancies. If there is no fault on your side, the footage can save you a lot of money and trouble down the line.