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How to limit common workplace accidents

Pennsylvania workers may be interested to learn that the five most common causes of workplace injuries are workers being struck by objects, falling to a lower level, falling on the same level, bodily reaction and overexertion, according to the 2012 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. Thousands of workers suffer workplace injuries every year, and the severity of such injuries can vary widely.

According to the index, 8 percent of workplace injuries involve being struck by an object. One example of such an accident is when a tool falling on the worker from above. An estimated 10 percent of injuries stem from falls to a lower level while more than 11 percent involve bodily reactions while climbing, bending, sitting, standing, reaching, tripping or slipping without actually falling down. About 17 percent involve falling on the same level, and close to 27 percent involve overexertion, which includes holding, throwing, lifting, pushing, or pulling.

Some of the best methods for reducing workplace injuries include wearing hardhats and proper PPE, like face shields, goggles and safety glasses. Another is to stack materials properly so that collapses and slides do not occur. Staying out from under any heavy machinery, like hoists or cranes, might also reduce the risk of injury to workers. In addition, workers need to always be wearing their seat belts when operating vehicles, and workers who work near moving vehicles should always wear clothing that is highly visible.

Workplace injuries can affect any worker at any time. In the event that any worker suffers a workplace injury in spite of these safety measures, he or she could file a workers' compensation claim for compensation to cover medical expenses and loss of work. A workers' compensation attorney, who regularly handles worker accident cases, could help the injured party with filing the claim.

Source: EHS Today, "Preventing the Top 5 Workplace Injuries", Langdon Dement , November 24, 2014

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