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Steps employers should take to avoid a work-related accident

It is an unfortunate reality that workers in Illinois and throughout the United States can be injured or killed in a work-related accident. Understanding the frequency of certain injuries, the types of injuries that can result, and the highest risk factors associated with workplace accidents can assist when trying to take precautions. Sometimes, though, these tragic accidents happen anyway. When the worst case scenario comes to pass and a worker dies, his or her surviving family needs to be cognizant of any mistakes the employer might have made when it came to safety so they can address whether or not legal action is justified.

The most common causes of workplace accidents are: material handling at 32 percent; slip and falls at 16 percent; being hit or experiencing a collision with an object at 10 percent; having an accident with tools at seven percent; and cumulative trauma at four percent. The most common injuries that workers suffer are: sprains and strains at 30 percent; cuts and punctures at 19 percent; contusions at 12 percent; inflammation at five percent; and fractures at two percent. These injuries can occur in any type of job from the physically arduous to the relatively sedentary.

There are many things employers can do to help prevent workplace accidents and injuries. To avoid slips and falls, employers should make certain that there are no obstacles in common areas, the areas are adequately lit, and slip-resistant flooring is installed. If there are ladders in use, they should be on stable surfaces with strict adherence to manufacturer safety requirements. Workers who need safety equipment should have it provided as a matter of course.

There should also be a first-aid kit on the premises with employees knowing where it is and how to use it. Employers should also be fully and properly insured. Naturally, safety is a key part of any job, but there are times when an accident occurs due to the employer failing to adhere to these steps. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a work-related accident need to know what to do in the aftermath. The emotional, physical, and financial implications for the worker's family can be enormous. In many instances, a legal filing is the only option they have to pay their debts and move forward. Speaking to an experienced legal professional about construction negligence and other employer mistakes may help a family better assess its position and its likelihood of recovering compensation.

Source: Small Business Trends, "The Top 5 Workplace Injuries and How to Prevent Them," Rieva Lesonsky, June 1, 2016

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