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Occupational Injury Law Center
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How you can protect yourself from injuries in the workplace

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just under 3 million full-time, private industry workers suffer nonfatal illnesses or injuries each year in the United States. Many of these injuries result from employers taking cost-cutting measures that undermine worker safety. This is why it's important for workers to be proactive in protecting themselves from getting hurt while on the job.

In terms of being proactive, it may be helpful to know that many workplace injuries are completely avoidable.

Strains and sprains generally occur because workers overexert themselves by trying to pick up things that are too heavy. Alternatively, they may get hurt because they didn't take the proper measures or wear the proper gear to lift something in the safest way possible. Workers often slip or fall because they don't take time to clean up messes, tape down cords, report chipped flooring or walk along a lighted path.

Another reason employees get hurt is because they use different equipment without being properly trained as to how to use it. You can protect yourself by not using any equipment if you're unclear about how it operates. This is because, as simple as it may seem to operate something, there may be certain defects or safety features present that could cause you harm if you don't know about them.

You instead may benefit from having another employee, who is trained on how to use the device, to guide you as to how to use it. As far as heavy equipment is concerned, in order to protect yourself, you should review all relevant safety manuals before using it. Additionally, you should attend Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workshops that are available as well.

Workers who report potentially dangerous workplace situations not only help themselves avoid being injured, but ensure that their colleagues aren't hurt as well. Even in cases in which employees take proactive measures to either avoid injury or report safety concerns at work, many times workers don't realize how dangerous a situation was until it's too late.

If you've been seriously hurt on the job, then a Modesto workers' compensation attorney can guide you through the claims process in your case.

Source: Bangor Daily News, "Five ways to protect yourself as a worker," Adam Richards, Sep. 22, 2017

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