Improving Workplace Safety

Work is a place where people should expect to go and do their jobs safely. In short, they should be protected from hazards by their employers so they can execute their work to the best of their abilities. Unfortunately, workplace safety is often put in the hands of the individual workers, where the employee is blamed if there is an accident.

The AFL-CIO recently released its annual "Death on the Job" report. In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, the association reports that 4,340 people were killed at work during that year, an average of 12 fatalities a day.

In an effort to reduce injuries and workplace fatalities, many companies have implemented training programs to educate employees on safe behavior. But too often, in a drive to raise production, lower costs and cut budget corners, many companies lose sight of keeping their employees safe. Increased workloads and chronic short-staffing to keep costs low puts too much stress on employees. This contributes to increased fatigue, leading directly to potential increase for workplace accidents.

Workers need to be aware of hazards that surround them on a daily basis, but the burden of workplace safety should not sit solely on the shoulders of a company's employees. According to Smart Business Magazine, employers also have a role in preventing workplace accidents and have a hand in reducing opportunities for those to occur by:

  • Using consistent safety procedures and enforce them in the workplace
  • Properly training employees about safety policies
  • Making sure that proper safety equipment is available for employees use
  • Having an employee review a safety checklist periodically
  • Using warning signs to note hazardous areas and remind employees about safety practices
  • Gather employees input when developing safety policies and procedures

Despite regulations and laws designed to keep employees safe, accidents occur in the workplace with alarming frequency. If you have been injured on the job, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your options.