One of the worst parts of all workplace injuries is the fact that they are entirely preventable. If companies did a better job of making safety a priority, fewer people would be injured and killed on the job each day. Unfortunately, some companies try to avoid responsibility for keeping their workers safe. Worse, government agencies like OSHA lack the resources and manpower to make companies do the right thing.
OSHA is small when compared to the scope of its function. It only has approximately 2,100 inspectors tasked with protecting more than 130 million workers across more than 8 million worksites. OSHA does not have enough people, time, or resources to make sure companies are following good safety practices, let alone best practices.
Families call us when someone is catastrophically injured or even killed. We are able to help them get answers as to what went wrong and why. We also hold the companies responsible and try to get them to act safer. We want to encourage companies to act safer now instead of waiting for someone’s life to be ruined.
So, we’ve compiled this list of safety precautions. While it isn’t exhaustive, these work safety tips can help prevent serious accidents.
General Safety Tips for Workers
These general tips can help a person avoid accidents caused by the negligence of those in charge of their safety.
Workers can protect themselves by following tips such as:
- Follow all safety procedures.
- Be alert and rested while working.
- Take breaks as required and needed.
- Understand escape routes and emergency shutoffs.
- Have a clean and organized workspace.
- Never be afraid to ask questions when needed.
- Refuse to do tasks that aren’t safe or are risky.
- Pay attention to safety signs, labels, and tags.
- Report injuries to supervisors.
How to Work Safer as a Team
One of the most challenging aspects of any industrial operation is the number of workers required to complete a task. With dozens or even hundreds of workers at a worksite, knowing how to operate as a team can prevent catastrophe.
The following tips can help workers be safer together:
- Make sure everyone is educated on safety protocols.
- Notify each other of hazards immediately.
- Pay attention to what nearby workers are doing.
- Communicate and ensure everyone knows they can talk to each other.
Having the Proper Safety Equipment is Critical
A safe workplace is one with appropriately dressed workers and all necessary safety equipment. Having the right clothing and gear can save lives.
Workers should have clothing and gear such as:
- Non-skid shoes
- Protective boots
- Back braces
- Safety harnesses
- Hard hats
- Eye protection
Since every worksite is different, workers should use gear that is appropriate for their environment. However, there are a few pieces of equipment that every employer should have at their locations. Fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and job-specific safety devices should be present at all worksites.
Machinery & Tools: Making Dangerous Equipment as Safe as Possible
Whether an operation is an oil refinery or an industrial manufacturing plant, one characteristic remains: there’s a lot of equipment and machinery used to make it function. Following general rules with this machinery can help prevent injury, save a life, and even prevent a catastrophic accident such as a plant explosion.
Machinery and equipment safety tips include:
- Workers should only use equipment they’ve been trained on.
- Tools should only be used for tasks they’re designed for.
- Machines and equipment shouldn’t be used if they’re not working right or improperly maintained.
- Operators of machines should always be aware of and be able to see those near them.
- Never skip operation steps or remove safeguards to speed up processes.
- Avoid wearing loose, dangling, or hanging clothing that might get caught in equipment.
- Never maintain, clean, or adjust a machine before turning it off.
The tips above should apply to any worksite with specialized equipment or machines. Companies are required by law to make sure their workers have the necessary training to work safely with equipment and machines.
Mitigating Industrial Fire Hazards
Industrial fires are dangerous because of the injuries they cause and the explosions they can trigger. When a fire breaks out at a worksite, it can place all workers at risk of serious injuries that last for the rest of their lives.
Protecting workers from fires should involve employers following steps such as:
- Train workers on what to do during a fire and run regular fire drills.
- Have plenty of fire extinguishers and emergency fire suppression systems.
- Provide proper ventilation that mitigates toxins and flammable substances.
One of the most important facts to remember about fires is that they can happen during all types of operations. This makes training employees about how to respond to one important and worthy of investment!
What If I’m Concerned About Safety Standards at My Job?
If you have concerns over safety standards at your job, speak to your work’s management. If they fail to respond to them in a way that provides you and your co-workers with safety, you don’t have to wait for an accident to happen or hope for a random OSHA inspection to see change. Instead, call us.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who report safety violations or file claims for work injuries. If your employer fired, demoted, or penalized you in any way because you reported or attempted to report poor safety standards, you may be able to take legal action. You can seek to recover any financial losses you experienced, get your job back, and hold them accountable. Employer retaliation and wrongful termination are illegal.
Who Is Responsible for Workplace Safety?
Employers in every industry are obligated to provide reasonably safe work environments for their employees. This applies even in dangerous fields like offshore work, construction, and manufacturing. They must comply with applicable state and federal safety standards related to work environments, personal protective equipment, working in cold and hot temperatures, machinery guarding, fall protection, and many more. They must properly train employees on safety procedures and must take care to ensure machinery, tools, equipment, and vehicles are properly maintained. When employers fail to do any of these things, workers may be seriously injured.
Fortunately, employers can be held accountable for workplace safety violations. Injured workers and families of workers who have lost their lives on the job can work with our team at Arnold & Itkin to investigate what happened, who was responsible, and how to recover compensation for medical treatment and the many other losses and expenses they have been left to face. It isn't easy, but with the right approach and resources, justice can be served.
What Workers Should Do After an Industrial Accident
After workplace accidents, companies and their lawyers often go into cover-up mode. They will do whatever they can to avoid responsibility for an incident. They do nothing to help with the medical bills, lost wages, and painful injuries a worker has suffered.
When workers and their families need help recovering from an accident, they turn to Arnold & Itkin.
Our work accident lawyers know that people are going through the most difficult moments of their lives when they come to us. We also know that large companies shouldn’t be allowed to escape accountability for the suffering that they have caused in the name of higher profits. We fight for our clients because it’s the right thing to do. It’s what we’re known for. Over the years, we’ve won more than $10 billion for our clients. If you’re suffering, we’re ready to help. Reach out now for help from a team that’s recovered billions for injured workers.
Call (888) 493-1629 to find out your options during a free, confidential consultation.