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Tips for preventing injuries in the workplace

Workers in Louisiana can take steps to prevent the most common on-the-job accidents. These have been identified as overexertion, falling on the same level, falling from one level to another, being struck by an object and bodily exertion such as injuries from bending or tripping without falling.

Overexertion generally comes from attempting to do something that is outside a worker's ability such as attempting to lift or carry too much. Using devices to assist in these types of activities, getting help from others and using proper technique are all ways to prevent these types of workplace injuries. Falls on the same level can be prevented by keeping areas free of clutter and wearing anti-slip footwear while other types of falls can be avoided by securing ladders and inspecting scaffolding and other tools. Workers can avoid being struck by an object by wearing proper safety gear including hardhats, stacking materials correctly and not working under heavy machinery while it is in use.

Bodily reaction injuries can be prevented with similar precautions such as cleaning up the area and putting things away properly. Practicing good ergonomics and a healthy lifestyle are also important.

An individual who suffers from a workplace injury may be able to file a workers' compensation claim. These claims are not dependent upon who was at fault. Filing a worker's compensation claim generally means that the worker waives the right to bring a civil suit against the employer, but if a third party is responsible such as an equipment manufacturer, such a suit might be possible. An attorney who has experience in these matters can help a client throughout the claims process.

Source: EHS Today, "Preventing the Top 5 Workplace Injuries", Langdon Dement , November 16, 2014

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