Employee focus and alertness could prevent workplace injuries


Safety authorities say contact with objects are frequently the subject of workers’ compensation benefits claims in California and other states. Although employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees, they are advised to create safety cultures that will encourage workers to be alert at all times. It is not only compliance with regulations that can prevent workplace injuries, focusing on the task at hand can help workers to protect themselves.

Workplace accidents involving objects can include being struck by or against an object, becoming caught in equipment or an object, and being caught in or struck by collapsing material. Construction workers, auto mechanics, loggers, landscapers and many other workers in other occupations can suffer injuries caused by objects that swing, slip, slide, fly, roll or fall. The risk is not determined by the size of the object, as a bolt that falls from a significant height such as a scaffold could be as dangerous as a vehicle slipping off the jacks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says many of these injuries result from distractions that keep workers from paying attention to their surroundings. Other causes include inadequate training, negligent workplace assessments, insufficient housekeeping and workers taking part in horseplay. A significant number of injuries occur because operators of equipment and machines fail to focus their attention on the jobs with which they are occupied.

California workers who suffered workplace injuries might find comfort in the fact that the state-regulated workers’ compensation system is a no-fault program. Therefore, even if an injury resulted from an employee’s failure to focus, he or she will remain eligible for benefits. Experienced legal counsel can assist with the benefits claims process in pursuit of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

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