Work-related injuries often due to unsafe acts

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health requires employers to provide safe work environments. Not all business owners comply, and unsafe conditions cause many on-the-job accidents. However, safety authorities say unsafe acts by workers contribute to a significant percentage of work-related injuries in all industries.

Doing the same job for many years without adverse incidents breeds complacency, which causes workers to believe nothing can go wrong. This familiarity also leads to workers taking shortcuts, which increases the risks of suffering workplace injuries. Distractions in the work environment often threaten workers' lives, and mental distractions such as issues at home or in their personal lives could prevent workers from focusing on the tasks at hand.

Hazard assessment and preplanning before starting new tasks are crucial. With proper planning, potential safety hazards can be mitigated. It can also ensure that all the necessary materials, tools and personal protective equipment are available and that the person doing the job is adequately trained for it. Proper housekeeping is essential in all workplaces because slips and trips can lead to falls that could cause strains, sprains, lacerations, and even brain injuries if the worker's head strikes a hard object.

Until employers create work environments in which safety cultures prevent most of these unsafe acts, injuries will continue to cause lost workdays. Workers in California might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated insurance system covers virtually all work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the navigation of the benefits claims for medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable benefits.

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