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Record keeping can improve workplace safety

Many injuries suffered by workers in Georgia could be preventable with more attention paid to avoiding these serious incidents. One reason why the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses the term "incidents" rather than "accidents" for workplace illnesses and injuries is because these events are rarely truly unforeseeable and unpreventable. While some incidents may be caused by external factors outside the job over which the employer has little influence, the vast majority of injuries could be predicted and prevented with extra care.

By paying attention to the accidents that happen and taking steps to prevent future ones from occurring, employers can help encourage better workplace safety at a factory, office or another work site. In order to learn which types of incidents present the greatest risk, keeping good records is critical.

OSHA promotes the use of the 300 log, a mandatory form for employers with 10 or more workers, to understand and control workplace accidents. These forms must be kept on file for five years, and they contain a wealth of information about each event. The form should include each illness or injury that occurs, the location of the incident, the tasks or activities the worker was engaged in at the time, the equipment being used and the effects in terms of lost work days or reduced duties. These records can be used to make certain decisions. For example, fall injuries could highlight the need for personal protective gear and additional training.

Employers have a responsibility to live up to safety regulations and present a safe environment for workers. When people are injured on the job, they could face mounting medical bills as well as time away from work. A workers' compensation lawyer can work with injured employees to protect their rights and seek the compensation and benefits they deserve.

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