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Strategies for reducing common types of workplace injuries

Every employer in Georgia has an interest in preventing accidents that injure employees. Organizations can take proactive steps to reduce injuries by targeting common sources of on-the-job injuries.

Safety managers should assess their work areas for slip-and-fall hazards. Slips and falls comprise the leading category of reported worker injuries. Employers need to identify and address uneven walking surfaces, wet areas and unprotected holes or ledges. Warning signs should be posted at dangerous spots and guard rails installed to keep people from falling to lower levels. These actions could prevent serious injuries like broken bones, back injuries, head trauma or strains. According to researchers, slips and falls result in 17 percent of all occupational injuries that disable people.

Machines are another commonplace threat. Equipment often cuts or crushes workers' digits or limbs. Machine operators require proper training so that they understand how to use machines safely. Guard plates on machines need to be in place wherever possible to reduce the chances of workers coming into contact with moving parts.

Employers should also train all workers how to lift objects safety. Workplace policies should direct people to ask for help or use lifting equipment when objects exceed a certain weight.

Although some employers take safety seriously, many organizations focus on discouraging accident reports and limiting benefits to injured workers. A person who is hurt on the job and wants impartial information about workers' compensation benefits could talk to an attorney familiar with workplace injuries. An attorney could examine the insurance policy and explain the coverage that's available for medical expenses and lost pay. In addition to preparing insurance paperwork, a lawyer could push back against an insurer's attempt to deny payment. In an especially contentious case for a badly injured person, an attorney could file a lawsuit.

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