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Avoiding the five most common workplace accidents

Employers and employees alike in Pennsylvania should know what the most common types of workplace accidents are and how to avoid them. The first is the slip and fall, accounting for one third of all on-the-job injuries. Slips are normally caused by wet, icy or oily surfaces as well as by flooring that does not have proper traction. Trips also fall under this category and usually involve debris and poor lighting.

Victims of such accidents could incur head trauma, broken bones and lacerations, so job site maintenance and proper footwear are key. The second most common accident is the caught-in-between or struck-by accident. This means having the right machine guards and having operators undergo training and wear protective clothing. Otherwise, machine-related incidents will arise and lead to crushed extremities, severed fingers or blindness.

Third are vehicle-related accidents. Employees could be struck and killed during roadside work or be injured by vehicles like forklifts inside of a facility. Signs, speed limits and designated routes are essential. Fourth are fires and explosions, often caused by unsafe chemicals. It's best to maintain a material safety data sheets for these chemicals.

Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries are common as well, such as injuries from heavy lifting or constant typing. Ergonomics provides several solutions. Taking a holistic safety approach, employers should instruct their employees to break up repetitive tasks.

Even when employers do all they can to promote safety, they cannot prevent every accident. Workers who are injured regardless of fault may be able to file for workers' compensation. The benefits could alleviate some of the financial hardship by covering all medical expenses as well as a portion of lost wages. An attorney can often assist with the preparation of the required claim documentation.

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Law Office of Richard F. Maffett Experienced Harrisburg, PA Attorney

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