I’ve been representing work injury claimants for nearly 20 years. I don’t want to say that I’ve seen it all. I’m sure I haven’t. But I’ve seen a lot. During a standard day, I take approximately 3-5 claim consultations. Usually, while on the phone with injured workers, we spend a lot of time discussing workers compensation claim outcomes. If anything, there’s one top thing I’ve learned to date. No claim outcome is better than not getting injured in the first place!


Improving safety means less work injuries

Many organizations are committed to improving workplace safety. Here, at state level in Washington State, we have the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) and WISHA. Then, at the federal level, there’s OSHA and NIOSH. In general, most employers also work very hard to eliminate work injury occurrences. After all, fewer workplace injuries mean lower workers’ comp claim costs. It also means lower employer premiums, and less loss of productivity.


How a workers’ comp attorney views workplace safety

Many people ask me what I do. What does it mean to be a workers’ compensation attorney? Usually, I say that I help people navigate the most challenging and life altering event of their lives. Remember- fewer workplace injuries means fewer work injury claimants who have to endure these challenges. We must acknowledge that all participants play a key role here. Federal organizations, state agencies, employers, and workers. Therefore, I can’t stress enough the importance of doing your part. For me, my primary concern is obviously the worker. KEEP YOURSELF SAFE IN THE WORKPLACE!


What can I do to avoid a workplace injury?

There are many things that workers can do to improve their personal safety at work. For one, you should know your work environment. Knowing the layout, hazards, emergency routes, and environment can help workers spot dangerous situations. On top, it can also help workers get out of a dangerous circumstances or minimize injury. More importantly, identifying unsafe situations can prevent accidents before they happen.


Another way to reduce injuries is to learn how to use equipment safely. It’s critical to know how to properly operate tools, machinery, and other office equipment. Sometimes, there are certain procedures that you must follow. Here, obeying to simple procedures can dramatically reduce the likelihood of getting injured while operating equipment.


What are other ways to improve safety at work?

It’s also very important to take regular breaks. Taking breaks isn’t about being lazy. Additionally, it’s not about shirking job responsibilities. Studies show that taking breaks reduces fatigue and burnout. Furthermore, it improves attention, concentration, and thought clarity. Being alert, focused and clear is another great way to reduce the chance of suffering a work injury.


In general, we also recommend coming to work rested. While it’s not always possible, it’s very important. Fatigue leads to mistakes and reduces reaction times. Both factors can be a recipe for disaster in the work setting.


Other tips to reduce work accidents

Finally, it’s important to maintain good body mechanics. Body position is extremely important. This is true for both sedentary workers and physically demanding jobs. More explicitly, you can maintain good body mechanics through good posture, safe maneuvers, and movements. You can also pay attention to ergonomics, and appropriate body conditioning. These are all great ways to decrease the probability of workplace injury.


In summary, as workers, we must remember that organizations and employers are working to reduce the frequency of injuries in the workplace. However, it’s not only on them. It’s also on us. It’s up to us to take steps to protect ourselves. There is no greater workers’ compensation benefit than not suffering an injury in the first place.