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Extra Effort Towards Safety Can Reduce Workplace Injuries

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Extra Effort Towards Safety Can Reduce Workplace InjuriesFor all the ideas that employers and lawmakers have for reducing workers’ compensation costs, improving workplace safety would be the most effective. Not only would it help prevent the need for workers’ compensation claims, but it could also increase productivity and employee morale. The federal government created the Occupational Safety and Health Act to enforce and encourage greater safety measures in the workplace. In Illinois, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversees private-sector employers, while the state has its own OSHA to regulate public sector employers. Employers are required to maintain safe working environments for their employees, but further safety measures are often voluntary.

OSH Act Requirements

The OSHA conducts unannounced investigations at worksites in order to check compliance with OSH Act requirements. Employers must take several actions to provide a safe workplace for its employees, including:

  • Attempting to eliminate or reduce hazardous conditions at the worksite;
  • Using warning signs that clearly identify hazards;
  • Providing its employees with protective equipment and safe tools;
  • Updating its operating procedures and informing employees of the changes; 
  • Posting notice of any OSHA citations in the relevant area; and
  • Correcting OSHA citations in the time frame given.

Employers in industries with a higher risk of injury are also required to keep a record of workplace injuries, provide medical examinations and make sure employees are proficient in their job skills.

Injury/Illness Prevention Program

Employers can be more proactive in their safety efforts by creating an Injury/Illness Prevention Program. Illinois encourages but does not require employers to use such programs. An IIPP will vary by industry but typically involves management and employees working together to:

  • Identify workplace hazards;
  • Figure out ways to mitigate those hazards; and
  • Train workers on how to avoid injury.

Workers’ Rights

Employees can report potential OSH Act violations to the OSHA if they believe their employers are not making appropriate efforts to comply with the law. The OSH Act protects employees from employer retaliation for filing the complaint. An employee who has been injured at work or fears risk of injury may request employer records of past employee injuries and identified workplace hazards. Discovering a pattern of similar injuries or illnesses amongst workers can strengthen a claim that work caused a medical condition.

Filing for Compensation

Some industries have an inherent risk of workplace injuries, made worse by insufficient safety measures. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim to cover your medical expenses. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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