If you’re one of many New York residents making a living in a dangerous job industry (construction, fishing, farming, community rescue work, etc.) you’re likely already aware of many everyday safety hazards associated with such work. However, some serious workplace accidents occur in otherwise calm and uneventful atmospheres, such as clerical offices, libraries or small-town grocery stores. Regardless what type of work you do, most work environments share certain common injury risks of which you’ll want to be aware if you hope to lower your personal risk.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates workplace accidents, especially if one or more people suffer severe injuries, or, in worst cases, die on the job. In such circumstances, OSHA often conducts a thorough analysis of the events leading up to and following a particular incident to determine whether any safety or regulatory compliance violations occurred.
General hazards often present in the average workplace
When you report to work each day and carry out your duties, certain safety risks in the workplace could take you by surprise. Keeping the following possible dangers in mind can help you remain alert and cautious on the job:
- Machines with moving parts that an employer failed to equip with safety guards to protect workers.
- Electrical cords, ropes or other items obstructing walkways could cause people to trip and fall.
- Small, crowded work areas make safe access to emergency exits nearly impossible.
- Liquids spilled on the floor.
- Ladders, scaffolds or other construction equipment could cause severe injuries.
Some of the most common general safety risks exist in many workplaces. Other imminent dangers abound as well, such as ergonomic hazards (bodily posture, lifting and/or positions that pose injury risks), biological hazards (human blood, mold, bacteria, etc.), and chemical dangers (cleaning solvents, gases or pesticides) to name a few of those most prevalent.
What to do if you’re injured on the job
If you’re injured in a sudden, unexpected workplace accident, or suffer an injury that develops over time (such as a repetitive stress injury) you might worry about how you’ll make ends meet during your recovery if you’re unable to return to your normal workplace duties for an extended amount of time. Your employer probably already advised you to file a workers’ compensation claim to collect benefits that will cover your medical expenses and replace lost wages.
However, the time span between filing a workers’ comp claim and actually receiving benefits is often longer than anticipated due to various types of complications and delays that may arise. Some New York workers’ claims are denied by insurance agencies even when they follow all the proper steps to file their claims. In such situations, it often helps to enlist the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system and can help protect your rights.