When people in Virginia think about improving workplace safety, they usually think first about the physical risks at a job site. Hazards like a cluttered work area, malfunctioning equipment and toxic substances can all cause serious workplace accidents. While it is important to reduce physical risks, it is also crucial to assess some of the less visible risks on a job site that can be just as dangerous for workers.
An employer who wants to improve the safety of their work site needs to look carefully at their work culture. Some stressful work environments contribute to negative interactions between coworkers and can lead to incidents of physical violence. If a workplace is too stressful, employees may be more apt to make mistakes that can lead to accidents.
While assessing the work culture, the employer should think about how workers view safety guidelines. Workers should be trained on safety guidelines and taught that following safety rules is an expected and required condition of employment. Depending on the industry that employees are working in, it may be very dangerous for employees to do tasks that are outside of their job description. Employers should make sure that no one is operating machinery that they have not been trained to operate.
Most people who have been injured while working are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. An attorney may be able to help an injured worker file a claim and ensure compensation. For the purposes of a workers’ compensation claim, it does not matter whether a work injury was the result of employer negligence, a mistake made by a worker or an action by a third party.