Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law
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Five tips to keep workers safe

On-the-job injuries are all too common in Virginia, especially in fast-paced work environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that approximately 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries every day. When both employers and employees neglect to enforce safety guidelines, injury rates increase, which causes more workers' compensation costs and medical expenses. Productivity goes down as does employee morale and retention.

Ultimately, an unsafe workplace can lead to a negative perspective of the company and weaker employer branding. Only a safety-minded culture can remedy the situation. Employers, site managers and safety coaches will want to consider the following five tips that can help them achieve this goal.

The first tip is to provide strong leadership. Safety must be championed by those in authority first before any attempt at organizing can be made. The second tip is to distribute anonymous surveys. This can gauge what employees know about corporate policies, what they believe others expect of them and how safe they think their workplace is.

Pre-shift huddles can then provide an informal, nonpunitive forum for workers to bring up any hazards they encounter. Employers can also conduct one-on-one discussions with employees since not everyone will be comfortable speaking in a large group. Lastly, employers should lay down clear guidelines for risk prevention and elimination via ongoing training.

With the proper safety guidelines in place, it will be less likely that a worker injury will be caused by employer negligence. When a company is at fault, a victim could still receive compensation. It all depends on whether his or her employer carries workers' compensation insurance. Sometimes it is necessary for investigators and medical experts to show how a victim's injuries stem directly from the accident, but personal injury lawyers typically have a network of such professionals. This is why victims will want to consult with an attorney before filing a claim. Lawyers can also handle all negotiations.

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