As a matter of routine, many businesses prioritize fast production to make as much money as possible. The practice can increase risks to their employees, however, by forcing them to work at an unreasonable pace. Late and odd shifts, as well as the lack of training, further erode safety, especially for distracted workers performing high-risk tasks.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs involving heavy objects, heights and toxic substances are among the most dangerous. It ranked construction (1,008 deaths), mining (130), waste management (89) and logging (75) among the most hazardous professions in 2018.
Worker fatigue is often a common factor because it slows both thinking and reaction time. People operating heavy machinery on a construction site, for example, must make split-second decisions. Studies show crashes involving tired operators are about 50 percent more likely to result in a severe injury or fatality.
Distracted workers create an unsafe work environment
Perhaps the number one safety rule should be limiting the use of personal electronics, such as smart phones and music players, on the job. Workers, obviously, should be focused on their tasks, not texting or scrolling through a song list.
The introduction of new tools and technology should always be accompanied by training. Employees need to know how to use the equipment properly to ensure both efficiency and safety.
Too few companies encourage workers to take their breaks. In some cases, workers treat their jobs as a competition – who can accomplish the most in the least amount of time? This can lead workers to push themselves too hard and to cut safety corners. They also do not want to be seen as not carrying their share of the workload.
Never too late to defend your rights
Unfortunately, too many companies see safety training as a waste of time and money. Or they accept injuries as a part of doing business.
In the meantime, you are out of work and unable to support your family. Complicating matters, you cannot make sense out of a complex worker’s compensation system that seems designed to thwart you every step of the way.
The workers' compensation attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, have been fighting for the rights of injured New York workers for more than 80 years. We have a dozen offices throughout New York. We know how to navigate worker’s compensation and how to stand up to irresponsible employers and their insurance companies.
Contact us today for a free consultation.