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Improving workplace safety in three steps

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

There are three steps that employers in Kentucky can take to improve workplace safety. These points can be helpful for workplaces in all industries. First, employers will want to consider indoor air quality. A poorly ventilated building can trap mold and pollen and cause workers to have headaches, nausea, itchy skin and fatigue. When more than 20% of occupants suffer like this, employers can be sure that they have sick building syndrome.

Air quality can be affected by various chemicals, too, such as benzene and chloroform. Wood industries are at a particularly high risk for exposing workers to silica, which can result in lung disease. Perhaps worst of all is asbestos exposure. Some 1.3 million construction workers are exposed to this mineral every year, usually in old buildings with asbestos-laden tiles, pipes, roofing sheets and other materials.

Next, employers should take the step of ensuring ergonomic designs for employees’ desk chairs. The issue of musculoskeletal disorders may be more prominent in some industries than in others, but it is the most highly reported cause of lost time from work, according to OSHA. MSDs include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back injuries. Lastly, employers will want to create an environment where workers can open up about any safety hazards without fear of retaliation.

Those who suffer MSDs or develop a condition from exposure to harmful chemicals may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. No one’s negligence needs to be established to be eligible for benefits. However, employers can deny payment, so a victim may want a lawyer by their side. There is a two-year statute of limitations in this state. The lawyer may assist with the appeal and also explain the process of seeking a lump-sum settlement.