Protecting Yourself Against Workplace Injuries in North Carolina
Author: Auger Law | October 10th, 2018
- 174 people lost their lives on as a result of workplace injuries in North Carolina in 2016.
- 59% of these injuries were caused by either transportation accidents or injuries involving other people or animals.
- Falls, slips, or trips accounted for 26 deaths.
People across North Carolina go to work every day. Unfortunately, there are numerous work-related Injuries that happen every day. Some of these injuries are minor and require little to no medical attention at all, while other injuries may be very severe resulting in hospitalization and in the most serious cases they may result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Some industries are inherently more dangerous than others. Construction work and transportation jobs are often hazardous. That doesn’t mean that other occupations don’t have their fair share of dangerous situations because they do. Our office is frequently contacted by injured workers from all different types of industries and occupations.
No matter where you work, being cognizant of workplace safety is an important step in trying to keep yourself safe from work-related or occupational injuries, minor and serious. There is no way to ever make any work environment immune to work accidents, but being mindful of being as safe as you can is a step in the right direction. Here are some examples:
- Know the Hazards
Did you pay close enough attention the last time your employer held a workplace safety meeting or professional development training? You may know of the hazards in your workplace and you may think that you know how to stay safe. That may be true, but knowing how to stay safe and practicing safety are two different things.
There is a reason you are supposed to operate machinery in a certain way or walk down a certain path or pull things off a shelf in an appropriate manner. Pay attention the next time you have an OSHA talk at work. If you have questions about safety in your work place, bring your questions to your supervisor. They want you to be safe too!
- Sitting Takes Attention
Work in an office? If so you probably sit in your office chair without giving it much thought. You may even plop in your office chair. You sink down and get to work. You aren’t thinking about your posture, but you should be. Office workers are just as at risk for injury as those who work on the factory floor.
You may not sustain an acute injury in your office chair, but you could very well sustain an overuse injury or one that occurs due to repetitive movement or, in your case, from poor posture over the long term.
If you sit in an office chair for the majority of your day, pay close attention to your posture. In fact, you may want to invest in an ergonomic chair or see if your boss will. Sit straight, with your hips and shoulders aligned, no matter what type of chair you sit in.
- Protect Your Peepers
Our eyes weaken as we age. It becomes more difficult to focus to things close to our faces and tough to read the fine print. You could probably ruin your eyes if you stare at a computer all day, every day without ever giving them a break. Try to not stare at your computer screen for longer than 20 minutes. Set a timer if it helps. You don’t have to look away for more than a few minutes, but you do need to give your eyes a break.
Make sure you get an annual eye exam and ask your eye doctor about eyewear options. You may want to invest in glasses that can help reduce eye strain.
- Know the Plan
Most companies have an emergency plan in place, even if it isn’t clearly outlined. Know where you are expected to go when there is an emergency! If you don’t know where to find your emergency plans, ask a supervisor.
You need to know how to get out of your building should the need arise. Not knowing what to do in an emergency situation is a risk to your safety and perhaps your life.
- Use Your Voice
Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. If you see something, say something. Don’t assume that someone else will be brave enough to speak up. If you notice a dangerous or hazardous condition or something else that doesn’t sit right with you, bring it to the attention of a workplace superior or someone that is responsible for keeping your workplace safe.
Never be afraid to say something about a risky work environment. Never assume that your boss is just letting things slide, because it may be something that they are not even aware of. If your boss isn’t alerted to a hazard, how can they fix it?
- Call Out When You’re Sick
It’s understandable that workers who don’t have the benefit of sick time show up at work despite not feeling well. The problem is that when you feel under the weather and head to the office anyway, you are putting yourself at greater risk for injury.
Our senses are a bit dulled when we are sick and our reaction time is slower. Not to mention that cold and flu medicine can make us feel loopy and disoriented. If you are sick, take the day off. If you don’t have sick time and can’t afford to take the day off, find out if you can work from home or in another area of the building where you won’t spread your germs.
Our Injury Lawyers are Here for You!
No one wants to be injured at work. No one wants to deal with the aftermath of any type of accident. Medical bills, lost wages, and long-term care needs can be life changing. You have rights when you are hurt!
When you are injured, you should always report any incident to your supervisor immediately and follow the proper procedures. The law often provides for benefits and protections for people injured in work or other accidents.
If you were hurt at work, in a motor vehicle accident or in any other manner please know that you have rights. Please call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and discover how we may be able to help you. We will try to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Our firm is focused on helping injured people, please reach out to us to see if we can help you. (855) 969-5730 – we answer our phones 24 hours a day every day.