Spotlight on Plant Workers and Safety: Need to Know Tips
In Part Two of our series on workplace safety, we’ve chosen to spotlight plant workers. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you may feel lost. First, you want to make sure your medical bills are paid. You are surely concerned about a continuing income while you recuperate from your injuries. What happens if you do get hurt despite acting safely?
All claims that are accepted by the workers’ compensation insurance company include the first two benefits. Once medical treatment is completed, some injured employees may also be eligible for additional money. Those who do not secure legal representation may not even be aware of this extra benefit.
You may receive an award for permanent disability. This does not necessarily mean that you are totally disabled or can’t work. It acknowledges some extent of permanent damage as a result of a work-related injury. See our article on permanent part total disability.
Of course, certain workers may be entitled to permanent total benefits. This marks a determination that the individual is no longer able to work.
Identifying Plant Workers and Applicable Workplace Safety Tips
We’ve chosen to use the term plant workers as a broad classification. This could include machine operators, forklift operators or any type of production worker. Warehouse employees and factory workers may also be plant workers. Although each individual job has different training and expectations, safety should always be first.
Many plant workers will note that their company has specific safety guidelines in place. There are often penalties for failure to comply with the rules. Some manufacturing facilities may not be as prepared for accidents. Here are some general safety guidelines for employees:
- Follow the Company Safety Guidelines: If your employer has set up safety guidelines, follow them. Their purpose is to prevent accident. Besides, if you neglect them, you may lose your job for cause.
- Look for spills and leaks on the plant floor: Report them or take the initiative to clean them up. Slip and fall accidents are common in the workplace.
- Use protective gear: Avoid something blowing into your eyes by using goggles. Wear proper footwear and properly fitting gloves. Use hardhats and ear protection when appropriate. Wear back supportive braces if lifting heavy materials. Insist on masks if there is a great deal of dust in the environment.
- Be Cautious of Working with Hazardous Substances: The Right to Know Act grants employees the right to know the risks associated with different work products. Educate yourself.
- Operate Machinery Safely: Do NOT remove safety guards or attempt to find shortcuts different than the machine’s intended use. Familiarize yourself with the STOP button.
- Do not Drink or Drug on the Job: If you do either, you put yourself at greater risk. You can be fired.
- Do not engage in Horseplay: It might seem harmless to clown around with another employee, but it can also cause an accident. If an investigation reveals your injuries are related to horseplay, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Electrical Safety: Exercise caution when using electrical tools. Check for frayed wires and unusual sparks.
- Use Caution around Forklifts: Whether you are the driver or on the floor, you should use caution around forklifts. Think of them as mini-cars within the facility.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Many workplace accidents occur because the employee simply wasn’t paying attention.
At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we realize that a work-related accident has many consequences. Contact our office regarding any questions you may have concerning injuries sustained in an on the job accident. We can help you better understand your legal rights.