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News Stories

California Employers Need New Approach to Increase Workplace Safety

The workplace has evolved over the last few decades. From a place that focused on agriculture to one that focuses on industry, these changes have led to the use of large and complex machines. Although these machines allow for the mass production of goods at a minimal cost, they also can lead to dangerous situations for workers.

A recent article in the Occupational Health & Safety magazine discusses the changes that have occurred in the workplace. Although the ability to produce more and more goods is apparent, the article points out that the safety of the workplace has remained stagnant. Claims of injury at the workplace continue to focus on common accidents like falls, back injuries and eye injuries.

REVITALIZING SAFETY IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WORKPLACE

In order to increase the safety of the workplace, changes are needed. Arguably, the most impactful change could center on how safety training is delivered.

Some key changes that could significantly increase the effectiveness of safety training include:

  • Refreshers. Apparently the old adage “What you don’t use, you lose” holds true when it comes to safety training. Training that is not regularly enforced is often forgotten. Holding short sessions to refresh safety training can increase what employees retain. Sessions as small as one to five minutes can have a significant impact on workplace safety.

  • Teaching style. Language barriers, different learning styles and cultural differences can all add to the difficulties that can plague effective training sessions. 

  • Consistency. Not only in the information provided, but also in the way accidents and infractions are recorded. This can help employers to make needed adjustments.

In addition to these changes, incorporation of technological advances into training sessions can also increase the safety of the workplace. A new concept referred to as gamification is one option. This refers to the availability of various games that mimic the work environment. These games will navigate the user through different work scenarios that the worker may encounter, providing an opportunity for the worker to apply safety concepts learned in training sessions.

WORKER SAFETY IN CALIFORNIA

California requires employers to provide illness and injury prevention activities. This includes the use of effective training programs. Programs used by employers must be included in a written log referred to as the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Violations related to IIPPs are the most frequently cited by Cal/OSHA.

If an IIPP violation led to a work related injury, you may have the right to file a Serious and Willful claim. There are time limitations on this filing and other injuries received while working may also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. As a result, if you are injured on the job it is important to contact an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your options.