Archive for May, 2015

May 2015

Providence Work Safety in Focus for North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyThe first full week of May was North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) suggests that NAOSH week is an “excellent opportunity to focus, reinforce, and strengthen commitment to occupational safety and health.” Of course we shouldn’t stop there. Employers and employees throughout Coventry, Warwick, Providence and surrounding areas should focus on safety as the long summer months begin.

An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer knows it costs far less to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries than it does to correct and treat them. While employees should have costs covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they suffer an injury in the workplace, it can be difficult to get an insurer to pay the full amount of benefits necessary, and some legitimate claims for benefits are denied. Preventing work injuries is preferable for both employers and workers and NAOSH week is an ideal time to focus on some of the different steps that can be taken to make workplaces safer.

Preventing Workplace Injuries with a Focus on Safety

HHS suggests that participation in NAOSH week can:

  • Improve attitudes about workplace safety
  • Increase understanding of how important occupational safety and health is to workers and employers
  • Foster a culture that is safety-minded
  • Prompt more cooperation between employers and employees
  • Make employers and employees more aware of issues affecting occupational safety

Both employers and employees generally consider workplace safety to be a very important issue. A total of 85 percent of al workers indicate that worker safety standards are the single most important labor standards. Worker safety standards rank higher in importance among workers surveyed than other issues like minimum wage, family leave, maternity leave, paid overtime, paid sick days and the right to become a part of a union.

Employers also understand the importance of workplace safety for maintaining worker morale, keeping employees motivated, and preventing costly work injury claims. Workers who feel confident in their safety are more productive and do a better job for their employers.

Despite the fact that worker safety is a high priority for both employers and employees, a number of conditions may exist in workplaces that can contribute to a higher risk of workplace injuries. These include:

  • Poor lighting in the work environment.
  • Poor environmental hygiene in the workplace
  • Missing guard rails on walkways or other missing protective elements or protective gear designed to prevent accidents
  • Misused equipment due to lack of training
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • An absence of safety protocols and training procedures
  • Safety procedures and protocols that are confusing and unclear to workers
  • Walking surfaces that are slippery, not properly maintained, or otherwise unsafe.

NAOSH week ran for the first full week in May and thousands of individuals and organizations participated in an effort to draw attention to these and other safety issues. While events like worker safety week are important to raising awareness of top safety issues, employers and employees should make a strong commitment to workplace safety that lasts throughout the entire year.

Contact a Providence injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl at 508-677-4900 or visit to schedule your free consultation. Serving Coventry, Warwick, Providence and surrounding areas.