Every year, hundreds of New Jersey residents are injured on the job. Many of these injuries are due to unsafe working conditions. However, a new program at Harvard University is finding innovative ways to improve health and safety at the workplace.
The Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is one of six facilities of excellence financed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Research cited by the Chan School shows that many U.S. jobs have unsafe working conditions and high numbers of workplace injury accidents. Some of these injuries were caused by conditions that prompted OSHA investigations — such as crush injuries from construction site accidents — but other factors included occupational diseases, repetitive stress, and fatigue.
With those statistics in mind, the Chan School is working with companies to create policies and programs that reduce the number of work accident victims. For example, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Chan School staff implemented policies that helped hospital employees get patients in and out of bed and provided more efficient equipment for the laundry staff. After one year, the program resulted in a significant decrease in the number of reported neck and back injuries and reduced the number of employees who filed for workers’ compensation benefits.
Although programs like these are reducing the number of work accident victims, many New Jersey residents are still suffering because of unsafe working conditions. Anyone who has a permanent disability or injury from OSHA violations may be entitled to workers’ compensation. An attorney could help a client make sure that such a workers’ compensation claim is accepted.