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Methods for creating a safer workplace

Safety is something that employers in New Jersey can be tempted to put aside in the midst of a fast-paced work environment. Even many workers do so in their effort to meet deadlines, while those who are concerned may be prevented from speaking out for fear of punishment. The results are uniformly negative: higher injury rates, a decline in productivity, mounting medical costs and a decrease in employee retention and employee morale. Employers end up tarnishing the name of their company.

There are five safety tips that employers, as well as site managers and safety coaches, can consider if they want to turn this kind of situation around. They must first of all be the leaders in creating a safety culture; without leadership, no organized effort is possible. They can then measure what their employees know about federal and corporate safety policies by way of an anonymous survey. The survey could also ask employees what they expect from others and how they see their own responsibilities.

The last three tips are concerned with actively engaging employees. A pre-shift huddle can provide a non-punitive forum for workers to mention any hazards they encounter. Since not everyone is comfortable speaking up in large groups, supervisors can conduct one-on-one discussions. To help employees identify and eliminate hazards, employers must provide ongoing training.

Not all hazards can be detected, though, and sometimes workers can injure themselves through their own carelessness. In such cases where the employer is not to blame for a workplace injury, the victim may be able to seek compensation through the workers' comp program. A lawyer might assess the situation and have investigators connect the injuries to the accident and the accident to the job site. He or she might then negotiate for a fair settlement that covers medical bills, lost wages and any income lost in the future.

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