Past records of workplace accidents and injuries could help to avoid future incidents that hurt workers in New Jersey. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration refers to these events as "incidents" rather than "accidents" for several reasons; one of those reasons is the perspective that workplace accidents that injure or kill workers are rarely truly unforeseen or unexpected. While there may be some truly unpredictable accidents caused by factors outside of the workplace, most on-the-job injuries have causes that are preventable.
One of the best ways to reduce the number of workplace injuries is by analyzing and understanding past data about incidents on the job. By reviewing past reports and the circumstances that surrounded those events, workplaces can take action to improve safety conditions and training related to the issues that become apparent.
OSHA recommends the use of the 300 log form. Every employer with 10 or more employees has to use these forms to record certain types of illnesses or injuries in the workplace. The form collects information about the type of incident, the location where it occurred, the frequency or commonality, the workers involved and their job titles, the processes or activities involved in the incident and the resulting amount of lost work as a result. OSHA notes that using these forms can highlight problem areas; for example, slip-and-fall accidents can indicate a particularly hazardous location or a need for additional cleanup procedures.
When workers are injured on the job, the consequences can be catastrophic. Workers may be too injured to return to work for long after the original injury, depriving them of much-needed income as well as the potential for advancement. A workers' compensation lawyer may help injured workers protect their rights and seek out the benefits that they are entitled to.