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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

How unsafe conditions lead to workplace accidents

Feb 15, 2024 |

Workplace accidents can happen at any time, even when employers do their best to keep workers safe. That’s one reason why the workers’ compensation system doesn’t require that you show fault before recovering benefits.

Yet, not all workplaces are equal. All too often employers either fail to implement or fail to remove safety features meant to protect workers from dangerous situations. This, of course, raises the risk of being injured on the job. But what circumstances are seen in Ohio workplaces that put workers in danger? Let’s take a closer look.

Most workers don’t realize how dangerous their place of employment is. The reality is that there are numerous unsafe conditions present in Ohio’s workplaces, including the following:

  • Removal of safety guards: Employers remove safety guards for several reasons. Some think they get in the way of more efficient work, while others find them to be bulky, rendering equipment more difficult to move. Some simply don’t want to pay to purchase and install safety guards. Regardless of the reason, though, this shortcoming can significantly heighten your risk of being injured on the job.
  • Failure to provide protective gear: Depending on the type of work you do, your employer should provide you with protective gear to keep you safe. This might include a hard hat, gloves, goggles, safety ropes, ear protection, and respiratory protection. If your employer fails to provide you with this equipment, then you could suffer everything from broken bones caused by a fall to hearing loss and the development of cancer. Failing to provide protective equipment is a major oversight on your employer’s part that needs to be remedied.
  • Failure to maintain machinery: Workplace machinery can pose a significant risk if improperly maintained, as it could force you into closer contact with moving parts, perhaps even pulling you towards them, increasing your risk of pinch and cut injuries. Machinery can also slip or fall, either of which can result in you getting crushed. Repair and maintenance of heavy machinery can be costly, making this a common area where employers cut corners when it comes to safety.
  • Inadequate lighting: You need to see what you’re doing to perform your job duties. But a lack of lighting can also create a dangerous situation. A lack of light can blur your vision, leading to mistakes when handling sharp or heavy objects, and your co-workers might not see you when they’re maneuvering machinery. These situations can lead to catastrophic accidents that result in devastating injuries.
  • Poor training: When you’re working in a potentially dangerous environment, you and your co-workers need to be properly trained. If you or someone else is operating heavy machinery without knowing what they’re doing, then you’re looking at a recipe for disaster.
  • Excessive workloads and unrealistic expectations: We all know that employers push us to work harder and faster to maximize revenue. But when you’re working in a hazardous environment, being pushed to work too hard and too fast can lead to errors and injuries.

What if you’ve been injured in a workplace accident?

If you’ve been injured on the job, then you need to think about your next steps. This should include gathering evidence to support a workers’ compensation claim as well as educating yourself on the workers’ compensation process so that you know what you need to do and when you need to do it.

Navigating the process can be daunting, but this isn’t something that you have to face on your own. Be sure to surround yourself with the support that you need to get through this trying time and properly advocate for the outcome that you deserve.