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Identifying the causes of workplace injuries

Minnesota employees may benefit from learning more about how to interpret data related to injured workers, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, any organization that has at least 10 employees is required to report workplace injuries. OSHA also requires employers to collect data related to near-misses and near-accidents.

Employers are expected to utilize Material Safety Data Sheets when training employees on how to use safely use the materials on the job. Employers are also required to clearly label materials and provide explicit warnings for hazardous supplies. When examining data related to workplace injuries, the CDC states that some of the variables of interest should include injury rates, causes, location and severity of bodily injuries and the most common types of injuries, among other factors. Workplace inspections may be one of the most effective ways to collect this type of data.

Workplace inspections may occur at the request of an employee or after an accident causing injury. Inspections may also be conducted on a regular basis in an effort to identify potential hazards onsite. The inspections may be conducted by insurance providers, regulatory agencies, engineers, safety professionals, workers and other qualified parties. The CDC also acknowledges the risks of injury that ergonomic-related issues may present to employees who spend extensive periods at a workstation.

Employees who suffer an injury due to unsafe conditions at the workplace may benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to help ensure that injured employees receive the wage and medical benefits to which they are entitled under workers' compensation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , "On-the-job Injuries Data", November 25, 2014

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