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Leep, Tescher, Helfman and Zanze

Can your employer do more to prevent workplace injuries?

A report published earlier this year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hinted at how workplace illnesses and injuries are predictable, and thus, also preventable.

The federal agency cited various reporting requirements that both employers and workers can consult to find out more about the workplace in their industries, jobs and roles. This can be helpful when trying to justify how predictable injuries are.

What injury risk factors do you face in your job?

OSHA has a publication called a “300 log.” That list compiles the many different professions that exist and includes the most common injuries workers face in each of those industries. The data included on that list comes from injury reports submitted to OSHA by employers.

The federal agency requires any employer with 10 or more employees to track worker injuries, including when, where and how they occurred. OSHA also requires employers to track how much time their workers remain out on leave or restricted duty and the frequency with which such events occur.

What impact might this data have on reducing workplace injuries?

Regulatory officials keep track of the data that employers report. They may launch additional training initiatives if they notice certain workplace injury trends in a particular industry or role.

It often takes a worker suffering serious injuries or for those injuries to happen to multiple employees for companies or government regulators to demand change.

California law may allow you to receive medical care and lost wages at your employer’s expense if you suffer a job-related injury or illness. However, not every worker will qualify for all benefits. You may want to familiarize yourself with California workers’ compensation laws to see if you are eligible for them.