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Avoiding the five most common workplace accidents

Employers and employees in Pennsylvania may encounter various hazards in their day-to-day work activities. However, there are five especially common forms of workplace accidents, and it's important to know how to prevent them.

Slips, trips and falls, which are the No. 1 hazard, account for about one-third of all personal injuries at job sites. Workers can slip because of weather hazards, wet or oily surfaces, loose rugs or flooring that lacks traction. They can trip because of clutter and uncovered cables with poor lighting and obstructed sight playing a part as well. To prevent accidents, employers should ensure proper footwear, even walking surfaces and good housekeeping.

No. 2 on the list is improperly guarded machinery. A machine could shoot out harmful objects or catch workers' extremities and crush or slice them. Operator training and the proper protective clothing are essential. Vehicle-related accidents come in third. For instance, working on the side of a road raises the risk for such accidents.

Fires and explosions can frequently arise, too, resulting in workers being crushed, burned or hit by flying debris. The pressure of a blast could affect the ears, throat and digestive tract. Lastly, many workers, especially office workers and manual laborers, can suffer from overexertion (such as through heavy lifting) or repetitive stress injuries (such as through constant clicking and typing).

Even when employers do all they can to ensure workplace safety, people can get injured. However, injured parties do have the ability to file for workers' compensation benefits, which could cover any medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. While a hurt employee is not required to prove that their employer or anyone else was negligent, they could nevertheless have their claim denied. With a lawyer, they could mount an appeal.

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