Work Injuries and Illnesses, Minimize Your Risk

A typical adult spends most of his time in two places, home and work. Given this amount of exposure, you are at risk at work from contracting disease to fatal injuries. And though the rates and average are an acceptable level, it is better for us to understand what puts us at risk and how can we contribute to minimizing it.

In Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent study, work related injuries and illnesses are at 1,078,140, keeping workers “away from work at least 2 ½ times the average.” Among these numbers, laborers, truck drivers, nursing aides and construction workers tally in the most incident.

Geography plays a major part in increasing the odds of getting exposed to accidents. In a city like Boston for example, a worker is at risk to assaults, transportation accidents, and exposure to fire. This may ring true to most places and cities around the country, even around the world. New York, given its high population density, tallies the most number of fatal occupational injuries. Source: Occupational Safety and Health Statistics: New Data for a New Century

To note the numbers are still relatively low especially since there have been changes in recording data since 2002. BLS states “The 2002 recordkeeping rule included many changes. For example, under the old rule, recurrences of injuries or illnesses after a 30-day period were to be recorded as separate cases. Under the new rule, there is no longer a specified timeframe. A recurring illness may be counted as the same case. But this time since the rise of HIV/AIDS and other needle contracted diseases, it is given more significance. There are trends that happen from time to time, common of which is the evolving flu virus. Relatively, the risk when getting to and from work is a constant that is preventable.

Along with a person’s vigilance and awareness, the Occupational Health and Safety Specialists are employed (federal, state and local) to analyze the many types of environment and procedures at work. They work in parallel with:

• Construction and Building inspectors
• Environment Scientists
• Fire Inspectors
• Health and Safety Engineers
• Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Their tasks range from Industrial hygienist, ergonomists, to loss prevention specialist. They help identify issues involving workers and how they can improve productivity since a median of workers take an annual 8-day leave due to incidents at work.

From our end, knowledge is the most important tool whenever we go to work and risk our health. If we know what we’re risking, we’ll know or find a way to prevent it. After all, prevention will always be the best cure out there.

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Roger Gallager is a communications Specialist with expertise in marketing.  He is also a freelance writer. He has written about a range of topics including saving, money tips, home improvement, and the construction industry. He has been writing articles advising homeowners on how to secure homes, and deal with home-related problems that will inevitably arise. His expertise in the field is balanced by his liking on aviation, and music.

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