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Improving worker safety: five tips for employers

Improving worker safety in Missouri starts with one employer at a time. Unfortunately, many employers become distracted by tight deadlines and the fast pace of their work environments, paying little attention to safety guidelines. Not only will this make workers more vulnerable to injuries, but it will also lower their morale as they realize their employers are not concerned. This means low productivity, high turnover rates and weaker employer branding.

Creating a safety-minded culture benefits both employees and employers. The latter group should remember, though, that any effort at organization must begin with them. Strong leadership is the first tip that employers should take to heart. The second suggestion is for site managers or safety coaches to pass out an anonymous survey. This can gauge what employees know about federal and corporate safety guidelines as well as what they feel about their responsibilities or others' expectations of them.

Thirdly, supervisors could schedule a huddle before the start of a shift, creating a forum where workers can mention any safety hazards they encounter on the job site. To gain workers' trust and show them respect as well as to help individuals open up who cannot in a large group, supervisors could hold informal, one-on-one discussions. Lastly, workers should receive ongoing training on risk identification and prevention.

When people are injured at work, they can seek compensation in one of two ways. If employer negligence was clearly to blame for the accident, victims could file a personal injury claim. If the incident wasn't the employer's fault, or if victims don't want the hassle of going through the courts, they can file for workers' compensation. It would be a good idea to hire a lawyer, though. Attorneys can hire investigators to prove that the injuries arose at work, and they can mount an appeal if a claim is denied.

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