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There are simple steps that can help boost workplace safety

The changing seasons can play a major role in the well-being of workers in a variety of occupations. In spite of the advent of winter weather conditions, there are proactive steps employers can take to promote workplace safety. Though Missouri is not known for excessively severe winters, taking extra precautions can help ensure a safe day on the job.

One of the first measures a company can take is to review its current emergency procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that every business that employs more than 10 workers must have a written plan to handle emergencies. These may need to be reviewed during winter months, as the changing weather conditions may pose different hazards. Ensuring these plans are up-to-date and properly disseminated to all employees can allow workers to handle the unexpected in the safest manner. While the emergency plans are updated as needed, it may be beneficial to conduct a thorough job hazard analysis.

This can be completed with the assistance of employees to identify potential hazards and consider how winter conditions can exacerbate these potential problems. Once these areas are identified, it is important to correct deficiencies and make sure workers are apprised of the new conditions and procedures. Along with environmental evaluation of the workplace, it may be beneficial to provide the necessary equipment and tools to reduce the chances of winter-related illness. This can also entail educating employees on the importance of practicing safety when working in extreme conditions.

Lastly, companies can draw attention to hazardous conditions through proper sign placement and advance notification. Installing safety measures, such as anti-skid tape, may also reduce the risks of a costly fall injury. Not every accident or illness can be prevented, especially in settings where workplace safety may have been neglected by company officials. If a Missouri worker suffers a serious work-related injury or illness that resulted from the normal course of one's duties, he or she may qualify for benefits through the workers' compensation program. Injured individuals may experience the best outcome for these claims by seeking the assistance of an attorney who successfully files such claims on a regular basis.

Source: reliableplant.com, "4 Steps to Keep Your Workers and Facility Safe This Winter", Kelsey Rzepecki, Jan. 18, 2018

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