Safety authorities in Iowa, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, expect your employer to protect your health and safety in your Iowa workplace. However, it might be a good idea to take some precautions yourself, instead of relying on your boss, who might focus more on profits than employee safety. You can be a victim of an occupational injury or illness regardless of the industry in which you work.
If you should slip or trip and fall and strike your head against a hard object, you could suffer traumatic brain injuries whether you are on a construction site or in an office. The same applies to strains and sprains from lifting heavy objects in any workplace.
If your employer makes no provision for adequate safety training as required by OSHA, you have the right to ask about it. Knowing about potential safety hazards and how to avoid them is a good start. Training must cover both general safety and also the safe operation of equipment, and it might be up to you to make sure you get the necessary training.
The chances of suffering on-the-job injuries in work areas where debris and random objects clutter walkways are significant. If you get involved in the housekeeping of your work area and make cleanliness a priority, you might avoid injuries. While wet spills or leakages are serious slip-and-fall risks, out-of-place equipment, tools, machinery and other objects can cause trip-and-fall accidents. Snaking electrical cords on the floor are equally dangerous. Keeping floors and work surfaces clean and sanitary can help avoid injuries.
Every job requires some body movement, and in some cases, the lack of body movement can cause ergonomic injuries. These are injuries that you can suffer from repetitive body movements or jobs that require you to sit or stand in awkward positions for extended periods. While the impact on your body can be severe if these movements are strenuous, continuous manipulation of a mouse and typing on a keyboard can be equally harmful. Learning proper techniques for lifting, carrying or moving objects can also help in the prevention of injuries.
Listen to your body
Remember that you have the right to take breaks. Your body will tell you when it needs a rest. If you do not listen to your body, you may soon suffer overexertion, which might cause time off work, lost income and more.
Did you learn these lessons too late?
If you thought your job posed no particular safety hazards, you might have suffered an unexpected workplace injury. Fortunately, you will not have to cope with the financial consequences on your own. You might be eligible for benefits through the Iowa workers' compensation insurance system. You will also be free to seek the support and guidance of legal counsel to assist with the navigation of the claims process in pursuit of compensation to cover medical expenses and lost income.