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National Safety Month focuses on preventing workplace injury It i

It is increasingly clear that a safe workplace benefits both workers and employers. In Colorado and elsewhere, safety protects workers, keeps them on the job and prevents the incidence of serious workplace injury. For employers, the costs of administering a workers' compensation claim add to the employer's expenses substantially. It's not just medical bills and lost wages -- when a worker is hurt, an employer can sustain other expenses such as repairing or replacing defective or damaged equipment, retaining temp workers, transferring workers from one department to another, and even missing deadlines with customers for the promised delivery of products.

June is National Safety Month, which is an opportune time to raise awareness of both employers and employees of the value of workplace safety programs and measures. It's a good time to examine those areas or functions where more accidents happen during the year and those that may cause the most serious injuries. One state's workers' compensation fund published a list of the 10 most common types of on-the-job accidents for 2013.

The top type was slip and fall incidents, which for the state of Utah came in at 20 percent of all workplace injuries. Cuts and hitting against objects were at 17 and 16 percent respectively. Strains by lifting and general strains were another 12 and 12 percent, respectively. A motor vehicle accident was the event with the highest cost, which had an employer average cost of over $35,000. The slip and fall, on the other hand, only cost the employer an average of $9,805.

National safety month gives employers and employees in Colorado and throughout the country a chance to participate in creative experiences, demonstrations and educational gatherings to help improve the progress toward safety in the workplace. During June, all kinds of risks that are encountered in the workplace can be addressed in tailor-made projects and demonstrations designed to help educate both employees and employers regarding the vital subject of workplace safety. The ultimate goal, of course, is to combat the incidence of workplace injury in order to improve the status of both employers and employees.

Source: Echo-Pilot, "8 most common, expensive on-the-job injuries", Rachel Lewis, May 21, 2014

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