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Employees take note: Small businesses focused on workplace safety

No matter what job you have or where you work, there is the potential for suffering a workplace illness or injury. It may be true that those who work on industrial or construction job sites could be at a greater risk of suffering catastrophic injuries while working, but the fact is that any person is at some risk of getting hurt while working

Texas workers should remember that any work-related injury can (and often does) interfere with a person's ability to work. And whether a person suffers electrical burns on a construction site or develops back pain after years of working behind a computer, there is at least some risk of injury that a worker can be faced with on the job. Luckily, some employers are taking these risks seriously. According to a recent survey, small businesses in Texas and nationwide are focused on improving workplace safety.

The survey asked small business owners what their primary concerns were when it came to risks on the job. About 35 percent of them stated that workplace safety risks are the most worrisome, and that same number responded that in 2014, they plan to spend more time addressing these risks than any other risks, including cyber-security and professional liability.

Respondents reported being the least prepared to handle issues with workplace violence, repetitive motion injuries, explosions and exposure to dangerous environments or substances. But they were more prepared for other hazards that many of us face every day, including sprains, work-related motor vehicle accidents and injurious contact with certain objects or pieces of equipment. By far, small business owners reported that they were most prepared to handle the risks of slipping and falling in the workplace, which is the most common type of injury that employees suffer.

Employees all across Texas could be at risk of suffering these types of injuries. They may not put a person's life in danger or happen in particularly hazardous environment, but they can still seriously affect a person's health and ability to work.

If and when a person experiences an injury or illness, they may require assistance to cope with an incident, access medical care and treatment, and take time off from work in order to recover. No matter what size company you work at, whether it is a small business or huge industrial plant, workers' compensation benefits may be available.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Workplace Safety Is Top Risk Concern for Small Businesses in 2014, Survey Finds," Feb. 12, 2014

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