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Guidelines for workplace safety from NIOSH

Some retail workers in Texas may suffer from on-the-job injuries, but the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has released a new publication that suggests ways that retailers can better protect their workers. NIOSH also says that the guidelines can be adapted to other environments such as warehouses.

The publication suggests the use of transport and lift devices as well as ensuring employees are able to work in what the organization refers to as their "power zone." NIOSH provided an action plan for employers to ensure that workers are doing their jobs as safely as possible.

According to NIOSH, employers should first look for ways that improvements can be made. They can do this by observing and talking to employees, reading OSHA 300 logs and making use of assessment tools. Next, employers should assess the risk factors, urgency and frequency of injury or complaint at various tasks and consider how to prioritize improvement. Once the improvements are actually made, employers must then measure their effectiveness. Each aspect should be evaluated separately.

Whether or not employers have implemented these safety standards, an individual who suffers from a workplace injury may be eligible for workers' compensation. Generally, this is available regardless of who is at fault in the accident. An individual who is injured may wish to consult an attorney because they may respond differently depending on the details of the accident. If a non-employer third party is wholly or partially responsible such as another individual or an equipment manufacturer, it may be possible in some cases for the injured worker to pursue both a workers' compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit against such third party.

Source: EHS Today, "Working in the ‘Power Zone’ (and Other Safe Material Handling Tips for Retailers)", Josh Cable, December 02, 2014

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