Employees at businesses in Texas and around the nation report to work each day, expecting that they will have a safe place to do their jobs. While this seems like a reasonable expectation, the reality is that workplace accidents are fairly common. In fact, the number of injuries and fatalities that occur on the job are regrettably high.
Reports from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that over 2.9 million workplace injuries occurred in 2015. In that same year, there were over 4,800 fatalities in the workplace. Safety experts recommend that companies of all sizes and across all industries should have plans in place to prevent accidents and deaths. A starting point for most businesses would be to develop an IIPP, or an Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
An IIPP is a safety program that can help employers and employees alike. Several states require companies to have a plan like this in place, though it is not mandated by federal law. As every company is unique, each business' IIPP would be different as well. Many factors would have a bearing on what should be included, such as size of workforce and working conditions.
Companies may find numerous resources to help them develop the safety programs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can provide sample guidelines that would address effective training, recordkeeping and communication. For many companies, having a plan that deals with working in excessive heat is necessary, particularly as warmer weather is approaching.
Employees in Texas have the right to a safe working environment. However, even with detailed safety guidelines and training, workplace accidents can still occur. If an employee is injured on the job, he or she may consider filing a lawsuit against the employer. An experienced lawyer will help clients determine if a company was negligent in its safety practices, or failed to warn employees of potentially hazardous conditions or situations. A successful outcome in a lawsuit could provide victims with compensation for medical expenses or lost wages.
Source: manufacturing.net, "Developing An Injury And Illness Prevention Program For Heat-Related Risks", Terry Derise, May 8, 2018