Blue-collared workers perform labor-intensive jobs and typically work with their hands. Many jobs classified as “blue collar” require skilled personnel who are formally trained and certified. The skills necessary for blue-collared work vary by occupation. Common blue-collar jobs include construction, assembly, maintenance, mining, and renovation. No matter which occupation, blue collared personnel work hard to build America’s future. This line of work comes with very real physical and health hazards. However, there are ways to lower the risks.
Work-related injuries are highly common. Did you know that work-related illness and injuries resulted in twenty-six million lost working days in 2011? Or that 1.2 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness from 2010-2011? Hazards exist in every workplace in many different forms. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to protect their employees from workplace hazards that can cause injury.
Examples of physical hazards include:
• Moving or falling objects
• Extreme hot or cold temperatures
• High intensity lighting
• Rolling or pinching objects
• Electrical connections
• Sharp edges
Examples of health hazards include:
• Overexposure to unclean air
Here are a few suggestions to protect yourself from an injury at work:
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• Take Breaks. Putting in long hours on the job site can lead to fatigue. It is advised to take a break at least once an hour in order to ward off fatigue.
• Know your company’s policies regarding workplace safety. Read your employee handbook and ask questions if necessary.
• Wear proper safety gear. If you aren’t sure what gear you need, or if you feel that your gear is inadequate, contact your supervisor immediately.
Blue-collared workers must be extra careful to use proper precautionary measures and wear personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE”. PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. These forms of equipment are:
• Protective gloves
• Foot, face, and eye protection (goggles, welding shields, combination foot and shin guards, safety shoes)
• Protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs)
• Safety helmets and hard hats
• Full body suits
We hope that you consider these guidelines to reduce your risk of physical pain and lost wages from missed work. If you are suffering from a work-related injury, and you don’t feel as though you’re being treated fairly by your employer, please consider contacting a Rutter Mills Workers’ Compensation Attorney for a free consultation. We can help you to seek the compensation you deserve for you injuries.