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Workplace safety program focuses on prevention

According to serious injury and fatality prevention programs, North Carolina workers may be safer if their workplaces focus on identifying the potential for accidents and trying to prevent them rather than waiting for an accident to happen and then investigating it. The program takes the approach that near-miss incidents are a case of luck rather than a safety system working and that identifying those incidents can be important in making workplaces safer.

Safety professionals must go to workers at their company and communicate with them about the hazards they observe in the workplace. This means that there must be an atmosphere of trust. Workers must feel confident that they will not be penalized for pointing out these hazards. Creating an environment in which workers can comfortably exercise stop-work authority can also be an important final line of defense against accidents.

Safety professionals must be able to work throughout the organizational ladder from workers who report hazards to executives. Some safety professionals may need to persuade leadership in their workplace that SIF is a good approach to workplace safety. It is also important to keep in mind that SIF programs must be dynamic. As certain hazards are addressed and as changes happen in the workplace, there will be new hazards to report and address.

When employees are injured in accidents at work, they are usually eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This is generally the case regardless of who is at fault in the accident. An injured worker might want to have the assistance of an attorney during the preparation and submission of the claim.

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