A worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in America. It’s an unfortunate truth that factory workers are filing many workers’ compensation claims. The physical demands of the job are such that accidents happen all too frequently in manufacturing plants—and most of these accidents are preventable.

Pennsylvania has a long history of manufacturing, from its past in steel to today’s plants producing medical devices, fabricated metals and myriad other products. How can workers in these occupations maintain a safe environment for themselves and their coworkers?

9 ways to prevent accidents

  1. Tell your supervisor about risky conditions. Remember, your boss is legally bound to make changes to improve unsafe conditions. If you see a potential risk, speak out.
  2. Keep floors clear, clean and well-maintained. This helps prevent slips and falls, the second-highest cause of nonfatal injuries in factory settings.
  3. Use equipment and tools correctly. Ask for training if you are unsure of how to operate a piece of equipment. Your welfare is more important than getting something done quickly.
  4. Wear the necessary safety equipment and check it for damage before each use.
  5. Maintain clear paths to emergency exits and keep your work area tidy.
  6. Use caution with hazardous materials. For example, if you are using flammable materials, keep only enough for the task at hand and put the material away with care in an area apart from the workspace.
  7. Securely stack and store boxes and other fall risks with nets or toe rails. Make sure there is no risk of collapse with the proper safety precautions.
  8. Mind your posture when lifting. Use the correct method of lifting with your legs and keeping your back straight. Do not twist or bend, as serious injury can result. Use mechanical lifting aids when possible.
  9. Take breaks to prevent getting overtired. When you’re exhausted, mistakes happen that result in accidents.

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, especially in a fast-paced factory setting. Utilize these nine tips to prevent it from happening to you. If you are involved in a workplace accident, a workers’ compensation claim can safeguard your income while you recover.