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Wisconsin work injury: Emphasis on safety may save lives

Good safety practices in Wisconsin workplaces can reduce or even prevent a work injury. Employers across the country are embracing the idea and are implementing strong safety messages within the workplace. The head of OSHA has noted that employers are finally stepping up and recognizing how safety management is effective in not only preventing a work injury, but also in boosting a company's profit potential.

However, others may not have accepted the practice as widely. Many employers appear to be unaware of OSHA standards and do not take immediate steps to correct hazardous workplace situations. While no one wants to see someone suffer a work injury, safety is more than just voicing the need for it. Changing workplace practices can go a long ways toward reducing the possibility of a serious work accident.

Critics of OSHA's practices have claimed the use of the press releases detailing fines and citations is a way for OSHA to 'defame' a company before the allegations can be proven. OSHA contends that it uses the releases as an effective deterrent to encourage other companies to avoid being involved in the same situation. An OSHA spokesman stated one of the biggest frustrations is reaching employers who are unaware of many safety standards set by OSHA.

Most Wisconsin employers recognize emphasizing safety has the potential to save lives and can reduce the possibility of a work injury. Others may only be dimly aware of the organization's influence. However, workers' compensation is a right provided under state law, regardless of the safety standards of a company. Workers who are injured on the job may benefit from gaining a full understanding of their rights and responsibilities as they seek to ensure that they receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled.

Source: Bloomberg BNA, "OSHA Head Says Wide Range of Tools Needed to Enforce Rules on Worker Safety," Stephen Lee, Jan. 16, 2013

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