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Adopting a team approach to workplace safety

A rule introduced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in May 2016 has highlighted the safety challenges faced by employers in New Jersey and around the country. The goal of the rule is to modernize the way that data about workplace illnesses and injuries is collected and used, but a growing number of advocates say that many on-the-job accidents could be avoided completely if workers and managers adopted a more proactive approach to workplace safety.

These advocates say that the managers and supervisors who are tasked with ensuring that safety protocols are followed could learn a great deal by simply engaging with workers. Workers deal with safety issues firsthand, and they could provide management with valuable information about dangerous shortcuts or sloppy work habits that make an accident more likely to occur. Workers could also identify individuals who could use additional safety training and dangerous conditions that require attention.

Companies like Walmart understand that injured workers cost them both time and money, and the retail giant has introduced a novel approach to safety training that divides workers into teams in a competitive game-like atmosphere. Not only has this led to workers becoming more involved in promoting workplace safety, but it has also allowed Walmart to better understand how safety training is applied on the job.

New Jersey workers who are injured on the job or develop a work-related illness may be eligible forworkers' compensation benefits, but the application procedure and the medical evidence needed to support a claim may seem confusing to those not familiar with the process. Attorneys can often assist injured workers by ensuring that they apply for all available benefits, and they could also advocate on their behalf should their employers deny or dispute the claims.

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