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Worker protection trends in New Jersey

According to the 2015 version of a National Safety Council chartbook, there were 110 work-related deaths in 2012. Additionally, there were 15,000 cases involving workers who missed time from work in that same year because of exposure to harmful substances. OSHA says that compliance with its Respiratory Protection Standard could reduce the number of deaths and injuries related to such exposure.

It is believed that more workers would use required respiratory protective gear if it were comfortable. Making respirators lighter and with a larger field of view may make them more attractive to those who may breathe in harmful substances while at work. In the event that workers are using their respirators and other equipment, the equipment will need to be maintained to ensure its effectiveness. Maintenance includes cleaning, disinfecting and regularly inspecting the equipment to make sure it meets worker safety needs.

Workers should also understand the need for protective equipment at work and what hazards may be present in the workplace. Workers should also have an understanding of any processes that could lead to respiratory problems or any equipment that could increase their vulnerability at work. When equipment is used, used properly and used in a way that meets worker needs in a specific workplace, it is possible for employers to improve worker safety.

Employees who become sick or injured while at work may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may make it possible to pay medical bills or other expenses while that person is out of work. In the event that a worker is unable to return to work, an injured employee may be entitled to permanent benefits. An attorney may be able to review the case to determine what type of benefits an individual may receive.

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