Some workplace injury hazards are common to all industries nationwide, including Alaska. From construction workers to office workers, any employee can slip and fall on slippery walking surfaces, and dropped tools are as dangerous as a tall stack of merchandise that topples over and lands on a worker. Also widespread are musculoskeletal injuries caused by wrong lifting techniques and vehicle accidents.
Falls caused by slips and trips are the most common but also most preventable workplace accidents. Proper housekeeping protocols can ensure that wet spills or leakages are promptly addressed, and people should keep walkways free of debris, randomly placed objects and snaking electrical extension cords. When it comes to falls from elevated areas, providing the appropriate fall arrest equipment and teaching workers the correct way to use PPE can go a long way in preventing falls from heights.
Lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying and placing objects can cause long-term suffering and chronic pain if workers do not learn to use proper lifting techniques. Equipment that needs the operator to use force is another source of musculoskeletal injuries. Construction employees working at lower levels of a building will always be at risk of injuries caused by objects dropped from a higher level, and employees whose jobs require them to drive are as likely to crash as any other driver on the road.
Alaska workers might find comfort in knowing that the workers’ compensation insurance program covers the medical expenses and lost wages of injured workers as long as they can show that their injuries are work-related. When injuries cause permanent disabilities, additional compensation might be awarded. Workers can seek the support and guidance of an attorney with experience in dealing with the workers’ compensation laws of Alaska to increase their chances of receiving maximum benefits.