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A Louisville attorney practicing since 1987

Common workplace risks for factory workers: Part 1

Louisville area factory employees are aware their work environments are filled with hazards that contribute to accidents. To minimize the risk of workplace accidents and injury, the OHSA requires factory and manufacturing employers to follow certain safety regulations and guidelines and take steps to keep their workers safe. Their jobs require them to remain alert and use proper safety measures and equipment and to be cautious. Unfortunately, their work environments are still full of hazards that could cause employees to suffer serious injuries and even fatalities. 

Workers who are injured or die while performing their jobs qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which offer them benefits for lost wages, medical treatments and certain job protections. Common risks that factory workers are exposed to regularly include: 

Chemicals and toxic materials 

Many warehousing environments use chemicals in their manufacturing processes, and they also use them to clean. Workers may develop sensitivities, burns and respiratory conditions from prolonged exposure. Some employees develop acute injuries and ailments after a single exposure incident. 

Overexertion 

Factory workers have production targets to make. To meet them, they spend extended periods of time standing, lifting and performing other strenuous tasks. Factory jobs are physically demanding. It is not uncommon for workers to push their bodies beyond their limits, especially after working in environments with less than ideal temperatures. Fatigue, dehydration, respiratory distress and falls often afflict workers suffering from overexertion

Repetitive motion 

Employees who work the assembly line and perform other jobs in manufacturing environments make repetitive motions. Bending, lifting, pulling and doing the same tasks repeatedly and for long hours can cause workers to develop back strains, pulled muscles, carpal tunnel and other musculoskeletal injuries that can cause permanent damage to their bodies. 

Factory and warehousing employees should have a safety-first mentality when they go to work, and they should review all safety and worksite protocols while wearing proper protective equipment. Employers must regularly perform risk assessments to ensure their work environments are up to code to prevent worksite accidents.

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