New York companies should take several steps to keep workers safe while they perform hazardous work. The ‘layered approach” to workplace safety is recommended by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Each layer of workplace hazard control is important, and employers should not think of the layers as a list of options.
According to Liberty Mutual, employers should begin by eliminating all safety hazards that can be eliminated. For example, workers that are performing jobs at heights for no particular reason should conduct their work on the ground instead. After elimination, the second layer of hazard control is substitution. If a hazardous substance or tool can be replaced with something safer, it should be replaced in order to prevent injuries.
The next layer of workplace hazard control is the implementation of engineering controls. Engineering controls include safety items such as guardrails to prevent falls or elevated work platforms to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. After using engineering controls to mitigate the risk of workplace injuries, employers should take the time to implement administrative controls. Administrative controls are things like hazard signs and hazard training. The last layer of hazard control is the use of personal protective equipment for workers that are performing hazardous jobs.
Some of the most common causes of workplace injuries are overexertion, falls and bodily reactions. People who are injured on the job in this manner may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through their employer’s insurance coverage. An attorney who has experience with these matters can outline the filing process as well as the types of benefits that might be available.