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OHSA's safety campaign aims to protect workers

Workers in New York and throughout the country may see safer workplaces since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched the "Safe and Sound Campaign." It is aimed at getting employers to look at their safety and health programs and how they can reduce workplace injuries and deaths. Workplace accidents can be costly as each week workers' compensation costs companies about $1 billion.

All safety programs need to have three elements in order to be effective. Management must show commitment to the program by committing time and resources to it. Management can also engage employees by involving them in finding solutions. Finally, both management and employees should work together in a preventive sense. They should try to identify problems and hazards before an accident happens.

Companies can contact OSHA for assistance in safety compliance or use OSHA resources to create a safety and health program in their workplace. The organization offers a number of other resources as well, including educational and training material and consultation.

Although these precautions make an accident less likely, an individual may still suffer a work-related injury or illness, and when this happens, that individual may be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers who are injured on the job might want to speak to an attorney about their rights because in some cases, neither they nor their employer may be aware of those rights. In other cases, an employer might discourage an individual from applying for compensation through intimidation, retaliation or by incorrectly telling the individual they are not eligible. An attorney may be able to assist an individual in preparing a workers' compensation claim and with an appeal if the claim is initially denied.

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