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Keys to a healthy work environment

Regardless of their industry, New Jersey employers have a duty to provide a safe environment for their employees. There are several keys to a safe workplace, and they include clean indoor air, ergonomic designs and continual training on how to identify and address hazards.

For good indoor air quality, employers need to protect their work space from pollutants like asbestos. This can be found in building materials like roofing sheets and pipes from before the 1970s. Certain industrial chemicals like benzene and chloroform can also contaminate the air. Wood industries are no stranger to silica, which can be found in dust and cause lung disease. Ventilation and the regulated use of common chemicals like benzene are important.

For those in office buildings, it is essential to avoid sick building syndrome. Workers, upon entering the building, may suddenly develop symptoms like headaches, itchy skin and nosebleeds for no apparent reason. Sometimes, the cause is mold and pollen exposure.

Next, ergonomics is essential to preventing musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back injuries. Workers should have adjustable desk chairs with plenty of back support. Lastly, employers will want to not only train employees but also provide a chance for them to open up about any safety hazards they encounter. The goal is to develop trust.

Of course, employers cannot prevent all workplace accidents or work-related illnesses. Those who incur a physical injury or develop a condition may still be reimbursed for medical bills and a portion of lost wages. It means filing a workers' compensation claim, and they might want to have an attorney's assistance in order to ensure that it contains all required documentation.

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