Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Report: Death on the Job
May 4, 2016
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) compiled a report on worker safety, losses and deaths recently. Not only did the report tackle issues of gender, race, job industry and more, but it also exposed the most dangerous states in respect to worker fatalities and injuries.
Although overall worker safety has greatly improved since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, many workers are still at risk for workplace exposure, injury, illness and even death.
Which workers are the most at risk, according to the AFL-CIO’s findings? Older workers, meaning workers age 55 years or over. Workers above age 55 comprised 35% of all workplace fatalities, while workers who were 65 years of age or older were over three times at risk for death compared to workers younger than them.
Furthermore, Latino workers were at a higher risk of death on the job than other demographics. In 2014 alone, over 800 Latino workers lost their lives on the job. Even more startling is that a glaring 64% of these workers were immigrants, a group whose safety is often unprotected through the workplace.
The AFL-CIO cited that the most dangerous states to work in were the following: North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Mississippi and Wyoming. While the reason for this may initially seem unclear, the report further detailed which job industry was the most dangerous and found it to be the oil industry. Unsurprisingly, there are many large-scale oil and gas companies located in the five most dangerous states for worker safety.
The oil and gas industry is roughly 5 times more dangerous than the national average. So, for older and/or Latino workers who are also employed in the oil or gas industry, the risk level is far higher than for other groups.
Workplace violence is a major issue as well. Women, in addition to healthcare employees, comprised more than 66% of all workers who lost time on the job due to injuries suffered in the workplace. These types of injuries are known as lost-time injuries. According to the AFL-CIO, workplace violence is an escalating problem for women and those who work in the medical field in particular.
Workplace violence was the cause of more than 25,000 injuries as well as 765 deaths. Women accounted for 2 out of every 3 of those who suffered from workplace violence and furthermore, 1 of every 3 women who were workplace homicide victims lost their lives at the hands of someone they knew: either a partner or a relative.
The report provides an extraordinary amount of data, which you can view fully here. However, one of its main closing points is that there are simply not enough OSHA resources (e.g. not enough workplace safety inspectors) to actually protect workers and employees. The report also cites the often ineffective responses when it comes to penalties for workplace safety and health violations, and recommended an increase in penalty severity.
When it comes to workplace safety and the health of workers, there are still many vast improvements that need to be made. The AFL-CIO is working to make strides in that respect, along with prominent organizations such as OSHA. Here at Galfand Berger, LLP we too are working towards these advancements aimed at protecting the future for any injured or lost workers.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger can help answer your questions. If you or any of your loved ones have been in a work-related accident and you’d like to contact a lawyer, we here at Galfand Berger, LLP can help. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.