Remembering Fallen Workers
July 11, 2018
Every year, preventable workplace accidents injure or kill thousands of workers, and even more die from job-related diseases. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), most of these incidents could be avoided if employers prioritize worker safety.
Which Workers are at the Greatest Risk?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as “OSHA”, reports that certain workers are at a greater risk for fatal workplace injuries than others. The most at-risk workers include individuals over the age of 45-years-old and those who work in the construction industry. Other high-risk workers are people who drive or transport goods and temporary and/or contract employees (often referred to as part of the “gig economy”). To avoid non-fatal and fatal accidents alike, employers are required to maintain effective workplace safety and health programs – as well as ensuring that they remain compliant with federal guidelines.
What are Some Common Workplace Hazards?
There are numerous known workplace hazards that contribute to deadly accidents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 5,190 worker fatalities in 2016. For the most part these fatalities were the result of safety failures that could have been fixed before a deadly accident happened, like:
- Inadequate fall protection and/or personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Non-compliant electrical wiring methods;
- Failure to control hazardous energy;
- Defective or unmaintained ladders and/or scaffolding, and:
- A lack of machine guarding
No worker should fear losing his or her life because of employer safety failures. OSHA enacts financial penalties against thousands of companies annually for this very reason, and there is no doubt that much more progress remains to be made.
Legal Responsibilities of Employers
When a worker is injured or killed in a preventable workplace accident, it is important to find out exactly what happened – and why. Not only are employers legally required to maintain safe workplaces, but they also must identify recognizable hazards and implement solutions that prevent injuries and deaths from happening.
Depending on the circumstances that surround both fatal and non-fatal workplace incidents, an employer’s negligence may be to blame. Not only is it important that liable employers are held responsible for the lethal consequences of their actions, but also because it can help prevent traumatic accidents from happening to someone else in the future. If your loved one was killed or seriously injured in a preventable workplace accident, a representative at our firm can help answer your questions and offer support through the difficult and complex process.
Allentown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured at Work
If you were injured at work, please contact the Allentown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.