Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Report on Fatal Work AccidentsJune 13, 2016
Thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) and the improvements that have been made to workplace safety, the lives of countless employees have been protected against dangerous, potentially life-threatening work conditions. Unfortunately, while some conditions have gotten better, others have gotten worse, and many employees are still at risk of injury, illness, or death. In 2014 alone, 4,821 workers were fatally injured at work in the United States, and approximately 50,000 workers died from occupational diseases.
Unfortunately, OSHA does not have the resources to adequately inspect eight million workplaces across the country. In fact, with only 1,840 federal and state inspectors, there is only enough manpower to inspect workplaces once every 145 years. And while a new law enables OSHA to impose stricter penalties for workplace safety violations, they are not effective enough to bring about widespread change for certain employers and large corporations.
Workers Who Are at Greatest Risk
The AFL-CIO annually produces a cumulative report on workplace safety for American workers. Findings from the 2016 Death on the Job report include:
- Older Workers: Employees who are 65 or older are three times more likely to be fatally injured on the job compared to younger workers. Thirty-five percent of all workplace deaths are employees age 55 or older.
- Oil and Gas Industry: The fatality rate in this industry is close to five times the national average.
- Latino Workers: This group is more likely to be injured or killed on the job than other workers. The fatality rate for Latinos is nine percent higher than the overall job fatality rate.
- Healthcare Professionals and Women: Workplace violence is a serious problem, especially for this group. Two out of every three violent workplace events are suffered by women.
Recent Developments in Safety and Health Regulations
The Obama administration has taken steps to address the following safety and health regulations:
- OSHA recently issued a silica standard that would protect workers in the maritime, construction, and general industry from exposure to dust, preventing over 600 deaths and 1,000 incidences of silicosis.
- Last year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a rule that would prevent new cases of black lung by reducing coal dust exposure limits and conducting mandatory monitoring of dust in underground coalmines.
- Other overdue rules include OSHA’s rules on injury reporting, beryllium, combustible dust, and infectious disease.
More Work Needs to be Done
Despite the improvements made over the years, issues like infectious disease, exposure to hazardous chemicals, workplace violence, and other unsafe conditions continue to threaten the safety and well-being of employees. Protecting the health and safety of workers across a range of industries must continue to be a top priority.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Safe Work Conditions
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on the job as a result of unsafe work conditions, contact Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will guide you though every step of the claims process, ensuring that you receive the maximum allowable compensation. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.