A work-related accident can happen to any person who does a job for pay. Office workers, construction workers and workers in all other fields are subject to hazards and dangers whenever they undertake the responsibilities of their work-related tasks. While most Pennsylvania employers take proactive steps to make sure the people who work for them are kept as safe as possible, fatal accidents on worksites still happen, and when they do, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is contacted to complete an investigation.
According to the Department of Labor, more than 4,800 Americans died in work-related accidents during the 2015 calendar year, and some of those tragic losses occurred right here in Pennsylvania. Although some occupations suffer higher work-related deaths than others, any person can be involved in a fatal incident while performing the duties of his or her job.
People's jobs are their means of earning a stable income and providing for themselves and their families. Without a job, a Pittsburgh resident may lack the capacity to keep a roof overhead, put food on the table, or keep the kids in clothing throughout the year. Because jobs play a significant role in the health of Pennsylvania families, many people are willing to put in long hours and take on occupational burdens to keep their employment.
Throughout western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and the greater Pittsburgh area, there are always construction projects going on. Whether it is residential homes being built or upgraded, new commercial stores or malls being built, or the ever-changing industrial fields trying to adapt to new technologies and changes in demands; construction throughout the United States will always exist.
Like most other people throughout the country, people in the Pittsburgh area will never forget the incredible heroism of hundreds of first responders on that fateful day of 9/11. New York City firefighter Raymond J. Pfeifer was not working on that beautiful autumn Tuesday morning; he was enjoying a round of golf with fellow firefighters. But when he learned of the plane crash, they immediately ended their round and headed right for ground zero.
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee," runs a well-known line from literature. This year, on May first, however, the bell in nearby Pennsylvania steel town rang to remember workers who died on the job. That date, or 'May Day,' as it is often known, is generally considered a day to celebrate the achievements and consider the plight of men and women who do blue collar or manual labor. Unfortunately, for many of these workers, the very thing that gives them their livelihood also presents them with potentially fatal dangers.
Many of us in modern society take our safety for granted. Because many of our daily activities are routine, and seem to involve little risk, we may have a sense of security as we go about completion of our tasks. Life wasn't always this way, of course, and prior generations may have had more risk involved in their routines. This is still the case in some occupations, as while injury and death can happen anywhere, certain industries are more dangerous than others.
Most people in the United States earn a living by working for someone else. In many cases, this means going to an office each day and possibly dealing with things like annoying co-workers or frustrating bosses. However, there are certain occupations in which hazards exist that put employees in danger on a daily basis. Whether it is working with hazardous materials, or around large equipment, or with potentially dangerous mediums such as electricity, some workers are at risk of serious injury or death if mistakes are made.
People who perform physical labor are always at a higher risk of injury than those that work in an office job. This is due to the inevitable situations that physical laborers may find themselves in during their work. For example, a man who worked for a tree-removal company in Pennsylvania was fatally wounded by a boom lift while he and a team of two other men operated a piece of equipment on the job. His wife is now seeking damages against the equipment company for the role it played in her husband's death.
Believe it or not, there are some Pennsylvania workers who work in unsafe or hazardous working conditions. Despite the danger, many of them return to their families every night after a hard day's work. Some, however, are not so lucky. Depending on the nature and severity of the unsafe working conditions, the employer could be legally liable for injuries or death of a worker.