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.
The federal government contains an organization that is meant to make the workplace safer for Pennsylvania employees and workers throughout the country. This entity, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been around since 1970, and it has a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of employees, including inspectors who check jobsites to ensure their safety.
With hundreds of thousands of workplaces in use on any given day, OSHA must prioritize how it attempts to enforce workplace safety laws and regulations. First, OSHA attempts to correct imminent dangers; that is, known situations that are basically accidents waiting to happen. Then, OSHA investigates incidents where a worker was killed, or where the incident was serious enough to send at least three employees to a hospital. OSHA will also look into employee complaints and referrals from other agencies of the government. Finally, OSHA will conduct targeted investigations into workplaces that report large numbers or frequent accidents.
While OSHA does a lot of good work and likely prevents many accidents every year, it cannot be everywhere and prevent every accident. Further, dangers lurk everywhere, even in professions that may not be considered especially dangerous. The shock of losing a loved one in a workplace accident creates both financial and emotional damages that are difficult for many to imagine. This is especially true when the deceased was the main earner for a household.
When tragedy strikes, and a workplace death results, Pennsylvania victims’ families may wish to consider looking into their legal options to recover compensation for their losses.