Although stress is often associated with a hard day's work, other unfortunate situations can also happen in Pennsylvania and throughout the entire United States. Injuries and workplace deaths are always a possibility if negligence occurs, particularly if there is a lack of safety policies in place or if safety measures are not followed properly. A research institute recently released its findings on the most common workplace injuries that occurred in 2012 and the fatal accidents that happened in road construction areas.
A lot of Pennsylvanians will point to the construction industry as one of, if not the most, dangerous work industries. Although it is true that construction has its share of risks that can cause injuries and workplace deaths, Pennsylvanians may be surprised to know that agriculture also ranks high in terms of fatalities and injuries. This, of course, is bad news for the over 1.8 million agricultural workers who work in Pennsylvania and across the United States.
Construction workers are arguably society's backbone. The construction of Pennsylvania roads, schools, bridges and houses would not have been possible if not for their contributions. Despite their contributions to society, people often forget that these workers are always in peril. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries to work in and heavy machinery is often the cause of injuries and workplace deaths. This, of course, is a problem because heavy machinery is essential in construction. However, there are ways to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities.
Annually, a considerable number of workers in Pennsylvania, as well as in the rest of the nation, lose their lives in the workplace. Although many of these deaths are caused by accidents, some workplace deaths are due to employer negligence, which makes them preventable in the first place. A victim's family can be devastated by the loss of a loved one. However, they can also suffer financial injuries, especially when an employer is not held accountable for their negligence. Our law firm can help families during this crucial time.
Being underneath tons of earth and steel is dangerous. Yet every day, workers who install water pipes, excavate or dig trenches put their lives on the line, not always mindful that a cave-in could occur. Pennsylvania companies doing this type of work should be aware of the common causes of trench cave-ins and follow guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent them, as well as avoid injuries and workplace deaths.
Working in a steel factory is not without risks. In addition to the steel itself, chemicals and the intense heat from the furnaces used to melt and mold the steel can be deadly if proper safety measures are not followed. Pennsylvanians, as well as other people across the United States, were recently shocked to discover that an accident occurred at the U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works. The accident illustrates the dangers of working in a steel factory and it also resulted in two workplace deaths.
Ideally, hardworking Pennsylvanians should not have to put their lives on the line every time they report to work. However, despite safety measures, there are some jobs that are just inherently dangerous. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2012, almost 4,400 workplace deaths occurred in the United States. Although the figure is down from the previous year's 4,693 fatalities, one death is always too many. The BLS listed the professions that incurred the most number of injuries and deaths.
If a workplace injury or death occurs, the most basic assumption is that there was a lapse in the safety measures of a company. While this may not always be the case, it does not necessarily mean that a company should not take all precautions when it comes to workers' safety. This can be emphasized further by the recent findings of the Department of Environmental Protection on the workplace death of a 27-year-old man when a gas well fire occurred south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in February 2014.
With today's unpredictable economy, it can be hard to get a job. All too often, Pennsylvania residents are forced to settle for temporary work just to make ends meet. Although there is nothing wrong with temp work, as it is popularly called, others see it as more dangerous as compared to regular jobs. First, temp workers often do not get the best benefits or any benefits at all. Second, temp workers often engage in work that is considered to be hazardous. Worker safety is a serious concern for all workers, especially since temporary worker fatalities seem to be on the rise.
Any Pennsylvanian who works for a living has the right to expect that his or her workplace is safe and does not present unnecessary risks. Many jobs present some risks, but when extraordinary risks present the possibility of a work related death or injury in the course of a worker's fulfillment of his or her job duties, then the company can and should be held liable if something happens to a worker.