As Worker’s Compensation attorneys, we understand and support the need for workplace safety. The stronger the focus on maintaining a safe worksite, the lower the chance of accidents that result in injury or death. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2014 there were 4,679 workplace fatalities.
OSHA’s Fatal Four
In 2014, 874 out of the 4,251 worker fatalities occurred at construction sites. That is nearly a quarter of all work related fatalities in the United States in one calendar year. The leading causes of construction site related worker deaths are referred to by OSHA as the Fatal Four, falls, electrocutions, struck by object, and caught in/between. By eliminating the Fatal Four the lives of 508 American workers would be saved each year. In the calendar year 2014, among construction worksite related deaths:
- Falls made up 349 out of 874
- Electrocutions made up 74 out of 874
- Struck by Object made up 73 out of 874
- Caught in/Between made up 12 out of 874
OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down
During the week of May 2-6, 2016, the National Fall Prevention Stand Down by OSHA raised worksite safety awareness among workers and employers. The 2015 Stand Down reached more than 2.5 million workers in the United States. OSHA’s goal for 2016 was to reach half of all American construction workers – around 5 million workers.
The Safety Stand Down is an event that is strictly voluntary. It is intended to open dialogue between employers and employees about creating and maintaining a safe workplace. The primary focus centers around Fall Hazards. It underpins the significance of Fall Prevention and work site safety. When employers provide feedback on their own Stand Down events, they will receive a Certificate of Participation signed by Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor.
Worker’s Compensation and Workplace Safety
The nature of worker’s compensation makes workplace safety crucial. Better improved workplace safety means fewer missed days of work and less time that workers draw worker’s comp. It is vital that worker’s compensation attorneys align themselves with efforts to increase work site safety for workers.
Employers are encouraged to keep open lines of communication with employees regarding safe work sites. When employees are empowered to take ownership of their work site and encouraged to take an active part in keeping it safe, it promotes a safer work environment. As a result, employees have fewer accidents and lives are potentially saved. By promoting a consistent message that places safety first and encourages employees to speak up if they become aware of unsafe situations, work related deaths and injuries can be decreased and even eliminated. In turn, worker’s compensation claims will also be reduced.
Worker’s compensation cases can be very complex and confusing. At the law office of John J. Sheehan, we understand how difficult a workplace injury or fatality can be. We offer a free consultation and we don’t get paid unless you do. Call today and talk to us about your case. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and if necessary, we will travel to you. If you have a worker’s compensation, you need to protect your best interest. We can help.