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A dozen deaths daily: The ongoing concern of workplace safety

Workplace safety should be a concern and top priority for any company. However, workers in Illinois and across the country should know that accidents on the job can and do still happen, despite increased oversight and improved safety measures. In fact, the number of fatal work accidents may be higher than many people may realize.

Recently, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released an annual report which delivers the most recent data currently available regarding statistics for workplace deaths and on-the-job injuries. The report found that approximately 12 U.S. workers die every day due to workplace accidents. In 2012, more than 4,600 workers were killed in job-related incidents. That same year, approximately 50,000 died from occupational-related illnesses, including mesothelioma. Many employees of high-risk occupations, such as gas and oil extraction, are particularly at risk of getting hurt or sick on the job.

Current government efforts to increase enforcement of workplace safety laws and hire more safety inspectors have been applauded. Additionally, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration have changed their penalty policy in order to assert their authority over occupational safety concerns. However, there are still people getting hurt or killed at work because of dangerous conditions and toxic materials.

Obviously, strides must be taken by employers to increase safety in the workplace for U.S. workers. Accidents do happen, but it is the job of all employers to ensure that the risk and result of these accidents and occupational illnesses is minimized. Employers have an obligation to their workers to provide a safe working environment, free from hazards, and to provide proper safety equipment and training to all of their employees.

Employees who have suffered a workplace accident, injury or illness should be aware of their rights. Compensation for recovery and medical expenses may be recovered. An attorney with experience in workers’ compensation matters can help injured victims and their families determine what benefits are available and what actions need to be taken in order to pursue those benefits.

Source: Maine News, "On an Average, 12 US Workers Die on Job daily: Report," Daria Morozova, May 10, 2014

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