Workers in high-risk industries in Pennsylvania and across the country are typically exposed to multiple injury hazards. Although catastrophic injuries and fatalities are usually well publicized, some accidents cause non-severe physical injuries that are often not treated. However, sometimes a work injury may cause life-changing psychological injuries that may not be immediately evident. Pursuing workers compensation benefits for such injuries may be difficult.
Too many injuries and fatalities have happened in workplaces in which lockout/tagout procedures were not in place to prevent machines from accidentally starting up while workers were dangerously close to or working on the machines. According to an accident report, these were the circumstances that led to a fatal work injury that claimed the life of a Pennsylvania mechanic. The accident happened on a recent Monday at a foundry in Providence Township.
Employers who disregard the safety of their workers likely also have no concern with the fact that each injured or deceased victim has relatives who are also affected when their loved ones are exposed to unsafe workplace environments. One employee of an out-of-state subcontractor is now bound to a wheelchair after suffering a work injury when he fell off an unsecured platform in July last year. His career also ended on that day.
An employee of a Walmart Distribution Center in Pennsylvania suffered a severe workplace injury during the last week of December. The manner in which the man was injured on the job was not disclosed. It was revealed, however, that an industrial accident caused the worker to lose his arm. Walmart said more details will be provided upon completion of the accident investigation.
Despite strict safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction workers in Pennsylvania and other states are often exposed to life-threatening hazards. In some cases, employers disregard workers' safety in order to speed up the progress of the project. This may backfire as a work injury may lead to authorities shutting down a construction project until hazards are addressed.
Sadly, some Pennsylvania workers are employed by companies that have little or no regard for employee safety. Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration endeavors to protect the rights of workers by inspecting construction sites at which safety hazards may exist. A recent inspection at the site of a utility construction company might have served to prevent workers being from injured on the job.
Workers in all industries are exposed to hazards that are often life-threatening. Many safety hazards are known and can be addressed to avoid workplace accidents. However, in some cases, an accident is unanticipated and needs a thorough investigation to determine whether a work injury was avoidable.
When one looks at the worker safety history at the various manufacturing facilities of Ashley Furniture in Pennsylvania and other states, one may come to the conclusion that this international distributor threatens the lives of approximately 20,000 workers on a daily basis. Following multiple federal investigations and subsequent citations and fines for non-compliance, the company is now subjected to random inspections under the Severe Violator Enforcement Program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Nevertheless, workers continue to be injured on the job at the various facilities of this company.
The proactive approach of a fire company may have saved the life of a Pennsylvania worker at a downtown construction site in State College. The company says it had previously evaluated the construction site and shared plans for potential emergency situations with the construction company. When a work injury occurred on the site on a recent Wednesday morning, responders were prepared.
A construction zone accident in which a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation employee was struck by a dump truck was reported in our previous blog post ("Dump truck driver causes work injury in construction zone," on Aug. 19). Since the accident, the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners Alliance urged employers to be proactive in protecting workers in construction zones. The alliance is a conglomerate of labor unions, contractor associations and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was noted that almost 50 percent of construction zone fatalities and workers injured on the job are caused by safety violations on the work site.