Did you know that this Friday marks the annual Workers’ Memorial Day? On April 28 every year, people around the U.S. are encouraged to take some time to honor the lives of people who have died in work accidents across the country.
April 28 also marks the day 46 years ago when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established. With this in mind, we feel that this is a good time to revisit some basic facts about workplace safety and the options injured workers and their families have in the event of an accident.
According to OSHA, there was an average of 13 work-related deaths every day in 2015. Many of these deaths stemmed from common OSHA violations that could have — and should have — been prevented. These violations include:
- Failure to have fall protection
- Substandard hazard communication
- Scaffolding violations
- Inadequate or missing respiratory equipment
- Misuse of ladders
- Improper wiring methods
Should you or a loved one be injured or killed as a result of these or any other workplace hazard, you or an employer should report the incident to OSHA. You will also want to examine your options for workers’ compensation, which is money available to injured workers and their families. It is intended to cover medical expenses related to a workplace injury and at least partially replace the worker’s wages.
Remember that it is not necessary to cite any OSHA violations when applying for workers’ compensation. Although, accidents often happen when employers and other parties do not comply with safety regulations set by the agency.
While this week is a certainly a good opportunity to acknowledge the devastation and grief suffered by families of workers killed on the job, workers have rights and legal options every day of the year when it comes to their safety.
If you have any questions or concerns about workplace safety, on-the-job accidents or work-related fatalities, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney to discuss your legal and financial options.