Workers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere throughout the United States should be concerned about their safety based upon statistics released by the Department of Labor. The number of workers killed in an on-the-job accident rose in 2014 to 4,679. This was an increase of 2 percent from the previous year. The data for individuals injured at work also paints a bleak picture with 7,636 workers hospitalized. The number of injuries reported by employers might only be half the number of severe injuries that actually occurred.
Prior to 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required employers to promptly report a workplace accident in which a worker was killed. As of 2015, employers must report injuries, as well as deaths, within 24 hours if they happen in an on-the-job accident. It is believed that some employers have not complied with the new reporting rule because they might not have been aware of the obligation to promptly report severe injuries.
The reports filed point to an increase in the number of deaths among older workers, which was up by 9 percent over the previous year. Reports of severe injuries show the food processing, warehousing, freight trucking and storage industries as reporting high numbers of workers injured at work. Highest on the list for workplace fatalities are truck drivers.
An on-the-job accident can result in severe injuries and permanent disability. A person involved in a workplace accident might be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. The legal advice of an attorney experienced in the laws applicable to a workplace injury could help someone who is about to file for workers’ compensation.