A sheriff's officer with the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office was critically injured when a mechanism on an elevator in which he was riding broke, sending the elevator flying upwards into the ceiling. The incident happened on Aug. 4 at around 10 a.m. while the officer was working at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center.
In Pennsylvania and other states, workers' compensation insurance does not pay benefits for any injuries that happen to an employee who is driving to or from work. This rule is known as the going and coming rule, and courts have consistently upheld its legitimacy. Many other circumstances when an employee is traveling, however, do fall within the scope of workers' compensation coverage.
Employers in Pennsylvania will soon be required to send work-related injury and illness data to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration electronically. OSHA plans to collect the data and post it for public viewing on its website. The planned public disclosure of workplace safety and health information is an effort to encourage employers to improve safety at their work sites.
On June 29, a crash involving a garbage truck injured three sanitation workers in Philadelphia. The accident took place in Juniata Park while the truck was traveling down East Hunting Park Avenue at 9:30 a.m. According to police, the driver of the garbage truck crashed while trying to avoid a collision with a compact car.
he Occupational Safety and Health Administration is updating its injury data collection to improve workplace safety in Pennsylvania and around the country and make the public more aware of work-related accidents and injuries. While this may help to improve the work environment, employers and their employees can also take steps to prevent them.
For Pennsylvanians who work outside, the summer months can present more risks for heat and lightning-related illnesses and injuries. In order to help protect employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched several initiatives to spread safety awareness for the summer.
Pennsylvania meat and poultry workers along with their counterparts throughout the country may be facing injuries at a much higher rate than is being reported despite the fact that overall, slaughterhouses are safer workplaces than in the past. According to the Government Accountability Office, 151 workers in the industry died between 2004 and 2013 due to accidents on the job, and injuries are most likely underreported for a variety of reasons.
Pennsylvania employees who work outdoors may be performing some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. According to the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries that was recently updated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous civilian jobs are logging and fishing. Though loggers had fewer deaths in 2014 than many other occupations, the logging industry had the highest occupational death rate at 110 deaths per 100,000 workers.
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.
Pennsylvania employers have a responsibility to ensure that their employees have the appropriate safety gear to carry out their duties without encountering avoidable risk to their lives or health. This covers both direct traumatic injuries and long-term injuries or illnesses caused by toxic exposure, repetitive stresses or other workplace hazards.