Workplace injuries occur every day. In fact, the AFL-CIO reports that an average day sees more than 10,000 work-related injuries and nearly 150 workers die as a result. Though new workplace laws and regulations coupled with OSHA inspections aim to keep workers safe, these statistics show that not enough is being done. Unfortunately, this means workers will continue to lose their health and their lives, making memorials necessary.
Workers Memorial Day was recently recognized in Pittsburgh, with 11 workers who were killed in 2013 and 2014 being honored. Amongst those who were killed on the job in the past year and a half were a bridge inspector, a police officer, and military service members. Those holding the ceremony hope it will raise awareness of workplace accidents and the fact that those who are harmed and killed on the job are more than mere statistics.
Work-related injuries are often difficult to recover from fully. A worker may need extensive medical care and rehabilitation, which can take a long time and leave him or her out of work. Unfortunately, this often means the worker is left without much needed wages at a time when he or she is incurring significant medical expenses.
Workers’ compensation can serve the dual purpose of helping a worker recover much needed money while at the same time raising awareness of workplace safety. If a claim is accepted, then an injured worker or his or her surviving family, if the incident is fatal, may recover compensation for medical costs and lost wages. Also, a successful claim may alert OSHA to the dangers of an employer’s work environment, leading them to conduct an investigation and impose fines that force an employer to make their place of work safe for all employees.
All workers injured and killed on the job deserve to be recognized for their hard work and the risks they take every day by showing up to perform their duties. Yet, when money is needed to recover from a workplace injury, these workers may need a strong legal advocate who will fight for everything they deserve.
Source: WESA, “Workers Who Lost their Lives On The Job Honored On Workers Memorial Day,” Deanna Garcia, April 28, 2014