Many of our readers can name at least one instance where they've been either required or pressured to participate in some company activity whether they wanted to or not. Whether it's a picnic, a run, a trust-building exercise or a game of softball, many of us have a story. For most of us, though, it's not as bad as that of a man who worked for a South Carolina public relations firm.
A 50-year old temporary worker who died at a Fairless Hills sugar plant in February 2013 was recently the subject of a broadcast on a popular American Spanish language broadcast television network by the name of Univisión. The worker reportedly died after he was buried alive in a sugar hopper while trying to unclog it.
Workplace safety is something all of us should be concerned about. Regardless of your line of work, there is the potential for workplace accidents. That said, some work environments do present greater risk for workers. Warehouse work would be an example of work that presents greater risk of injury, and this is highlighted in recent fatal accidents involving temporary workers for the online retail giant Amazon.com.
A recent accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is an important reminder of the risks road maintenance workers face on the job. The accident, which occurred earlier this month, involved a tractor-trailer which struck and killed an equipment operator and left a maintenance former with minor injuries. The crew had apparently closed off one lane of the highway for maintenance, but this wasn’t enough to prevent the crash.
In some lines of work, there are certain injury and health risks one takes on as part of the job. For example, first responders face a variety of situations which can put strain upon their lungs and heart. Because of this, many states have passed laws which presume that first responders who suffer from heart or lung problems have those health problems because of their line of work.
When an employee is harmed in a work-related accident, a responsible and ethical employer will honor and support that employee’s right to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, not all employers do this in all circumstances. In some cases, employers drag their feet and oppose legitimate workers’ compensation claims. A recent decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania is a good reminder of the resistance employer’s sometimes put up to workers’ compensation claims.
Workplace injury comes in many forms, including broken bones and other acute injuries, back problems, chronic illness, and brain damage. Another category of workplace injury, those involving chemicals, is a serious issue in certain industries. The Occupational Safety and Health Organization has recognized the problem and put standards in place with which organizations handling, using or storing hazardous chemicals must comply.
A Pennsylvania-based company is working to modernize fracking; the process by which natural resources like gas and oil are extracted from the ground after surrounding rock is fractured by pressurized liquid, sand or other chemicals. Schramm Inc. has created the T500XD, a drilling rig that utilizes touchscreens and joysticks to allow the machine to walk, rotate in a full circle, and load pipe. The new device is believed to increase worker safety, including those in Pennsylvania. Dangerous oil jobs that once had to be performed by humans may now be carried out by remote control machines like the T500XD.
Nearly every job in Pennsylvania poses risk of injury. Some of these risks are foreseeable and preventable while others are not. If an employee is injured in a workplace accident, then he or she may need compensation to help cover his or her lost wages and medical expenses. Workers' compensation, provided by an employer's insurance, is meant to help cover these costs. Yet, sometimes claims are denied and injured workers are left out to dry. For this reason, it is important Pennsylvania workers familiarize themselves with how and when workers' compensation can be recovered.