To hear the national news coverage of the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, one would think that the only places that suffered damage were the states on the coast. The damage suffered here in Pennsylvania could go down as one of the bigger untold stories of this massive natural disaster.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets a number of standards to ensure workplace safety remains a top priority for employers across the country. Violations of state or federal workplace safety regulations can result in severe penalties for a business and in some instances criminal charges. A Pennsylvania business owner recently pleaded guilty to intentionally violating federal workplace safety standards after an employee was killed on the job. The 78-year-old businessman was sentenced to one year of probation in the workplace accident.
Road crews keep our highways and streets in good working order, but their job exposes them to imminent dangers. Working in some instances just feet away from passing cars and trucks, workers must have strong nerves and trust that motorists will take the proper precautions to slow down and drive carefully when traveling through work zones.
Many Philadelphia workers are frequently on their cellphones as part of their job. Logistical plans need to be drawn up, clients and partners need to receive communications and deals need to be closed. Cellphone use is simply unavoidable for employees of many businesses, especially those whose jobs require significant time away from the office.
A tragic accident has claimed the life of a construction machinery repairman in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. According to reports of the workplace accident, a company that owns and provides machinery to others had a backhoe that was not functioning properly. The owners requested the services of the repairman, who arrived at the company's property early last Friday to begin work on the piece of heavy machinery.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor announced figures on the number of people around the country who were killed in workplace accidents during 2011. While even one workplace death is one too many, the report shows some encouraging trends about the safety of our jobs in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Not only did the number of fatal accidents drop in absolute terms when compared to 2010, but the ratio of deadly injuries to workers also fell.
From time to time, people hear of the professions where employees are most likely to suffer harm. This list varies with time as certain industries make safety improvements to reduce the number of workplace injuries and fatalities. Last week, a list of the top 10 most dangerous professions by fatality rate was released.
We have all heard the pilot's message before: "We have reached our cruising altitude, and passengers are free to move about the cabin, but for those who remain seated, please keep your seatbelts fastened." But how many of us have ignored it, believing that there is no harm to unbuckling one's seatbelt in clear and calm skies?
A 29-year-old construction worker lost his life recently in Pennsylvania. He was working on a construction project that involved widening a Pennsylvania highway from two lanes to five.
Last month on our Philadelphia blog we noted that the families of workers who were injured or killed on the job expressed disappointment that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was not coming down harder on companies where safety violations had occurred. Now it appears that it is the federal government's turn to express its dissatisfaction with some of the state-run occupational safety programs.