Workers all around the state of Pennsylvania go to work each day and encounter dangerous situations. These workers understand that without the right protection and care, they could very easily be injured. However, few employees put their lives at risk the way firefighters do. These government employees literally run into burning buildings in an effort to save lives. At any moment, the unthinkable can happen and firefighters can be severely injured in a workplace accident.
There's a famous line in the Paul Newman movie, "Cool Hand Luke." It goes, "What we've got here is failure to communicate." It's used by a prison chain gang captain to explain why he's just beaten the inmate character played by Newman.
Assuring public safety takes in a lot of territory. There are the police and firefighters who face the threat of being injured or killed in response to the various crises that may occur on any given day.
Statistically speaking, being a firefighter isn't considered one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. According to the latest numbers released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported by Forbes, deaths per 100,000 full-time firefighters in 2012 were so few that firefighting didn't even make it into the top 10 most dangerous. It's riskier to be in construction or roofing than to be on the front line of a blaze.
Each year, data is collected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics involving injuries and illnesses that occur in workplaces across the country. Large groups or businesses such as Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance representation, analyze this data and make conclusions that help prompt legislative change.
City and federal officials have been investigating a construction site in Philadelphia where a recent accident led to two individuals being injured. One of the victims was a construction worker at the site. The other was a city firefighter who reportedly suffered a head injury after collapsing while responding to the scene.
The investigation is reportedly still underway to try to determine how a construction worker at the Philadelphia Navy Yard wound up tumbling from a cherry-picker lift. The 27-year-old man is apparently still hospitalized and the extent of his injuries hasn't been released to the public.
There was a time in Pennsylvania history when all fire departments consisted mainly of volunteers. As the major cities grew up, the ranks of urban departments have become fleshed out with paid professionals. Volunteers are still evident in many departments, and they are particularly prevalent in rural areas.
It is a fact of medicine that a large measure of the work involved deals with managing pain. Despite increasing emphasis on preventive care and regulations governing workplace safety, workers injured on the job in Pennsylvania often find themselves prescribed powerful pain killers. That practice is now coming in for increased scrutiny because of what is viewed in many quarters as an epidemic of opioid drug abuse.