The number of work-related deaths that occur throughout the United States everyday may come as quite a shock to many people. A recent report shows that about 150 people on average per day across the county are killed as a result of a workplace accident. It is surprising to hear that this number is so high considering so many of these workplace accidents and deaths are not ever reported on the news. To put this number in better perspective, fifteen people were killed at the recent West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. The terrible Texas tragedy only accounted for about ten percent of the average amount of deaths on that day.
While many accidents do occur even when workplace facilities are up to the highest safety standards, a great number of these deaths occur as a result of workplaces that are not up to code and in workplaces where potential and avoidable hazards were not caught or fixed. This was the case in West, Texas, as it was found that safety regulators missed potential hazards in the period of time that occurred before the explosion.
It is disturbing to hear that many of these workplace deaths are the result of the workplace and safety regulators not doing everything that can be done to protect workers, but unfortunately the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency in charge of monitoring workplace safety, has reported that they severely understaffed. According to the Huffington Post, for the current about of staff members employed by the agency to check every workplace it would take 113 years. This lack of oversight by the agency likely is a big reason for workplace accidents, however it is also crucial for managers and directors at workplaces to make sure that their workplaces are safe and that they are protecting their workers as best as they can.
When looking at how high the numbers of workplace deaths in the United States are each year, the numbers skyrocket when you also look at the number of workplace injuries and diseases attributable to the workplace. Current data shows that about 3.8 million American workers suffer from injuries or diseases related to their job, but it is believed that there may be an underreporting error and that the number may be closer to 11 million injuries and diseases per year. Regardless of what the exact number of deaths and workplace injuries and diseases per year may be, the number is definitely very high and should be concerning safety regulation companies, management of all workplaces and the general public. Changes must be made in order to insure the safety of workers while on the job.
If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury or was wrongfully killed while on the job and you believe it may have been the result of negligence on the part of the company or missed hazards not caught by a safety agency, please call our Chicago law firm today to discuss what legal options may be available to you and your family today.