Safety in the workplace is an issue that often gets shuffled to the back burner. Despite the protest of labor advocates that the media doesn’t pay enough attention to the hazardous conditions that exist in factories all over the country, public attention in Pennsylvania is commonly focused on other issues.
According to Mike Elk, a labor reporter for the Washington Post, in 2011, 4,509 Americans were killed in a workplace accident. During the same year, 17 Americans were killed by terrorists. While the deaths of thousands of workers is no less tragic than the deaths of people killed at the hands of terrorists, far less attention is given to accidents that happen in the workplace.
This point is illustrated when comparing the coverage that the Boston bombing received to the coverage that a factory explosion in Texas received. Both events were horrific and have scarred the lives of many Americans, but public attention was focused more on the bombing than the explosion. However, it may be shocking to many to learn that for years, regulators ignored the potential danger that existed in the fertilizer plant due to tons of hazardous and possibly explosive materials.
Although workplace regulations have helped make people safer now than they have been in the past, workers are still injured on the job. When Pennsylvania residents are hurt in a workplace accident, benefits may be available to compensate them for lost wages and medical expenses. If injured workers have questions about their benefits, a workers’ compensation attorney can assist them, and if they were injured because of third party negligence, an attorney may also be able to pursue a personal injury suit to obtain additional compensation.
Source: Huffington Post, “Workplace Accidents Are Hundreds Of Times More Likely To Kill Americans Than Terrorist Attacks,” April 24, 2013