Workers’ Memorial Day as Silent as Deaths from Workplace InjuryMark Clore ·
Did you know that April 28 was Workers' Memorial Day? Probably not, unless you're somehow involved with The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a safety agency, or with workers' compensation. The day was designed to honor people who have died on-the-job and to help raise awareness for safety, and yet is seemed to slip by, unnoticed by mainstream media and the general public. Unfortunately, that's what appears to be happening with those affected by dangerous work environments as well. Employees Die, Yet Employers Face Few Consequences According to OSHA, the agency dedicated to protecting people at work, one American dies every two hours due to a worksite injury. Sadly, so many of these accounts don't get the attention they deserve, and employers are, for the most part, free to continue business as usual, without concern of great consequence, as Fortune Magazine points out. For example, just a few years ago, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled by a mob of Thanksgiving shoppers. The man died as a result of his injuries, yet Wal-Mart was fined a mere $7,000- the maximum-allowed amount for a serious violation. The amount of Wal-Mart's fine is fairly standard, as the average fine in 2014 was just $5,050. Even still, Wal-Mart spent six years fighting the $7,000 dollar decision. Employers Have Little Reason to Make Changes The present system also allows employers to cover medical care for hurt employees through a no-fault workers' compensation system. This, paired with the low fines issued by OSHA, give little incentive for employers to make the changes necessary for safety. New laws currently being discussed may help push the United States in the right direction, but as it stands now, employers can continue on, with little fear of repercussions. The Problem is Closer to Home than You May Think Although there aren't many Charleston workplace injury citations from OSHA, companies with a national reach and local presence have recently come under fire. For instance, HBD/Thermoid Inc. has a plant in South Carolina, and failed to put protective measures in place, which resulted in the death of an employee who was caught in an industrial machine. HBD has just received 11 violations for failing to make the equipment safe. The City of Columbia is also the target of an investigation after a worker died in a cave-in, per a Pump Handle report. However, serious violations in South Carolina only result in an average fee of $492, so it's doubtful the city will feel much of a squeeze if it's found they were negligent.
Charleston Workplace Injury AttorneyEmployers should be held accountable for their actions, but our present system isn't set up to do so. Although you may be awarded reparations for your injuries, damages, and losses if you're hurt on the job, not much occurs that might help prevent someone else from being hurt the same way you were. However, if you choose to work with an experienced attorney, you may have success in ensuring any negligent parties are compelled to act immediately to protect your co-workers. If you'd like a free case evaluation, please contact us using our online form, or speak directly to an attorney now by calling 1(800)610-2546.
Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.