If you have been injured in an accident at work, you might have had an
encounter with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The
federal agency's main role is investigating accidents and if necessary,
citing those who are responsible for the accident occurring. Companies
are required to report any accident that results in an injury or death,
as well as one that results in damage to property. OSHA also conducts
inspections on companies, both scheduled and random.
When OSHA is called in, a representative conducts an investigation. Those
directly involved are interviewed as well as any witnesses to the event.
The company's financials and inspection records are also investigated.
If after the investigation it is determined that the accident could have
been prevented, OSHA can levy punishments on the offending people and
OSHA might seem like an organization that isn't necessarily needed,
but the statistics show just how important OSHA is. According to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, 4,405 people were killed in workplace-related accidents
in 2013. That equates to 85 people a week and 12 people per day. Interestingly,
this is the lowest recorded death toll since the statistic started being
tracked in 1992.
The construction industry saw the most deaths. One in five of all workplace
deaths recorded in 2013 were construction-related. Several of the types
of deaths included on the list are:
-- Struck by objects
-- Crushed between/in
OSHA tracks the industrial accidents, injuries and deaths. A company that
is found to be at fault for an accident can be fined and ordered to make
corrections, then subjected to random inspections for an unspecified period
of time. If new infractions are found, additional fines and penalties
can be assessed. Businesses as well as individual owners can be held responsible
for discovered infractions, including fines, fees and other penalties.
Some of the most cited areas by OSHA include:
-- Lack of respiratory equipment
-- Improper grounding for electrical equipment
-- Proper safety guards for machinery
-- Protection against falls
OSHA states that if industries took more care to correct the areas most
cited in the workplace, it could save almost 500 lives each year.
OSHA strives to keep workers safe. For those who are injured while on the
job, speaking to an experienced legal professional can help a person determine
what options are available to them.
Source: United States Department of Labor, "
Commonly Used Statistics" Dec. 03, 2014