The agency responsible for workplace safety – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration only recently began tracking workplace injuries. For much of the 45-year history of the agency, OSHA has only required employers to report deaths at the workplace. In 2015, the agency began requiring employers to report “any severe work-related injury, defined as hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye – within 24 hours.”
Since that requirement, there have been an estimated 10,388 reports of these kinds of workplace injuries. 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations.
A gravedigger at St. Charles/Resurrection cemeteries in Farmingdale, New York was almost buried alive in a work-related accident. The incident occurred when the grave site imploded due to the employer not installing proper safeguards.
In February at the Primex Plastics plant in Norwood, Georgia, two accidents caused two separate employees to lose their middle and ring fingers. The fingers were removed as the employees tried to remove material jammed in a shearing machine that cut plastic. This marks a series of “35 health and safety violations” in a decade for the company. Some of the violations included excessive noise exposure and inadequate safety gear for employees exposed to machine burns.
At a Brownsville, Texas bowling alley, a part-time mechanic was killed when his shirt collar got caught in a faulty pinsetter. The employee suffered a death by strangulation as the pinsetter twisted his collar tighter and tighter. A subsequent OSHA inspection revealed that the death could have been prevented – the machine lacked safeguards to keep from getting ensnared.
Despite this new requirement, there may not be many changes to prioritize workplace safety among employers. One reason for this is the fines imposed by OSHA are very low. The graveyard accident only resulted in $123,200 in fines. The bowling alley death only “cost” about $50,000. These fines only apply to those who get caught. It is estimated that only ½ of all accidents are actually reported each year.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the “Strong Arm” attorneys at John Foy & Associates. We will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.