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Oil and gas industry can prove dangerous for many workers

Oil and gas workers are the backbone of many regions all over Pennsylvania, as evidenced by the industry boom that has taken place over the past few years. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a number of these workers have also seen fatality rates increase along with rising job prospects.

While the oil and gas industry is often considered to be far safer for workers when compared to privately run work sites, recent years have proven to be particularly deadly in terms of fatalities within the workplace. From 2011 through 2012, oil and gas workers faced the staggering rate of one worker death for every three days on the job. Accidents deemed nonfatal were also up, breaking a five-year industry low to reach 2,600 injured workers in 2012.

Office hazards can result in serious workplace injury

While offices throughout Pennsylvania are thought to be relatively safe, there exists a variety of hazards unique to corporate workplaces that are capable of seriously injuring workers. Fortunately, many of these hazards can be avoided, provided that both employers and workers remain vigilant about upholding office safety for all involved.

The Society for Human Resource Management details some of the more common accidents that can occur in an office setting. Of these, slip-and-falls rank at the top of the list with the highest rate of injury among office workers. Damage caused by falls can be severe, depending on the circumstance, particularly in the case of head or neck injuries. Slip-and-falls can be attributed to many different causes, from neglected spills to unnecessary clutter and uneven carpeting.

Hazard prevention is a must in industrial workplaces

While preventing workplace hazards is essential for virtually every profession, it’s particularly important to industrial workers. Fortunately, there are quite a few methods Erie workers can utilize to ensure their on-the-job environment is as safe as possible.

According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration, the first step towards a safer workplace involves identifying any potential hazards. For instance, industrial workplaces often rely on heavy duty machinery to perform tasks and this equipment must be regularly maintained to make sure it can be safely operated. Proper training is equally important, whether it involves equipment operation or general safety procedures. Because work environments are subject to change, continual review of hazard prevention plans is recommended.

What are some common types of workplace illnesses

While many people recognize the prevalence of workplace injuries, illnesses that occur at work should not be ignored. Every year, workplace illnesses disrupt the lives of many workers in Erie, and across the state of Pennsylvania. If you have suffered a job-related illness, you may be experiencing a variety of difficulties, such as physical pain and financial complications. Whenever a workplace illness occurs, it is critical for those affected to carefully review their circumstances and determine the best path forward.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a helpful overview of some of the common workplace illnesses. There are many types of occupational illnesses that employees suffer and it is important for workers to be aware of the risks they face every day at work. For example, some employees may be poisoned by carbon monoxide or toxic chemicals (such as those found in pesticides). Also, employees who are exposed to dangerous gases, vapors or dust may have respiratory issues. Other types of workplace illnesses that employees suffer include hearing loss, skin problems, frostbite, heat stroke and exposure to infectious disease, among others.

Common OSHA violations in the construction industry

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction workers who are employed in the private sector have a rate of fatal occupational injuries almost three times greater than other American workers. In Erie, and across Pennsylvania, it is absolutely essential for construction companies and the workers they employ to prevent construction accidents from claiming additional lives. For example, it is crucial for those employed in the construction industry to understand common OSHA violations and address them immediately.

On their site, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration published startling information on construction accidents and OSHA violations. OSHA reports that 874 construction workers in the private sector died in a workplace accident during 2014, some of which were the result of violating OSHA standards. The most common OSHA violation over the course of fiscal year 2015 was found in the construction industry (fall protection). Next, a general industry violation related to hazard communication. Other major OSHA violations in construction include those related to scaffolding (third most common) and ladders (seventh most common).

Supporting workers who were hurt in forklift accidents

From ladder falls to incidents involving defective power tools, there are many types of accidents that take place on the job. However, forklift accidents are particularly dangerous and at Friday & Cox LLC, we specialize in helping clients who have been involved in a forklift accident. In Erie, Pennsylvania, and throughout the rest of the country, forklift accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries and even claim the lives of workers, which underlines the importance of prevention.

Sadly, some workers are not able to prevent forklift accidents from taking place and there are many reasons why they continue to occur. For example, improper maintenance and inadequate training may lead to an accident. From filing suit over an accident caused by someone else's negligence to securing workers' compensation benefits, many injured workers benefit from consulting a legal professional. If you were hurt in a forklift accident and are considering reaching out to an attorney, it is important to work with a law firm that has a great deal of experience handling workplace accidents in the construction industry.

Reviewing workplace accidents in Pennsylvania

When someone is hurt at work, they may experience all sorts of hardships. Not only do injured workers often face severe physical pain, but many have financial problems after an accident because of lost wages or hospital bills they can't afford. Furthermore, life may never return to normal for some injured workers, whether they have to deal with an injury for the rest of their life or cannot return to work. For employers and employees in Erie, and across Pennsylvania, reviewing workplace accident statistics may help prevent future incidents from occurring.

On their website, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published helpful information regarding various types of deadly occupational injury events in Pennsylvania during 2013. While the data published on their site represents fatal events, these incidents account for many injuries as well. Common causes of fatal occupational injuries during this period include transportation-related incidents (accounting for 39 percent of all events), violence inflicted by another person or an animal (accounting for 16 percent of all fatal events), contact with equipment or an object (accounting for 17 percent of such events), falls, trips and slips (accounting for 14 percent of all fatal injuries) and exposure to a harmful environment or substance (accounting for 11 percent of all events).

How prevalent are workplace injuries

From an injury caused by repetitive motion to construction site accidents, there are many reasons why workplace injuries occur across the country every single day. However, it is pivotal for employees and their employers to realize how widespread these injuries are in Erie, Pennsylvania, and focus on possible ways to prevent accidents and injuries from taking place. Workplace injuries are not always preventable, but some are the result of negligence. If you were injured while at work because of the negligent behavior of someone else, you should explore every option and may want to think about legal action.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in the private sector reported almost 3 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. The BLS estimates that over the course of the year, an average of 3.2 non-fatal workplace injury cases arose out of every 100 full-time private industry employees. Among local and state government workers in the public sector, roughly 722,300 illness and injury cases arose out of about 18.3 million workers during 2014. While the number of non-fatal injuries that occur in the workplace has declined in recent years, these incidents continue to make life difficult for employees as well as the companies they work for.

Reviewing common causes of fatal construction accidents

While every industry presents on-the-job hazards that workers have to keep an eye out for, construction is particularly dangerous. Sadly, in Erie, and other cities throughout Pennsylvania, a shocking number of construction workers have lost their lives in deadly workplace accidents, some of which were preventable. Furthermore, these deaths often have a significant impact on the lives of their loved ones, leaving them with emotional trauma and other hardships, such as financial problems. For construction workers, contractors and everyone involved in the construction industry, understanding the common causes of deadly construction accidents is paramount.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the four major causes of construction accidents that plague the industry are falling, being electrocuted, being hit by an object and being caught-in or between. In fact, these causes accounted for 58 percent of construction worker fatalities in 2014. During 2014, more than 4,200 private industry workers passed away in an on-the-job accident and 874 of them (one out of five) worked in construction.

A closer look at construction accidents

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, over 4,600 construction workers lost their lives in accidents that took place on the job during 2014. These startling statistics represent an average of nearly 90 deaths per week or over 13 fatalities each day. In Erie, and across the entire state of Pennsylvania, construction workers face a number of threats every day they go to work, from falling off of a ladder to a defective power tool accident and the negligent behavior of others, to name just a few. As a result, it is paramount for workers in the construction industry to make safety a top priority.

In addition to deaths, an alarming number of construction workers are also injured in job-related accidents. On their site, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides construction accident statistics that reveal the prevalence of the problem. The CDC reports that in 2009, more than 92,000 construction workers suffered a non-fatal illness or injury that forced them to take time off of work. Among these injuries and illnesses, 22 percent were the result of falling.

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