Oklahoma workers in the building, roofing and construction industries may be aware of the hazards of their occupations. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says fall accidents are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Unfortunately, some employers show complete disregard for the safety of their employees, leading to severe workplace injuries and deaths.
When workers' compensation laws initially became effective, they was touted as an equal exchange between employers and workers. According to the law, workers who suffered workplace injuries are, in general, barred from filing lawsuits against their employers. Employers must provide employees with workers' compensation insurance coverage. Injured workers may pursue claims for benefits for medical care, related costs and lost wages to enable them to provide for their families.
Workers in all industries face safety hazards everyday; however, some industries have specific areas that require compliance with additional safety regulations. Employers in Oklahoma and elsewhere whose employees work in areas where chemicals and heavy machinery are present have to comply with specific safety regulations that are prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Some employers disregard these regulations in order to speed up processes and improve profitability, but such shortcuts often lead to workplace injuries that end up having an adverse effect on the company's bottom line.
According to the strict safety regulations prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oklahoma employers are responsible for the safety of their workers. They are expected to inform workers about the safety hazards of their jobs and provide protective equipment as a preventative measure to help avoid workplace injuries. When workers are expected to operate machines, safety guards should be in place to avoid workers being pulled into dangerous equipment.
Company owners in Oklahoma and other states are expected to protect their workers against on-the-job injuries. However, it is not uncommon for unanticipated accidents to occur, and there should be contingency plans in place. In a recent construction accident in another state, the importance of being prepared for unforeseen incidents causing workplace injuries was underscored.
Oklahoma company owners are responsible for the safety of their workers. Regardless of the type of industry, preventing workplace injuries can only be achieved by following the strict safety regulations that are prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, many workers suffer on-the-job injuries that are caused by negligent disregard of safety regulations by supervisors and employers.
Following up on our blog post about a tragic fatal forklift accident on Oct. 3 ("Forklift accident causes death of 2, workplace injury to 1"), a look at safety procedures may be appropriate. Statistics show that the number of forklift accidents per year may be as many as 35,000, and accident investigations usually indicate that most workplace injuries could have been avoided. While Oklahoma workers commonly rely on company owners to provide safe workplace surroundings, they may benefit from being fully aware of the imminent dangers posed by working on and around forklifts.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) regards hearing loss as a critically important concern. The institute states that hearing loss caused by noise is one of the workplace injuries that is entirely preventable; however, it is not reversible. The onset of hearing loss is gradual and therefore not recognized in the initial stages. The recognition of this severe health and safety issue is crucial, and Oklahoma employers of workers in all industries should take measures to prevent conditions that cause hearing loss in workers.
Mine workers in Oklahoma are likely aware of the many potential hazards associated with mining operations. Workplace safety is an important part of the duties for which supervisors are responsible. There are strict regulations in place to avoid workplace injuries, and mine authorities are required to ensure that their workers are provided with adequate safety training and the necessary protective clothing.
Most workers take comfort in knowing that any injuries they may suffer on the job will be covered by workers' compensation insurance. However, they may not realize that claims are often disputed, and it may take years before the worker receives any compensation. Oklahoma residents may be interested in a workers' compensation claim that was recently settled 18 years after the injury occurred. The case involves a bus driver from another state who suffered workplace injuries when he was 45 years old. Now, at the age of 63, he was awarded a settlement of $777,000.