Worker safety is a critical issue that too many employers do not adequately address. While negligent companies may be fined for their actions, ultimately the injured workers are the ones who suffer the most.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), more than 3 million work injuries are reported annually. Many more unreported work injuries may occur every year.
OSHA also states, "Employers have the knowledge to prevent catastrophes, and the responsibility to provide it. There's no excuse for profiting at the expense of a worker's safety."
A serious work injury can mean months of recovery, leaving the worker unable to earn an income. In some cases, injured workers cannot return to their job. This is especially common in occupations that are physically demanding such as construction and other types of labor.
Construction work injuries can include broken bones, amputations, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, suffocation, crush injuries, severe lacerations and internal organ damage. Workers who suffer these types of injuries may need extensive medical care from specialists. Some will need long-term treatment. The cost to the worker and his or her family will be significant. Depending on the case, people may find their lives permanently changed after a wage-earning family member suffers an injury.
Injured workers have rights, but they often need an attorney to protect them. In some cases, injured workers can bring a lawsuit against negligent third parties such as subcontractors, vendors, suppliers and manufacturers. Cases such as these can be complex, especially when there are multiple parties involved. You may wish to discuss your work injury with a lawyer to learn about your rights and options.