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New OSHA Report

Employers Continue Dangerous Practices That Place Workers At Risk

If you are reading this, you, or someone you know, has probably been in a work-related accident. Below we talk about a report that was released on worker safety in the United States. None of the results should qualify as groundbreaking news. The report references the results as lessons for the future. Most workers in the construction industry would prefer "Confirmation of everything they have said in the past."

The report does just re-state the obvious but there are some useful nuggets hidden in the report. We break down why you should care.

OSHA recently concluded that employers continue practices that put workers at risk. OSHA determined that these employers conduct themselves this way despite one or more of their employees being involved in a recent and tragic worksite accident. Additionally, the report cited employers for going to great lengths to conceal dangerous worksite hazards to order to avoid fixing them. Profit before people. It happened centuries ago and continues to this day.

How did OSHA reach these damning, yet obvious, results? This all came about after they initiated a requirement for employers to begin reporting severe workplace injuries within 24 hours.

What did we learn about worker safety in 2015? Some statistics are astounding:

  • 10,388 reports of severe workplace injuries occurred, nearly 30 a day.
  • 7,636 reports of workers being hospitalized
  • 19 percent of the reported severe workplace injuries were in the construction trade

The study also concludes that many severe workplace injuries are not reported. This is a well chronicled problem, particularly with undocumented workers. The workers fear how reporting an accident may impact them and the employers are only to happy to exploit this. The Latino community is disproportionately impacted by this untoward practice.

OSHA is hoping their continued vigilance will improve worker safety for all. Their goals are to engage more employers in identifying and eliminating serious worksite dangers and to improve their enforcement techniques. We applaud their efforts but remain cynical of the longterm impact. Why? It requires the cooperation of employers and a universal commitment that safety is prioritized over making money.

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a team of lawyers who handle cases for injured workers in the New York area. Our results on behalf of injured workers are second to none. We have recovered almost 1 Billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients. Contact us now at 212.736.5300 if you want to discuss a work related injury.

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