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On-the-job safety needs national improvement

Pennsylvania residents know that May Day and, by association, the entire month, is connected with the rights of workers around the globe. Employees in Bangladesh, for example, seek justice after 400 individuals died when a building collapsed. Other workers look for benefits, increased money or better conditions at their jobs during the month.

Although Americans' participation in May Day protests is much more limited, the nation watched in horror from Pennsylvania to California when the explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant in April led to the deaths of 15 people and numerous workplace injuries.

Speculation as to the cause of the fiery explosion includes the possibility that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had not inspected the site in nearly three decades. One representative for a regulatory agency expressed his views when he said that OSHA doesn't have the resources it needs to adequately patrol the American workplace. He estimated that with the available resources, they could only inspect each facility about once every 131 years.

In 2011, 4,609 people lost their lives at work in America, an average of about 13 each day. Even when workplace safety rules are enforced, they can take a decade or longer to implement. High job turnover and slipshod training mean that workplace safety does not receive the priority it deserves. In addition, the budget sequester has further cut the OSHA budget and will reduce the number of inspections.

Workplace safety continues to remain a serious issue across the nation. Employees who have been injured on the job could benefit from the services of a worker?????????s compensation attorney who might be able to help them with legal action.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "A May Day Look at American Workplace Safety", PAT GAROFALO, May 01, 2013

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