Pennsylvania workers, especially those who do heavy lifting, may not be surprised to learn that lower back pain is the most common cause of injuries in the workplace. Only workers with a common cold miss more time from work than back pain sufferers. More than 1 million workers nationwide suffer from work-related lower back injuries annually, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Nationwide, $11 billion is paid out in workers' compensation claims related to lower back workplace injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.2 workers out of 100,000 died in workplace accidents in 2012. This means that there were 4,628 fatalities across all occupations that year, which is on the low end of the yearly average 4,500 to 6,500. Some workers in Pennsylvania may be surprised to find that they have jobs in industries with the highest fatality rates. The fifth deadliest job is that of a fisherman or other sea-based worker. They have a fatality rate of 117 workers in 100,000, with 32 fatalities in 2012. Most of these deaths occurred during vessel disasters. In the aircraft industry, which is the fourth most dangerous, 71 engineers, co-pilots and pilots died due to plane crashes and equipment failures. This type of job has a fatality rate of 53.4 workers in 100,000. Construction workers have the third most dangerous jobs, with 210 deaths in 2012. With a death rate of 17.4 workers in 100,000, the most common causes are falls, trips and slips. With only a few more deaths that same year, agricultural managers and farmers have the second deadliest jobs. The fatality rate for the agricultural industry is 21.3 workers in 100,000 due to roadway and equipment accidents. The most dangerous job, however, is driving a truck. Driving a truck, whether it is a semi or a light delivery truck, is the most dangerous by far. In 2012, 741 people in this occupation lost their lives, and the death rate is 22.1 people in 100,000. In Pennsylvania, workers' compensation may cover workers who are injured on the job. State laws require all employers to provide some type of coverage to their employees, whether it is workers' compensation, self-insurance or some other method. The insurance could provide wage-loss, medical care and disfigurement benefits to injured workers. Additionally, the dependents of workers who die on the job may receive death benefits. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, 'About Workers' Compensation"
There are a wide variety of reasons that workplace accidents occur, many of which are preventable. When organizations are proactive about ensuring the safety of their employees, a workplace injury is less likely to occur. Some of the most common causes of accidents are wet floors, hazardous materials and unsecured objects. When these issues are not dealt with, it can lead to injury or even death as well as increasing insurance rates and decreased employee morale.
A Pennsylvania judge has overruled a defendant's preliminary objections to being named in a joinder complaint to an initial workplace injury case. The judge stated that the defendant had 20 days from the judicial order to file a response to the suit.
A lawsuit filed against a Philadelphia contractor involved in a recent building collapse has been picking up steam as the rescue operation slows down. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Salvation Army worker who was buried under rubble when a building wall being torn down next door collapsed and crashed down onto the thrift store. Since the suit was filed, another plaintiff, a thrift store customer, has joined the suit. In total, six people died and 13 were injured in the workplace accident.