Whether you drive a delivery van, are frequently on the road making sales calls, operate a taxi, drive a large commercial vehicle or are otherwise behind the wheel due to the demands of your job, you need to be aware of your options should you be involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving in the course of employment.
Law enforcement authorities have reported that a woman who was working as a flagger in Perry County was hit by a car and killed while she was on the job on Feb. 11. Reportedly, the accident occurred near Duncannon.
Pennsylvania residents may be unaware that workers' compensation coverage may be available to workers who work a portion or all of their jobs at home. In the event an injury happens while they are completing tasks in the course of their employment, they may be able to pursue a claim from their employers's workers' compensation carriers.
A construction worker died in a Dec. 3 crash on Route 422 in Chester County. According to police, an SUV struck the 60-year-old worker while he was putting up traffic cones in connection with a planned highway improvement project. The worker died at the scene of the accident, officials said.
The Pennsylvania workers' compensation program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who suffer an injury while on the job or who become sick due to their work environment. However, the complexity of the claims process sometimes makes obtaining all of the available benefits a challenge for an injured or ill worker.
Immigration issues are a hot-button topic around the country, and the highest court in Pennsylvania has weighed in on the subject of immigration as it relates to workers compensation benefits. The ruling concerns a claim filed after a South American immigrant filed for benefits following a workplace accident in July 2008.
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"
Pennsylvania workers may be interested in recent news regarding a 2013 explosion at a Mississippi refinery that left one worker dead. On April 24, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration released its findings to a month-long investigation into the explosion and fire at Chevron's Pascagoula refinery on November 15.
A female Pennsylvania liquor store employee was pistol-whipped by a black-clad robber, and the attack was caught on store video surveillance footage, according to police. The mid-morning robbery that left the worker injured on the job started when a man pulled out a gun as soon as he entered the store, which had just opened for the day. The gunman forced her into the back of the store and made her open up the safe, a police spokesman said.
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.