90 individuals lost their lives due to workplace accidents here in Mississippi in 2017 alone. That is a 21 percent increase in workplace fatalities over the previous year. This, despite the clear responsibility for employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence or recklessness on the job site, it may behoove you to discuss your concerns with a local attorney.
Who are the Victims of Workplace Fatalities?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nine out of ten fatal accidents involve male workers here in Mississippi. Over 75 percent of them are white, and just under one-third of workers are under 35 years of age. Of course, the trail of victims following such a tragedy extends to families, friends, co-workers, and others, who must wrestle with a future void of the affection and companionship, not to mention the financial contributions, of a loved one.
Hazards Lead to Death
Across the country, there were 5,147 recorded fatalities in 2017. As reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that adds up to roughly 14 work-related fatalities every single day somewhere in the United States. Transportation accidents account for a big chunk of those incidents, but workplace hazards played a part in many others. Despite OSHA regulations and safety guidelines, particular issues continue to haunt workplaces nationwide:
- Improper adherence to regulations designed to protect against falls;
- Inadequate warnings regarding hazards;
- Poor safety protocols around ladders and scaffolding;
- Machine guards that lack appropriate safeguards;
- Insufficient protection for respiratory issues;
- Numerous violations related to industrial vehicles;
- Failure to require adequate face and eye protection on the job;
- Inadequate safety training and enforcement;
- Inadequate supervision and mentoring.
In Mississippi, an equal number of deaths occurred as a result of falls and as a result of violent injuries related to other people or animals. Exposure to hazardous materials caused a number of deaths, as well. Unsafe environments and actions contributed to far too many of these fatalities.
Safety Programs that Work
Why don’t workplace safety programs keep employees safe? The reasons are varied, and may include:
- Poor leadership at the helm;
- Addressing safety issues improperly, or not at all;
- Employees feeling they are untouchable and taking unnecessary risks;
- Failure to maintain training, particularly in the face of worker turnover;
- Workers experiencing unusual conditions for which they lack training or experience;
- Limited supervision, particularly in dangerous situations or with new employees;
- The preponderance of temporary, seasonal, and contract workers with questionable experience and training.
What Happens After a Workplace Fatality?
Following a work site fatality, there will be an investigation into the details of the incident. In all likelihood, the employer will attempt to create as much distance as possible from taking responsibility for the death. But in many cases, employer responsibility is absolutely a factor. If you have lost a family member to such an accident, you need heavy hitters fighting for justice on your behalf. At the office of Derek L. Hall, PC, that is precisely what you’ll get. Contact our Jackson wrongful death attorneys for a free, confidential consultation today.