Articles Posted in Workplace Fatalities

The risk of workplace injuries and fatalities at work is still far too high. Unfortunately, because many jobs have inherent risks and many worksites are not as safe as they should be, thousands of workers are killed every single year. Preventing injuries and fatalities should be a top priority, but too many employers don’t do enough. atlanta work injury

All workers are potentially at risk due to unsafe work sites or high-risk activities on-the-job, but certain employees also face an especially significant chance of being hurt or killed while they are trying to earn a living. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can provide help to any employee who has been harmed at work.

A new report from the AFL-CIO, called Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, demonstrates just how serious the risk of work injury is.  The rate of all injuries is remaining steady instead of declining, and there are still millions of injuries occurring and changing the lives of workers though the United States.   Continue Reading

If your family member has been killed at work, it is natural to be devastated by the loss. A workplace death is one of the most tragic losses a person can experience, especially because workplace fatalities are so often preventable.  Unfortunately, workplace deaths do happen, and families have to deal with the aftermath. Atlanta workers' compensation death benefits

When a death occurs on-the-job, it is important for family members to understand what their rights and options are. Workers’ compensation death benefits may be available, as long as you can prove that the death was work-related.

Death benefits can be available after a death due to illness or injury, and an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with assistance in making your benefits claim.

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Workplace fatalities and serious injuries are far too common. Often, company owners or executives are the ones who make choices which result in workers getting hurt or losing their lives. It is the employees who are on the worksites every day who take risks, and those who make the policies that affect their lives are rarely held accountable for the consequences of their decisions. Atlanta workplace death accountability

Workers’ compensation benefits do have to be paid if there is an on-the-job fatality, and an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help those whose family members are killed to get the benefits they need. Companies could also face small fines as a result of violations of safety rules that result in deaths. However, workers’ comp insurers and companies are usually the ones who pay these costs, which means the executives who own or operate the companies don’t usually even face direct financial responsibilities if their decisions turn out to be detrimental to worker health.

One of the few things which could result in a company owner or operator being held accountable is criminal charges. Criminal charges against those who run companies are rare, even when workers die. The Post, however, reported recently that one construction manager has actually been charged with a slew of criminal offenses, including with manslaughter.  Cases like this one can serve as a deterrent for bad decisions that endanger workers, although it remains to be seen if the employer will actually be convicted of anything or not.

Working a dangerous job increases the chances of dying while performing work duties. Year-after-year, data shows people in certain sectors are more likely to be killed on-the-job. While a death can happen anywhere while performing work duties, the working conditions and physical demands that certain jobs place on the body simply results in a greater chance of a fatal injury happening in some professions as compared with others. Atlanta workplace fatalities

Every death due to work is a tragic one which causes unspeakable loss. When the fatality happens on-the-job, however, at least there is some protection for survivors. If a worker is killed while performing his work tasks, Atlanta workers’ compensation benefits should be there to provide for his family and make sure his dependents are cared for.

The problem is, evidence suggests that employees who work in some of the highest-risk professions where death is most likely to occur also tend to have higher rates of suicide. Some experts believe this elevated risk of death by suicide is due, at least in part, to the stress of a high-risk job.

Violence is a risk to any worker, but there are some sectors which are far more dangerous than others when it comes to the risk of being victimized by an attack in the workplace. For example, Safety News Alert reported recently that employees of convenience stores have a seven times greater risk of dying in a work-related homicide as compared with workers in other professions. Atlanta workers' comp death benefits

Whenever there is a substantial risk of workplace injuries or fatalities, employers and employees need to be aware of the risk so they can take steps to reduce the danger. If an act of violence does occur and a worker is killed, the victim’s family will also need to consult with an Atlanta workers’ comp death benefits lawyer to find out what options are available for getting funeral expenses and other benefits provided.

Prevention of Atlanta Workplace Deaths Due to Homicide

Many workplace safety violations are never reported or discovered, and employers face no penalties for them at all. This is because Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is understaffed and inspections of worksites are rare. workplace safety violation penalties

Even when there is a problem and a worker gets hurt or killed, OSHA fines are generally relatively low, so employers may not find the fines a strong incentive to change their ways and follow best practices for safety. While criminal prosecution could be a strong deterrent, prosecutions are very rare and- as one recent case shows- the laws may not impose penalties commensurate with the consequences of an employer’s actions.

Because there is so little incentive to actually force employers to make worksites safe, injuries and fatalities happen far too often. If you or someone you love experiences an Atlanta workplace injury or fatality, you need to understand your right and pursue a benefits claim. An attorney can help.  Continue Reading

Recently, we wrote about an increase in OSHA penalties for workplace safety violations. The increase is aimed at ensuring companies who violate workplace safety rules actually face real penalties. OSHA penalties still remain relatively low, however, despite a dramatic increase of almost 80 percent that was necessary because it had been so long since penalties rose.   While the increase is good news, rising fines alone is not enough to generate meaningful reform in the field of worker safety. Too often, it is the companies that pay the fine but individuals who make decisions that endanger workers.  Prosecution of these individuals could be the key to preventing serious injuries and fatalities that occur on-the-job.

workplace safety crimes

While criminal prosecutions can arise for willful violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), as well as for gross negligence that causes serious injuries or death, prosecutions are relatively rare. Efforts have been made over the past decade to step up the number of prosecutions, and recently Safety News Alert reported the federal government will be moving forward with plans aimed at ensuring even more prosecutions occur.

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Data on workplace fatalities from last year has been released and the news is not good for Atlanta workers, nor for any workers throughout the United States. As Safety News Alert reports, there were 4,679 workplace fatalities reported across all industries in 2014, according to preliminary estimates. This is a two percent increase in the number of people who were killed during their work, as compared with 2013. When the final figures are reached, the number of fatalities could go even higher and the total number of employees killed could reach the highest levels since 2008. business-4-1246292

An Atlanta workplace fatalities lawyer should be consulted by family members when someone is killed on-the-job. Workers compensation death benefits could provide financial support to dependents to ensure that the untimely death of a loved one does not leave a family in dire financial straits. While workers’ comp is supposed to take care of survivors of those killed doing work tasks, insurers sometimes try to avoid payouts. Those who have suffered losses need to make sure they receive the benefits they are entitled to, even when they need legal help to do it.

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Recently, a female reporter and her cameraman were killed on air on live television as they were filming a human interest story.  The tragedy was much more public than most, but it was not an isolated incident. The Washington Post reported that “murder happens surprisingly often on the job.” In fact, nine percent of almost 4,600 workplace deaths in 2009 were caused by acts of violence.  Women, especially are at signifiant risk of being killed while doing their jobs. Murder is the second most common way for women to die on-the-job, with only car accidents killing more female employees. found-bullet-1561939

When violence happens at work, the resulting death may be considered a work-related fatality in many situations.  If the death is considered to be a workplace fatality, workers’ compensation death benefits may be available to provide for surviving dependents like spouses and kids of the worker who was killed.  Determining whether violence on the job gives rise to workers’ comp death benefits can be complicated, but an Atlanta work accident lawyer can help those whose loved ones were killed.

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A workplace fatality triggers an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which can result in the company facing OSHA fines.  These fines, unfortunately, may not be a sufficient deterrent. Some employers know they are breaking OSHA rules and still persist in creating a dangerous working environment for employees on-the-job.  One of the most effective ways to prevent employers from accepting a high-risk workplace is to hold employers and managers criminally accountable for worker deaths. handcuffs-1156821-m

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can refer cases to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) so the DOJ can press federal charges against willful violators and against employers who are grossly negligent.  While OSHA has the ability to spur criminal investigations, however, Business Insurance reports the agency is not really doing so. Instead, it is leaving most prosecutions to local authorities. While this can work sometimes, it can also lead to inconsistent enforcement and can adversely impact worker safety.

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