With more construction activity comes heightened economic growth, more jobs and more prosperity for everyone, right? This is certainly true, but there is also a dark side to the building boom our nation is experiencing: more construction-related injuries and deaths.
A fine of $9,800 was issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to Francis J. Palo, Inc., a Pennsylvania contractor, for two serious safety violations. A bridge collapsed in June and injured two workers. The contractor is contesting the violations and the fine.
For the first time in 25 years, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will start issuing higher fines for companies that are cited for workplace violations. The current fines are relative to the consumer price index from 1990.
Over the last century, workers have been increasingly protected by laws with regard to rights and safety. Today, workers have a high expectation of safety. Even in dangerous industries, employers have to work with employees to ensure safety measures are enacted, and workers who are hurt on the job have legal options for seeking compensation and coverage of expenses.
An analysis of how people are injured on the job draws public awareness to dangerous work conditions. The information also focuses the attention of Pennsylvania and federal government regulators, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, on safety hazards and solutions.
Many people associate workers' compensation claims with on-the-job injuries. Benefits are also available for Philadelphia County families whose loved ones die in workplace accidents. Benefits help survivors recover from financial hardships like funeral costs, accident-related medical expenses and wage losses.
In a tragic example of an ordinary workday turned bad, three contractors received injuries when Pennsylvania's Ridgeway Bridge on U.S. Route 219 collapsed on June 18. Reports about the collapse began to circulate at around 2 p.m., many of them citing multiple injuries at the scene of the accident. A spokesperson with the contracting company later confirmed three workers were injured, one of them a company employee and two others identified as subcontractors.
The idea of someone backing over another person seems absurd, but unfortunately it does happen -- especially on construction sites and among professional drivers. Even more tragically, these accidents cause dozens of fatalities every year.