Common Causes of Accidents in the Workplace
40 Years of Excellent Counsel for Pennsylvania’s Injured Workers
Despite federal regulations and industry-specific safety protocols, millions of workers in the U.S. suffer a workplace injury or contract an occupational illness each year. These workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages associated with their injury or illness. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have successfully represented all types of workers injured on the job due to various reasons, including:
- Unsafe working conditions: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers provide a safe workplace free from recognized hazards. When employers fail to remedy or mitigate known dangers, workers may be injured by a variety of unsafe working conditions, including slippery floors, walkway obstructions, and improper storage of hazardous chemicals.
- Negligent hiring: When an employer fails to adequately investigate a candidate’s background before hiring them, the employer may be responsible for that employee’s acts of workplace violence. Employers must use reasonable care to not hire individuals that pose a threat and can do so by verifying applicants’ work history, conducting criminal record checks, and asking appropriate questions during interviews.
- Inadequate training: Accidents often occur because workers have not been properly trained on how to safely perform certain tasks. Employers should train employees on how to use equipment and machinery, how to safely handle food and chemicals, and other safety protocols, such as proper lifting. Employers should supervise employees to ensure that they are capable of safely performing their job without further instruction.
- Failure to provide fall protection: Failure to provide fall protection was the number one most commonly-cited OSHA violation for the fiscal year 2017. Unprotected edges and open sides in residential construction, as well as failure to provide fall protection on low-slope roofs comprised 6,072 violations. Falls are the most common type of construction accident and is the leading cause of fatality in the construction industry.
- Dangerous or defective equipment: Workers in various industries, including construction, farming, and manufacturing, must work with dangerous machinery and equipment daily. When these tools are defective, they pose an even greater risk of injury to workers. Equipment may be defective in its design or marketing, or it may be due to the employer’s inadequate maintenance and repair.
- Fatigue/Distraction: Failure to take adequate breaks can lead to fatigue, which can then lead to accidents. Employers who push their employees to complete tasks quickly may overlook important safety protocols such as encouraging employees to take regular rest breaks. Employees may also be distracted by other workers or their own personal issues, which can cause them to be less aware of their surroundings and more prone to workplace accidents.
- Overexertion: This is the number one cause of workplace injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Lifting light loads can cause injury if not done properly. Construction workers, drywall installers, kitchen/restaurant workers, seamen, utility workers, and medical workers are some of the occupations that are at an increased risk of overexertion.
- Non-ergonomically designed workplace: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders cost more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs each year, according to OSHA. Office workers are at a high-risk for this type of injury, which can be avoided by implementing ergonomically-designed desks, chairs, and keyboards.
Regardless of the cause of your workplace injury, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning if you were injured performing your work-related duties, you are entitled to compensation regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act also allows workers to recover for pre-existing conditions that became aggravated or otherwise worsened from work.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Assist Workers With Their Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
If you were injured on-the-job or developed a work-related illness, contact a skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you navigate the complex Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.
We serve clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. Our team also provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.