On-the-job injuries are all too common among U.S. workers. There is an average of 13 workplace deaths every day in the U.S. Although that number has decreased significantly from 38 deaths a day in 1970, it is still too high.
One contributing factor to the high number is that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked with ensuring safe work environments, is running on limited resources, leaving American workers vulnerable to safety hazards.
OSHA is tasked with inspecting U.S. workplaces for compliance with safety laws and standards. Unfortunately, the agency does not have enough inspectors to properly police every workplace in the country.
OSHA employs fewer than 2,500 inspectors, yet there are about 8 million workplaces in the U.S. It would take about 100 years to inspect all of them. With approximately 130 million workers in the country, there is one inspector to every 59,000 workers.
With so few resources, OSHA inspectors focus on improving the safety of workplaces before injuries and fatalities occur. Most inspections take place at workplaces deemed to have higher hazard levels, such as construction sites.
An OSHA representative has stated that the agency does not usually inspect a workplace after an accident. Instead, it directs employers to conduct an investigation and communicate the preventative measures that will be implemented to avoid additional accidents.
Fighting Negligent Employers
Only in extreme circumstances will OSHA impose financial penalties on employers.
In order to combat employers who knowingly endanger their workers, OSHA has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Justice. Penalties will be issued to employers who negligently put their workers in harm’s way or take steps in attempts to cover up on the job injuries.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Chicago workers compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers will fight on your behalf to hold negligent employers accountable and to maximize compensation for your injuries.