Work is dangerous. It’s a fact of life for many of our country’s working men and women. For many of you, your families and friends, it’s a part of the job description.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,702 American workers lost their lives on the job in 2005. That’s a 1% decrease from the year before. But it’s still 5,702 too many.
Some employers, contractors and insurance companies put profits over people – they just don’t provide the safety training, education and equipment they should.
In one case a few years ago, our client, a construction laborer, was critically injured when he fell from a rooftop. OSHA requires fall protection – usually safety harnesses or guardrails to protect workers. This contractor had safety harnesses - but left them in his shop that day.
There have been many advances in safety engineering over the years – from hard hats to ergonomic chairs – but job safety often comes down to awareness and education. Don’t count on contractors, employers or insurance companies to protect you. And they won’t be there for you or your family if you get hurt.
Speak up for safety – not just on the job, but in your union hall, churches and communities.
DONAHOE KEARNEY, LLP