Construction workers in Arizona and elsewhere know the hazards posed by trenches. However, many of them still enter unprotected trenches, even when their employers fail to provide adequate support to prevent cave-ins. A construction worker who was one of the few survivors of a trench collapse in 2002 now explains his experience in an effort to create awareness of the dangers of taking shortcuts that could cause fatal work accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration places the burden of protecting workers from harm on employers. They could face OSHA fines and citations for unsafe facilities. Of the thousands of workplace fatalities nationwide every year -- including in Arizona -- many involve roofing accidents that could have been prevented if property owners had adequately maintained their buildings.
Almost without exception, jobs, whether in Arizona or anywhere else in the country, carry some degree of risk. A worker can develop carpal tunnel syndrome from years at a keyboard, for example, or an employee can develop repetitive stress injuries. However, some careers carry a higher risk of injury, such as jobs where factory, electrician or roofing accidents are simply more likely to occur, no matter how safe an employer tries to make the work environment.
Of course, no Arizona employers want their workers to have accidents. Employers, just like employees, both want and expect the workplace to be a safe and productive environment. This need for safety is especially important in the field of electrical system work, though, as electrical-related and electrician accidents are the sixth leading cause of injury-related deaths in the workplace.
Workers' compensation is important for injured Arizona employees and their families to help with lost wages and medical expenses during the recovery period after a worker has been injured on the job. What about grieving families whose loved ones were killed in workplace accidents, though? Thankfully, for employees who work in relatively more dangerous careers and are at risk for factory, construction or roofing accidents, or the like, workers' compensation offers benefits for surviving family members as well.
Anyone can get hurt in an unforeseen event at any time. Some Arizona jobs, however, carry a higher degree of risk, and injuries are unfortunately more likely to occur in factory worker, construction worker or electrician accidents than to employees who work in, for example, a movie theatre. Tragically, sometimes these workplace accidents prove fatal and leave behind grieving families.
Arizona employers have a responsibility to make the workplace as safe and free from potential hazards as possible. In fact, a federal agency known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates work accidents to figure out what happened and whether the employer violated any safety guidelines. Moreover, injured workers are typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and income lost while recovering. The surviving family members of a worker killed on-the-job are likewise entitled to survivor' benefits through the same state-regulated insurance system.
Some Arizona workplace accidents are unavoidable, others preventable. Workers' compensation, for the most part, does not discriminate either way, and, with the help of a lawyer, workers injured in construction accidents are often able to receive the maximum amount of benefits after they are hurt on the job. In more tragic cases when the worker is killed, workers' compensation attorneys can often help the grieving family fight for the full amount of benefits as well.
When working on Arizona jobsites, there are, unfortunately, any number of ways in which a worker can get injured. Roofing accidents, though, can be one of the most serious. Sadly, in a state east of Arizona, a roofer recently fell to his death at his jobsite.
Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. However, it is the responsibility of employers to do all they can to ensure the safety of their workers, minimizing risks so that Arizona employees can do their jobs safely and responsibly without constant fear of work accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concentrates on worker safety, establishing regulations and trying to make sure that companies who fail to follow regulations are held responsible. When workplace accidents do occur, the workers' compensation program helps to ensure that injured workers or their families receive compensation.