One of the most dangerous occupations is driving big rigs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average fatality rate across all professions nationwide, including Arizona, is 3.5 deaths for every 10,000 workers. However, when trucker fatalities are separated from the rest, an analysis shows that 26.8 of every 10,000 commercial vehicle operators die in truck driving accidents.
Electrical hazards exist in almost every workplace in Arizona. However, safety authorities say most electrician accidents occur on construction sites. They say many workers suffer electrical shocks that are never reported, and for that reason, the existing records indicate only serious and fatal electrical injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says truckers in Arizona and elsewhere face significant safety risks whenever they navigate their big rigs on the busy highways. The health and injury risks they face involve much more than truck driving accidents. Authorities say statistics show that automobile drivers contribute to approximately 70 percent of fatal truck accidents, with speeding cars playing a role in a significant percentage of those fatalities.
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.