Slashing workers’ compensations benefits has been a hot topic recently on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers blog in the wake of OSHA celebrating 40 years of workplace safety and as America celebrates 100 years of workers’ compensation.
Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers applaud the progress but realize that thousands of workers continue to be killed on the job. And we continue to monitor the insurance industries attempts to decrease benefits to seriously injured workers.
In 1971 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to reduce workplace deaths and injuries. Prior to OSHA, 14,000 workers were killed on the job each year; recent statistics show workplace deaths are at 4,340. Today there are over 7.2 million jobsites, employing 130 million workers. Prior to OSHA, 11 out of 100 workers incurred a serious workplace illness or injury; today it’s 3.6 out of 100.
OSHA highlights in the 1970’s & 1980’s included:
-Safety standards for Asbestos, Hearing Conservation, Construction Safety, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, 14 Carcinogens, Benzene, Farm workers, Diving, Protecting Meatpacking Workers, Testing Laboratories Regulations, Lead, Protecting Textile Workers, Excavation & Trenching, Protecting Grain Workers and OSHA Coverage for Federal Workers.
Progress from 1990 until today includes:
-Safety standards for Laboratory Safety, Protecting Healthcare Workers, Blood borne Pathogens, Steel Erection, Falls in General Industry, Confined Spaces, Stronger Asbestos Standard, Fatal Falls in Construction, Fire Protection for Shipyard Employment, Logging, Payment for Safety Equipment, and addressing fatal falls in the construction industry.
In a message from Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels about the future of OSHA, “OSHA remains committed to protecting workers from toxic chemicals and deadly safety hazards at work; ensuring that vulnerable workers in high-risk jobs have access to critical information and education about job hazards; and providing employers with vigorous compliance assistance to promote best practices that can save lives.”
The workplace is safer than it was 40 years ago but employers still cut corners when it comes to safety. As the economy recovers, new hires need to make sure they receive the proper safety training to avoid a serious work injury.
If you are dealing with a work accident in North Carolina, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers in Charlotte, Asheville and Greensboro. Call the Law Offices of Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.