Workplace accidents are responsible for literally thousands of injuries per year in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average work injury rate is 3.4 or 3.4 injuries per 100 full time workers. Pennsylvania’s average work injury rate is much higher, at 4.1, and New Jersey’s rate is 3.5. Interestingly, one of the country’s most populated states, New York, has a work injury rate below the national average, at 3.2.
Related: Pennsylvania Work Accidents & Injury Statistics, An Analysis
No matter the state, work accidents injuries tend to occur in the following industries:
- warehouse/distribution/storage, and
- manufacturing (food, machinery, materials, etc.).
In addition, work accidents and injuries almost always involve violation of applicable OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) regulations. Below is a discussion of a handful of the most frequently cited workplace hazards and their corresponding regulations.
General Work Accidents (Construction Sites, Worksites, Etc.)
1926.501 (fall protection hazards); 1926.451 (scaffolding safety); 1926.1053 (ladder safety)
Workplace falls, especially falls from heights, are probably the most common type of workplace accidents, irrespective of the type of workplace. Fall protection hazards are commonplace at both commercial and residential construction sites. For example, workers on a roof may not be provided with adequate fall protection gear.
Related: PA & NJ Workplace Scaffolds & Fall Protection
Scaffolds are used not only for new construction, but also for repair work on existing buildings. For instance, on any given block in busy cities like Philadelphia or New York, scaffolds will be in used for façade repair work, brick work, masonry, etc. Improper scaffold erection is a common cause of scaffold accidents.
Ladder safety issues arise not only on construction sites, but also during everyday maintenance. For example, a maintenance worker replacing a light bulb in a ceiling at an office may fall off a defective ladder.
Forklift Accidents – All Industries
1910.178 (powered industrial trucks, aka forklifts)
Forklifts are used across many different industries, including:
- commercial and residential construction sites,
- warehouses and distribution centers, and
Forklift accidents are usually very serious and often result in crush and amputation injuries or worse, fatalities. Visit our forklift accident library for free legal articles about forklift accident law, safety, etc.
Factory & Industrial Accidents – Manufacturing
1910.147 (lockout, tagout procedures); 1910.212 (machine guarding)
Whether it’s the manufacture of food, metals, or other products like paper, the manufacturing industry accounts for many injuries per year. The majority of work accidents in the manufacturing industry involves machinery accidents. Issues with safety procedures and devices (lockout, tagout, guarding) are often the cause of factory and industrial machine accidents.
Work Accident Compensation – Workers’ Compensation & Beyond
Workers who sustain serious injuries in work accidents in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area may be eligible for BOTH workers’ compensation claims as well as tort claims (negligence claims against other parties). While workers’ compensation benefits cover medical treatment and indemnity (a portion of lost wages), tort claims can provide financial compensation for pain and suffering.
Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law – The Basics (Part A)
Work Accident Law Firm
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