2016 has been a rough year for workers in Nebraska. The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened 41 investigations of the safety of workplaces within the state. Of these investigations currently underway, 32 cases resulted in hospitalizations and nine in amputations.
A recent Workers' Compensation report analyzed these findings. According to the report, at least four deaths since March of this year were the result of preventable workplace accidents.
What causes these accidents?
Although causes of these accidents can vary, three of the most common include:
- Falls. These accidents can occur in a number of situations. A common example involves construction, where workers can fall from high heights and suffer serious injuries. Falls can also result from a failure of the employer to properly safeguard stairs, platforms or walkways.
- Struck-by accidents. Whenever a worker is injured because he or she was hit by an object, the accident is referred to as a struck-by accident. These accidents often involve heavy equipment like those used in the trucking or construction industries.
- Trenching. Completing a job in any environment can be dangerous, but this is particularly true for those who work inside trenches. Trenching and excavating can be a part of many professions, including those in the plumbing industry. In the report noted above, a plumber was killed when assisting in the installation of residential sewer lines. Although the collapse of a trench may not seem overly concerning, the fact is a single cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a small vehicle. As a result, getting caught underneath this soil can result in serious injuries.
These are just three of the more common examples of on-the-job accidents. Various regulations are in place to reduce the risk of these accidents by helping to ensure the workplaces throughout the country are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Regardless of the cause of the accident, those who are injured have rights. In most cases, injured workers are generally eligible to receive compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident through a workers' compensation claim.