The first full week of May is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. This week offers an opportunity for workplaces throughout the U.S. and Canada to re-commit to protecting worker safety and health – not only keeping workers from harm, but also protecting the company’s productivity by ensuring vital employees aren’t laid low by a preventable injury or disease.
In 2011, about 4,609 U.S. workers lost their lives in workplace accidents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and nearly 3.0 million more workers were injured. About 75 percent of these injuries and illnesses occurred in service industries, while the remainder took place in industries that produce goods.
In Colorado, the rate of fatal workplace injuries was about 3.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. The rate of death was highest by far in agriculture, fishing, and forestry, followed by mining, transportation, and construction. Although retail and office workplaces saw a relatively low number of deaths compared to other industries, they still averaged about 3.0 deaths per 100,000 workers. Injury rates across all sectors of the workforce in Colorado were even higher.
Workers and their employers can protect themselves from many types of workplace injuries by using proper safety equipment and following safety procedures. When a hidden defect in a workplace tool or machine causes injury or a third party causes harm, however, workers and employers can’t always predict or avoid the danger. In these situations, an experienced Colorado Springs injury attorney can help workers protect their legal rights and secure the compensation they need.