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Representing Injured Workers Since 1955

New report focuses on job-related injury and illness

In some states, the penalties for illegally damaging property are more serious than the penalties companies face when an unreasonably dangerous work environment causes a worker's death. That imbalance has to be addressed over and over again in California and throughout the country.

Readers in Los Angeles may be interested in a recently published report about job-related illness and injury. In "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect," which was published by the union federation AFL-CIO, researchers point to some disturbing data.

For example, daily workplace deaths averaged at 13 per day in 2011. The total of fatal workplace accidents came to 4,693 that year, and about 50,000 people die each year as a result of occupational illnesses. The total, then, of daily work-related fatalities comes to 150 per day.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been around for 43 years now, but the report underscores how badly understaffed and underfunded the administration is. Federal OSHA investigators currently have the capacity to inspect each U.S. workplace one time in a 131-year span. State inspectors might be able to inspect each workplace once in 76 years.

Moreover, when serious safety violations are discovered, the federal penalties average at $2,156 -- not exactly a major deterrent for businesses. State penalties for serious infractions average even lower, at $974.

What injured workers or their families need to keep in mind is that insurance companies and many employers are concerned mainly with limiting payouts and limiting costs. To receive the compensation they deserve, people injured on the job in California can consult with a workers' compensation attorney with experience in filing claims and appealing denials.

Source: eNews Park Forest, "150 Workers Die Every Day From Injuries or Occupational Diseases According to New Report on Worker Safety and Health," May 7, 2013

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