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Are employers protecting their workers?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

The recent death of a baggage handler in New Orleans brings to mind this important question: Are employers properly training and protecting their workers?

On Aug. 30, a 26-year-old woman sustained serious injuries while unloading a plane and later died when her hair became entangled in a belt loader. The latter device is a machine that transfers baggage to and from airplanes.

Unrealistic deadlines

Workplace tragedies and injuries continue to occur, and many such incidents can be avoided as long as employers understand their responsibilities in promoting safety.

Workers often are under pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines, rushing to complete tasks. In such scenarios, safety becomes overlooked simply because an employer has misguided priorities. Workers must receive proper training in a range of matters from operating machinery, lifting and loading, protecting hair, fire and environmental safety and working from heights.

This affects workers from a variety of industries including construction, airlines, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, and shipping and receiving.

Reasons for workplace fatalities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. reported that nearly 4,800 workers sustained fatal injuries in 2020. Transportation incidents had the most fatalities, accounting for nearly 1,800 deaths. That is more than 37% of all fatal workplace injuries.

Here are the most common reasons that workplace fatalities occur:

  • Transportation incidents
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Violence and other injuries by a person or animal
  • Contact with objects and equipment
  • Exposure to harmful substances
  • Fires and explosions

The safety of an employer’s workers must remain a priority.

Keeping injuries at a distance

Providing workers with the proper equipment and knowledge to safely perform their jobs is essential. As long as employers do so, they may keep injuries and harm at a distance from their valuable employees.