Many Oklahoma workers face serious dangers at their job sites. In fact, worker deaths around the country are on the rise, according to a report from the AFL-CIO. In 2016, 5,190 people were killed on the job, compared to 4,836 the year before.
For Oklahoma miners, a lack of training and a lack of experience can lead to serious injuries or death. According to a division of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, six of seven coal miners who have died in 2017 were at their current workplaces for less than a year. Furthermore, five of those workers had less than a year of experience in their current roles at the time of their death.
Safety at mining facilities in Oklahoma and around the country is the responsibility of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and representatives of the federal agency say that inspection and enforcement efforts will be stepped up following the deaths of three mine workers on Aug. 3. A plant operator in Virginia was killed when a silo split open, a Nevada miner lost his life after being struck by equipment and a North Dakota mine worker perished after being engulfed by a stockpile.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that in the decade from 2000 through 2009, there were 350 workers who died in accidents caused by trenching collapses. The majority of these deaths occurred in trenches that were less than 10 feet deep. Because a cubic yard of dirt may weigh more than 3,000 pounds, a cave-in during an Oklahoma trenching project can have devastating results.
The construction industry largely relies on Latino employees, and Oklahoma residents should be aware of the fact that Hispanic workers are disproportionately affected by accidents in the industry. Although the construction industry is becoming less deadly as a whole, Hispanics are more likely to be killed or injured than non-Hispanics. An accident that occurred on March 23, 2015, could bring this issue to light.
Trench collapses are dangerous, but they are also in some cases preventable. Still, workers are seriously injured or killed every year when trenches in which they are working collapse and cave in on top of them. There are safety mandates governing this type of work that are designed to help prevent such tragedies, but unfortunately, the accidents continue to occur.
In Oklahoma, a great number of workers are injured or killed each year in work-related driving accidents. These accidents account for the largest number of workplace fatalities every year, with 36 percent of all job fatalities in 2012 occurring due to such accidents.
Along with construction, agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries for workers, reportedly. In 2012, authorities estimated that the agriculture industry employed more than 1,850,000 workers, approximately half of whom were under the age of 20. Those in Oklahoma may be intrigued to hear that many workers in the industry are at risk for suffering injuries or even death.
When an Oklahoma resident is using a portable ladder at his or workplace, it's important that certain safety guidelines be followed in order to avoid injuries. According to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration, protection must be used by construction workers at least six feet off the ground, and workers in general industry should use protection when at least four feet off the ground.
In several recent posts, we've emphasized that no two workers' compensation claims may be alike.