Every year, worker safety groups, advocates, and labor unions observe Workers Memorial Day to pay respect to workers who lost their lives on the job. This year’s Workers Memorial Day commemoration, observed last Sunday, came just a few days after a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas and a serious barge explosion along the Gulf Coast.
These high-profile workplace accidents might have received a lot of attention. But every day, workers report to work with no guarantee that they will return home uninjured or safe.
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made a lot of progress in increasing workplace safety inspections, the fact is that the agency is severely understaffed and over-stressed It does not have the number of inspectors needed to conduct inspections for all workplaces in the entire country. As a result, oversight is minimal, and many employers take advantage of this by neglecting safety protocols
No one would deny that more progress is needed to ensure the safety of workers. Some industries such as the construction industry, trucking industry, manufacturing sector, logging and forestry industries continue to report high numbers of accidents and injuries every year. Employers need to make more efforts to prioritize workplace safety and make safety an integral part of the corporate culture.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta worker’s compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the worker’s compensation benefits that they are entitled to.