Ohio Work Place Accident News: OSHA Unable To Focus On Preventing Accidents
Ohio Work Place Accident News: OSHA Unable to Focus on Preventing Accidents
Ohio Work Place Accident Results in Fatal Cement Injury Reveals OSHA’s Inability to Work on Aiding Preventing Accidents
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), underfunding means that the safety organization is forced to focus more on work place accident investigation than accident prevention. According to the Cincinnati-area director of OSHA, Bill Wilkerson, it is high staff turnover rates, limited budgets, and government regulations that prevent the organization from setting up more preventive measures. He blames these three problems for the death of a Central Ready Mix LLC employee who was killed in a fatal Ohio work related accident last year.
According to OSHA, the cement company had not been inspected for 13 years. The Ohio construction accident occurred when an employee was engulfed in fly ash and died within minutes. According to Wilkerson, this Ohio work-related accident was “a terrible, preventable tragedy.” The plant was cited with 10 violations, including violations against OSHA’s confined space permit entry requirements. Wilkerson believes that if the Ohio region of OSHA had a targeted confined space operation, then the accident could have been prevented. Wilkerson says that currently, there is no safety inspection procedure in place that would prevent this kind of Ohio work place accident from occurring. [http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/osha-focuses-more-on-accident-response-hazards-tha/ngcSk/, August 2014]
Ron White, the director of regulatory policy for the nonprofit Center for Effective Government in Washington, D.C. agrees with Wilkerson. He stays underfunding and current government mandates require OSHA to spend a greater amount of time and resources investigating work related accidents. According to White, it would take OSHA’s current staff over 100 years to complete all necessary inspections in the United States to prevent accidents.
“We really are in a situation where OSHA is forced to understandably focus on those workplaces that already have a track record,” White told the Dayton Daily News. “What that means is there might be other places that don’t yet have a track record that have yet to be discovered.”
The death of the cement worker is not the only accident that shed light on the severe limits of OSHA. In April of 2013, a fertilizer plant in Texas exploded, killing 13 people and injuring an additional 160. According to the Associated Press, the plant, West Fertilizer Co., had not been inspected for safety since the 1980s. Serious safety oversights like this show that factory safety in the United States is severely lacking. If OSHA had the resources to complete safety inspections in a timely manner, thousands of serious injuries and hundreds of deaths could be prevented.
According to White, OSHA is currently responsible for the impossible task of keeping 130 million workers safe. Since OSHA is working with a tight budget and many other challenges, the agency is forced to focus on immediate safety problems exposed by accidents, rather than on preventable safety risks that have yet to result in a deadly accident. Wilkerson told the Dayton Daily News that OSHA usually only inspects a company if there is a reason, such as a high accident rate, or a serious injury or death that has occurred at that facility.
Despite the grim safety statistics, Wilkerson states that workplace accidents have fallen over the past decades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of workplace injuries and accidents in private sectors has dropped from 4.3 million in 2003 to 3 million in 2012. Fatalities have also dropped, from 5,764 to 4,628. Wilkerson cites education as the main reason for the rate of injury decline. “There’s a greater knowledge and understanding,” he said. “I think nothing replaces workers in the involvement of their own safety.”
If you or someone you love was injured in a work place accident, and you’re looking for an Ohio personal injury law firm that will guarantee the caring, personalized and loyal representation you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact Wright & Schulte LLC today. In Ohio, there are strict deadlines for filing worker’s compensation claims and work related accident lawsuits, so it’s important you act quickly. For a free, no obligation legal evaluation of your case, simply fill out the online form at www.yourohiolegalhelp.com, or give Wright & Schulte LLC a call, at (937)-222-7477.
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