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Workplace conditions cause fatal accidents and illnesses

A recent report from the AFL-CIO reports that more than 150 people a day die from work-related illnesses or injuries. While overall workplace safety in Atlanta has steadily improved since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed, the fact is that nearly 137 people a day die from diseases related to work, and another 13 are lost through workplace accidents or injuries. While the fishing and logging industries have the highest wrongful death rates, workers in public sector jobs like nursing and fire safety are the most likely to have non-fatal injuries and serious illnesses.

Information regarding accidental deaths at the workplace was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA. The AFL-CIO data regarding illnesses is supported by a June 2012 presentation given by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. As a result of these studies, the AFL-CIO is encouraging congress to pass the Protecting America's Workers Act, a piece of legislation that would strengthen OSHA and provide them with more staffers to ensure that employers comply with current workplace safety laws.

While OSHA plays an important role in making sure that workers are safe while on the job, the fact is that attorneys may also play an important role. When a fatal accident claims a loved one, people often turn to government agencies for assistance. However, understaffed agencies may not be able to perform a thorough investigation to determine what the true cause of the accident was. It's important to determine who is truly at fault for any accident because the owner of a building may be the at-fault party based on premises liability.

Anytime workers are dealing with dangerous conditions on a regular basis, it's up to the property owner or the company owner to make sure those conditions are improved. When they fail to protect their employees, the result can be a tragic accident or even a serious and debilitating illness. Attorneys may be able to help by determining who is to blame for an accident and working with victims to ensure that they receive the necessary compensation.

Source: MSNBC, "US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report", Ned Resnikoff, May 08, 2013

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