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Economic recovery increases risk of Massachusetts work accidents

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate for January 2011 had dropped 0.4% to 9.0%. The last time it was that low was April 2009 when it was 8.9%.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys are glad to see the economy recovering. If you are a new hire make sure you receive proper safety training to avoid a Massachusetts work accident.
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As reported by the Workers’ Comp Gazette it appears that some members of Congress blame OSHA for jobs lost because they are punishing employers rather than promoting prevention.

Common sense rules to protect employees have been in place for over 40 years but 12 workers die every day from injuries sustained at work. Another 3 million are injured. Safety regulations must be maintained and for some companies getting hit in the bottom-line is the only way they will get the message. Employees have the right to feel safe in the workplace. In fact, they have a right to BE safe in the workplace.

Assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Dr. David Michaels, released the following statement as the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce holds a hearing on ‘Investigating OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda and Its Impact on Job Creation.’

“I think we can all agree that the American economy must succeed but never at the cost of the safety or health of American workers. OSHA’s goal is to ensure that everyone who goes to work returns home safely. I think we can also agree that the size of a business should not determine the level of protection that a worker receives. All workers have the same right to a safe workplace.”

“Despite concerns about the effect of regulation on American business, there is clear evidence that OSHA’s commonsense regulations have made working conditions in this country today far safer than 40 years ago when the agency was created, while at the same time protecting American jobs. The truth is that OSHA standards don’t kill jobs. They stop jobs from killing workers. OSHA standards don’t just prevent worker injuries and illnesses. They also drive technological innovation, making industries more competitive.”

“The failure to issue sensible regulations endangers not only workers’ health and safety but also hurts American competitiveness. For example, because OSHA has a weak noise standard and weak enforcement, U.S. employers have no incentive to buy modern, quieter machines, which means that U.S. manufacturers don’t build them, and there are few jobs in the U.S. for engineers who could design them. A recent study by the National Academy of Engineering concludes that European manufacturers are way ahead of us in designing and building modern, quieter machinery. Today, when businesses anywhere in the world want to buy quieter equipment, they look not to the United States but to Europe.”

“As we approach OSHA’s 40th anniversary, the agency’s success has been well documented. An estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job the year that Congress created OSHA. That number had fallen to approximately 4,340 in 2009. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes more than 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites. Since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.9 per 100 workers in 2008.”

If you have sustained a workplace injury or have a Boston workers’ compensation claim, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for assistance. Accountability is the number one priority so call toll free at 1-877-617-5333 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.