A surprising report that was released in March of this year shows that, while on-the-job fatalities are declining across most of the united states, workplaces in Florida are becoming less and less safe. In a thoroughly researched piece, the Orlando Sentinel discussed the contemporary issue as well as some of the many cases that have led to Florida’s fatality rate increasing from 2.7 to 3.1 deaths for every 1,000 confirmed workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the recent year-long reporting period showed that while Florida’s fatality rate increased the national worker fatality rate declined, going from 3.43 deaths for every 1,000 workers to 3.38.
Workplace accidents can happen at any job, even those that seem safe. In an incident last year (which was reported on this blog), Bruce Stevenson Jr. was working at Monterey Mushroom Inc. in Apopka when a pile of six mushroom laden trays, each weighing around 849 pounds, collapsed and crushed him to death. At the time, Stevenson was operating a forklift, and as the load began to topple he left the vehicle and tried to run away. While Stevenson’s training told him never to leave the forklift in incidents such as this, the following OSHA investigation revealed that the mushroom plant could have easily implemented numerous other safety measurements which would have prevented the fatal accident from taking place.
Those who work in construction find themselves working in hazardous situations almost every day. In February of 2016 construction was underway on Interstate 4 when the 34-year-old Marvin Franklin was asked to work on a ramp frequency used by dump trucks accessing the construction site. As he was walking to the area, a dump truck ran him over. The driver of the truck remained unaware of the situation until crew members shouted at him to stop driving. The OSHA investigation in this case revealed that the site suffered from lack of spotters as well as numerous other details that, while seemingly small, would have saved the life of this worker.
Workplace injuries and fatalities are extremely difficult to move beyond. In both cases, massive bills emerge in order to properly deal with the accident’s aftermath. Often, these financial issues arise in tandem with the loss (temporary or permanent) of a household wage earner. What the statistics from the past year indicate is that Florida companies need to be doing more to ensure that their employees are as safe as possible.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
Connect with James O. Cunningham on Google+