To help prevent workplace accidents, companies owe a duty of care to maintain and repair their equipment. An injury or death caused by an employer failing to provide a safe work environment may require a lawsuit to help a family recover.
In 2019, a record-breaking 5,333 employees died from workplace accidents, according to figures published by the National Safety Council. This represents a 2% increase from workplace fatalities in 2018 and the most incidents in the U.S. since 2007.
Employers owe a duty to train workers to prevent dangerous conditions
Employers have the responsibility of training workers on how to use equipment, machinery and vehicles. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that transportation accidents caused the most deaths in 2019. More than 2,000 vehicle incidents contributed to an employee’s death during routine work activities. Providing drivers with safety training could help reduce fatal roadway accidents.
BLS data also revealed that trips, slips and fall accidents increased by 11% between 2018 and 2019. Employers exercising better care in eliminating potentially dangerous conditions could help reduce the risk of mishaps that result in deaths or catastrophic injuries.
Objects may create a hazardous environment
Heavy objects falling or swinging could cause a devastating workplace accident. As reported by the Norfolk Daily News, a Nebraska food processing plant employee died after a dock leveler dropped and struck him. The poorly secured dock leveler fell onto the employee during a maintenance procedure. Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the employer for violating several safety requirements.
Employers must maintain, monitor and repair their equipment. Training employees in accident prevention may also help reduce or eliminate fatal injuries. When an employer’s failure to provide safe workplace conditions results in a fatality, surviving family members may file a legal action for damages.