According to a report issued by the AFL-CIO, workers in Pennsylvania might be less safe under the Trump administration than they were under the Obama administration. The president of the union stated that while the Obama administration’s commitment to worker safety had led to tightening regulations and strengthening protections against retaliation, the aims of the Trump administration were to roll regulations back.
In 2015, the report stated, more than 4,800 workers died because of on-the-job injuries, and another 50,000 to 60,000 died of job-related illnesses. Injuries and illnesses cost billions of dollars annually. Workers 65 and older and Latino workers appear to be among the most vulnerable. Older workers were 2.5 times more likely to be killed, and the fatality rate for Latino workers was 18 percent higher than the national average.
In 2015, more than 900 construction workers died in work-related accidents, and the construction industry, along with agriculture and transportation, was one of the most dangerous. Across industries, workplace violence represented an increasing threat, leading to the death of 703 people. According to the report, the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has saved the lives of over 550,000 workers.
Most injured employees or employees who develop work-related illnesses are eligible for workers’ compensation although some may not realize it. Workers’ compensation may help workers and their families cover medical costs and other expenses while the employee is recovering or could provide permanent benefits for employees unable to return to work. An attorney can advise workers of their rights and assist with paperwork and any necessary appeals.