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Too many victims of fatal workplace injuries in New York

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Workers across the country, including in New York, stopped to pay tribute to all those who said goodbye to their loved ones and went to work, never to return. Workers Memorial Day took place on April 28. The most recent data on record is that of 2015, which indicates that the number of fatal workplace injuries in that year exceeded 4,800 — 236 of those were from New York. The intention is to maintain awareness of the importance of workplace safety.

Although job safety has improved greatly since laws were passed to protect workers over 40 years ago, employee health and safety remain a significant concern in these challenging times. The total number of federal occupational safety inspectors in New York is only 93. This means that to inspect only existing workplaces one time, it would take those inspectors 152 years.

Workplace safety advocates are concerned that the achieved gains might be in danger with proposed cuts in funding. Representative trade unions of 2.5 million members that include workers and retirees along with their families say they will work together not to let these people down. While too many workers lose their lives in New York, there are also thousands of employees who suffer life-changing injuries; some of them are left permanently disabled.

New York families who have lost loved ones in on-the-job accidents are entitled to seek financial assistance through the workers’ compensation insurance program. Death benefits typically cover end-of-life expenses and provide wage-replacement packages to help surviving family members. Victims of workplace injuries are also entitled to file benefits claims for coverage of medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: lohud.com, “Protect workplace safety, don’t weaken it: View“, Mario Cilento, April 27, 2017

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