The question posed in this blog title is being earnestly debated by advocates on both sides of the argument. On-the-job injuries noted by the federal government have dropped discernibly over the past 10 years, but not everyone in Ohio and elsewhere with a close interest in workplace safety believes that the downward spike is a positive development.
Stories that regularly surface in Ohio media outlets regarding work-related injuries make it manifestly clear that all manner of on-the-job injuries occur in industries across the state, and in high numbers.
One realm that often seems to be de-emphasized when it comes to talk of workplace accidents and employees' on-the-job injuries is the agricultural industry.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted by Congress in 1970. Its objective over the past 40-plus years has been to promote workplace safety in Ohio and all other states by providing for training, conducting inspections that identify safety hazards, recognizing both exemplary and safety-lagging enterprises, and enforcing standards though fines and an array of other penalties and sanctions.
As has been noted in prior posts for this blog, the need for workers suffering work-related accidents and on-the-job injuries to collect workers' compensation benefits for lost wages, medical expenses and other costs is a constant in many industries in Ohio and across the country.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) has long required that employers of workers who have sustained on-the-job injuries satisfy safety training requirements by having a company representative attend a two-hour training session. The goal is to underscore the importance of employees' safety in the workplace, review accident causes and company policies and improve workplace injury outcomes in the future.
A recent study found a link between being knocked unconscious, exposure to certain chemical toxins, and an individual being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Authors were careful to note that finding a link does not mean that these factors cause the disease, but rather that the information brings us closer to understanding Parkinson's disease, which affects thousands of adults each year.
Two weeks ago, an Ohio man was found dead at a construction company's office in Tallmadge. The 48-year-old, a mechanic from Deerfield, died of compressional asphyxia, according to the medical examiner. A co-worker found him dead, trapped under a pneumatic lift.
The recent saga of Tom Tupa, an ex-NFL player seeking to collect workers' compensation benefits for a work-related injury he sustained on a playing field in 2005, is widely instructive, including in Ohio. The league has teams across the country, including one in Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively, and Tupa's story reveals much about how the NFL and its teams view workers' comp claims and seek to defend against them.
Workplace accidents and injuries are simply a fact of life on construction sites, in factories, on roadwork crews and in a number of work environments. Some companies simply have demonstrated safety records that underscore a lack of focus on or even due care concerning dangerous conditions or safety violations. Others admittedly do work very hard to increase workplace safety, but, notwithstanding their efforts, no work environment can ever be made totally free of risk and injury.