Ohio is one of 24 states where the number of deaths that occur due to workplace injury has increased this last year. Federal safety inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated more deaths in Ohio than in any other state in the Midwest.
Total, there were approximately 180 work-related deaths across the state, which is actually in the same ball park from 2014. A safety equipment inspector told Daytona Daily News that, essentially, Ohio has reached a plateau in its numbers for work-related deaths. Despite his implications that residents are supposed to feel grateful that the numbers are not increasing, there is still need for concern.
Why Does Ohio Have the Largest Number of Workplace Fatalities in the Midwest?
The fact is workplace fatalities have been on the rise this last year across the nation. The increase in Ohio fatalities, however, is in the double digits. Deaths due to construction workplace accidents increased by 21 percent, there was an 11 percent increase in workplace manufacturing deaths and a 23 percent increase in trades (such as utility or transportation workers). In particular, most deaths occur in the manufacturing and construction industries within Ohio.
Reporters from the Journal News publication found that, essentially, at least one Ohio worker is dying while working every week. The retired OSHA Cincinnati Area Director believes the predominantly high number of deaths can be attributed to a younger workforce entering the construction and manufacturing industries. Additionally, the former Area Director went on to say in most cases office resources are stretched too thin, which means these younger workers don’t always get access to training and safety materials as is necessary. Moreover, it seems fewer employers are providing paid safety practices and training courses for their employees.
What is the State Doing to Protect Workers?
As a result from both these high mortality numbers and the growing public concern, OSHA is increasing its awareness campaigns and safety education promotions in Ohio. OSHA also provides free evaluation on the work site for small businesses, assistance with workplace compliance and access to educational safety training material. The former Area Director said OSHA always begins attempting to make changes by going straight to the employers and stressing their responsibility to keep their workers safe. If changes aren’t made for Ohio, he said it is likely OSHA will crack down on enforcement.
Our Columbus workers comp attorney protects injured workers in the Columbus, Zanesville, Newark, Shayside areas in Ohio