The latest government data shows that the number of workplace injuries and workplace deaths was the lowest ever recorded in 2006, the latest year available. The actual figures are 4.4 injuries or illness per 100,000 employees and 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 employees.
Still, employers can do much more to keep reducing these figures. Workplace safety should be the prime consideration of employers and general contractors. Even one serious injury or one death is too many. Every one can be avoided with proper training and proper supervision. OSHA has done a lot of good work to reduce the problems, but it can do much more.
Generally, employees injured on the job are not permitted to sue their employers. Their only remedy is to file a workers compensation claim. This “no fault” system has been around since the early 20th Century. Maybe the time has come to allow workers the right to sue their employers directly. This may have the effect of reducing the number of products liability suits that arise from workplace injuries. The issue needs to be studied and debated.