Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe whether it is through ensuring that the proper equipment is provided and required when handling dangerous materials or providing proper guard rails. The only concern the employee should have is getting the job done correctly and on time, not wondering if they will make it through the day without serious injury.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration known as OSHA to most was set up to help enforce those safety regulations and has the authority to intervene when necessary. A workplace injury that occurred in New York earlier this week remains under investigation by officials.
According to reports, a worker whose identity remains anonymous fell from a height of 16 feet on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. The man had been working in a Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, New York. The specific lab had once housed a graphite research reactor. The workers were brought in to dismantle the large reactor.
At the time of the accident, the injured worker had been atop a lift in lab. Responders were initially concerned about radiation, but a scan of the worker turned out to be negative calming at least one of the fears. There are currently approximately 3,000 workers employed at the lab and about 400 of them currently work with radiological materials.
As the investigation continues, the family of the injured worker no doubt waits for news about his recovery. When a worker is injured on the job, the family not only worries about their loved ones health but often struggles financially when wages are lost.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Worker injured in fall at NY’s Brookhaven Lab,” Nov. 29, 2011