New technology and research are making many aspects of our lives safer than ever. From crash-prevention technology to a better understanding of how the human body works, these innovations help prevent accidents and illnesses of all kinds. Unfortunately, these improved safety measures do not appear to be translating into certain industries where are a large number of workers still suffer serious injuries.
Workers employed in the construction and transportation industries are facing growing risks. From increased fatalities to more injuries, these men and women are putting their safety on the line in these necessary industries.
Employers are partly to blame
Many employers no longer provide as much safety training as they used to. This is an especially troubling problem in the construction industry, where safety training can mean the difference between life and death. A lack of proper training could be one of the reasons that the construction and trucking industries alone account for about half of all 2017 worker deaths in America.
Employers are also increasingly hiring less qualified workers than in the past. Some companies have loosened their standards regarding applicants who fail or only barely pass drug tests. Underqualified workers who do not receive adequate training are not only dangerous to themselves, but they can also put others at risk for injury.
Truck drivers face increasing pressure
The trucking industry puts an enormous amount of pressure on its drivers. While companies expect truck drivers to put in long hours behind the wheel, fewer qualified workers are compounding the problem. Many employers are encouraging workers to drive for longer stretches of time without adequate sleep.
Workers often feel worried about saying “no” to their bosses’ requests. Even in an economy with a shortage of workers, workers might feel worried that their employment could be at risk. The problem has gotten so bad that the National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers Health and Injury reported that over 33% of drivers had experienced unexpectedly falling asleep on the job.
Your work shouldn’t hurt
Employers prioritizing the bottom line over worker safety is nothing new. Skimping out on things like safety training and safe work practices puts all workers at risk for serious injuries or even death. Unfortunately, it does not look as if Massachusetts employers plan on changing their approach to safety anytime soon.
If you experienced an injury on the job, you understand just how devastating the physical, emotional and financial toll can be. You might even be considering returning to work early so that you can start earning a paycheck. This is rarely a good idea, as going back before a full recovery often exacerbates existing medical conditions. Instead, applying for workers’ compensation benefits can help you get the compensation you need for your serious injuries.