No job is without risk, and there are dangers we face every day walking across our front doorstep, but in recent years, the health and safety standards on job sites where perils are ubiquitous, like construction zones and chemical plants, have come under increasing scrutiny for risk mitigation. And when tragedy strikes, it’s natural to feel as if some repayment for the injury sustained is warranted—but is it always? Workplace accidents are common, and workman’s compensation programs are available for most, so how do you know when it’s time to hire an injury lawyer for something that happened on the job? It’s a hard decision to make, and being caught up in emotions that would follow an event like this one, especially in small communities where it happens, makes it even more difficult.
In the Park City, Utah accident, for example, one man was fatally injured while operating a saw at a construction site. For the friends and family of Jesus Garcia Hermosillo, current emotions must be overwhelming, and already the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, which should provide helpful information about workplace safety regulations and whether they were being observed by the workers at the time of the accident. But will the report be accessible to the family members? Or will they need to hire an injury lawyer to gain access to the information it contains?
Many times, results of investigations are delivered first to the company where the accident occurred, so that they can correct any mistakes in their operational procedures and avoid future incidents. And while the family of injured workers has a right to the results of the investigations, they are often difficult to obtain. This is the case for small and large companies alike, like this story reports on DuPont’s recently received criticism for its failing safety standards and rising rates of accidents and deaths across the country. While more than one employee union, government agency and injury lawyer are expressing strong concerns about safety standards in the company, DuPont’s massive wealth and power in the chemical industry leaves it largely unaffected by the lawsuits and fines it’s incurred in the last several years.
But despite being contacted almost regularly by an injury attorney or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with lawsuits, fines, and investigations, DuPont is in denial, saying “the workplace deaths have overshadowed a still-strong safety record” and that their “injury rate is below average for the chemical industry.” These are statements that don’t help grieving family members or badly injured employees pick up the pieces of their lives and make sense of them. As long as the company continues to go about their business under cavalier operational standards in the face of numerous incidents, they’re putting their employees at risk.
Still, sometimes accidents can happen, even when all safety standards are being followed. Again, it’s about risk mitigation for the people working hazardous jobs—safety first, always.