According to the Connecticut Department of Labor On April 28, an average of 40 Connecticut workers die from injuries suffered at the workplace. Another 50,000 or so are injured in accidents at work.

On April 28, workers and labor unions marked Workers Memorial Day with an event the Connecticut AFL-CIO called “Safe Jobs. Safe Lives. Make Your Voice Heard.” The event featured a march from the state Capitol in Hartford to the Workers Memorial in nearby Bushnell Park, where participants laid wreaths and read the names of workers who were killed.

Government and labor groups continue to try to make workplaces safer, and they say they have made good progress. However, they often face budget shortfalls and stiff opposition from business owners. According to the state AFL-CIO, Connecticut has only 24 workplace safety inspectors. With that low number, the union argues, it would take the inspectors 106 years to inspect each workplace in the state just once.

Workers should know that state and federal laws protect them when they report workplace safety hazards or cooperate with Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections. They should also know that the workers’ compensation system can provide them with benefits when they are injured on the job. It can also provide benefits to the families of workers who are killed in workplace accidents.

When the workers’ compensation system works as it supposed to, injured workers or their families make a claim and receive benefits in predetermined amounts. They don’t have to prove employer negligence or jump through serious legal hurdles. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always work as it should. Employers and their insurers often make it difficult for injured workers or their families to collect the benefits to which they are entitled. A Connecticut attorney with experience in the state’s workers’ compensation system can help injured workers or their families to navigate this often difficult system.

Source: CBS Connecticut, “Workers Memorial Monday,” April 27, 2014