Workers who trim and remove trees use many kinds of safety equipment, including hard hats, safety harnesses and specially designed boots and shoes. Occasionally, however, even the most mindful of precautions can be defeated by unexpected events, as was recently demonstrated by a fatal accident on the job in Trumbull.
What are the most dangerous occupations in the United States? Most people in Connecticut have intuitive answers to this question, but the actual statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States Department of Labor provide some clear cut answers to the question of which occupations have the highest rates of workplace fatalities.
Connecticut and her neighboring states are dotted with small manufacturing plants. Many of these facilities use chemicals that can cause fires and explosions if they are mishandled or used improperly. A recent factory explosion in eastern New York state shows how even the manufacture of mundane products such as cosmetics can produce a devastating workplace accident.
The Connecticut workers compensation system is predicated on a compromise: workers give up their right to sue their employers for workplace injuries or illnesses and employers agree to pay benefits without a showing of liability. This compromise does not, however, include entities that may be entirely or partially at fault for a workplace accident. Employees are not restricted in any way from seeking damages from parties other than their employers for on-the-job injuries.
Semi-trailer trucks lined up at loading docks waiting to be loaded or unloaded are a common sight in Connecticut. When they are parked, big rigs appear to be harmless, but even a small malfunction in moving these large trucks can cause a serious workplace accident.
Construction workers are frequently required to move loads that are far heavier than human lifting and carrying ability. For short moves, workers commonly use "tow motors," a small truck powered by a battery or propane engine. These vehicles often resemble fork lift trucks without the lifting apparatus. A tow motor appears to lie at the center of a sequence of unexplained events that have resulted in a fatal accident on a construction site in Ansonia, Connecticut.
Most workplace accidents are caused by man-made items or equipment, such as ladders, scaffolds, retaining walls, saws, and drills. In a remarkable exception to this rule, a recent fatal workplace accident near Windsor, Connecticut was caused by a wholly natural object - a falling tree.
Everyday, residents in Connecticut go to work. This might seem like a routine action and is a very necessary part of life, providing a livable income to individuals in all areas, industries and careers, but it can quickly turn into a dangerous activity. An employee can suffer a workplace injury or illness in a workplace accident, which could prove detrimental to his or her health. One of these incidences could result in the inability to work, either temporarily or permanently. Therefore, it is important for employees, no matter where they work, to understand their rights and options following a workplace accident.
In 1970, the Congress passed and President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The act was passed to prevent workers from suffering injuries in accidents at work. The act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to administer the Act and enforce its mandatory safety provisions. OSHA has jurisdiction over work place conditions in Connecticut.
A Connecticut Department of Transportation employee suffered injuries when the employee was hit by a moving vehicle while on the job. The employee was attending to a road project on Route 15 in North Haven when the vehicle collided with the employee and caused the road to be closed for several hours. Thankfully the employee did not suffer life-threatening injuries and will likely recover.