Are American workplaces becoming safer places to work? Who is responsible when a workplace accident leads to loss of life? Worksites are full of potentially deadly hazards and stricter enforcement of safety standards is reducing the rates of wrongful deaths. However, declining fatality rates due to enhanced training and stricter code enforcement does not mean that every risk has been eliminated. When wrongful deaths occur, surviving family members may be able to pursue claims against the individual's employer and those responsible for creating unsafe working conditions.
Workplace Accidents Are Declining, but Still a Major Problem
Workplaces are getting safer, but they are still not safe enough. In 2017, contact with equipment deaths declined 9% from 761 in 2016 to 695 in 2017. Deaths from entanglements in machinery declined 26% from 103 in 2016 to 76 in 2017. similarly, crane-related fatalities declined to 33 which was the lowest level ever recorded. Reasons for the decline include better training and stricter enforcement of OSHA safety standards.
Interestingly, the number of OSHA inspections has declined, too. In 2014, OSHA conducted a total of 36,163 inspections. This dropped slightly to 35,820 in 2015, and dropped dramatically to 31,948 in 2016. The data shows that private and public entities are beginning to take workplace safety seriously. Rather, the fear of penalties and fines is compelling them to improve safety. As of 2016, the maximum penalty rose from $7,000 per violation to $12,471 per violation. For willful or repeated violations, the maximum penalty rose from $70,000 to $124,709. These were the most significant increases since 1990.
Pursuing Claims for Wrongful Death in the Workplace
Survivors in Kansas can pursue claims for injuries or death as well as compensation for family members for the loss of income and loss of consortium. Survivors can also pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any property damage that occurred. As with all wrongful death claims, documentation and strict adherence to any applicable statutes of limitations is crucial.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm with accident injury attorneys, car accident lawyers, truck accident lawyers, auto accident attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois for clients pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys can provide the legal help you need to pursue your personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death claims. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Voda, Follett, Catesby, Slapcut, May, Fort Supply, Rosston, Selman, Laverne, Gate, Lookout, or elsewhere in these states, our Wichita law firm helps clients understand the process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in these cities and in the states where we practice.