Georgia work accidents happen every day in a variety of industries, and employees have a right to know about the potential risks.
That’s why the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration requires most employers to post a log of work-related injuries and illnesses each year. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys understand that the posting of Form 300A for 2012 incidents must be done at some point between Feb. 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
The form, which has to be put up in a common area where informational notices to employees are normally located, will also include general information about the yearly average number of employees and total hours worked throughout the previous calendar year. If a company has had no illnesses or injuries over the last year, the firm still has to post the notice, with the indication that the total for the year was zero.
Generally, companies that have 10 or fewer employees are exempt from reporting, but in some cases the Bureau of Labor Statistics will select a few of these to participate in annual safety surveys. (Partially-exempt industries would include those in certain low-hazard fields like insurance, finance, retail or real estate.)
But even the exemption from posting this form doesn’t exempt employers from having to follow OSHA’s safety guidelines. Any incident that results in a fatality or hospitalization has to be reported to OSHA within eight hours.
In Georgia in 2011 (the latest year for which information is available) the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates there were a total of 107 workplace fatalities throughout the year. (There were more than 4,600 nationwide.) Of those, 17 were attributable to violence, 45 to transportation incidents, 5 to fires and explosions, 16 to falls, 9 to exposure to harmful chemicals or substances and 15 from falling or hazardous objects or equipment.
The vast majority of these incidents involved wage and salary employers (16 involved self-employed individuals). Most (103) were men, and most were in private industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and warehousing.
As might be expected, jobs where physical labor was a fundamental requirement had a higher rate of injury and fatalities in Georgia.
The top 10 most frequently-cited OSHA standards violations in 2011 involved:
- Fall protections;
- Hazard communication standards;
- Lack of respiratory protections;
- Faulty electrical wiring;
- Hazardous energy control;
- Powered industrial trucks;
- Construction ladders;
- Deficient electrical system designs;
- Faulty machine guards.
The good news is that overall, workplace fatalities are down, from nearly 40 a day in 1970 to about 13 in 2011.
Still, annual workplace injuries in the U.S. top 4 million, with many of those accidents causing debilitating and life-long conditions and ailments.
Workers should avail themselves of the accident/illness information posted by employers because staying informed of the dangers that have already occurred could prompt additional awareness and potentially result in prevention.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.
Employers Prompted To Post Injury And Illness Summaries, Feb. 11, 2013, By Heidi Schwartz, Today’s Facility Manager Magazine
More Blog Entries:
Atlanta Workplaces & Carbon Monoxide Dangers, Feb. 14, 2013, Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog