Workers in Maryland might already know that the workplace environment has become safer over the past decade. Workplace injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, declined once again in 2013. The continuing of this trend requires cooperation on the part of many different safety groups and employers.
Programs supporting occupational safety and health have evolved in the past 11 years, and a myriad of different groups including employers, safety advocates, health workers and unions have sustained program goals. Despite the recent creation of more jobs, the number of workplace accidents continues to decline. However, officials note that efforts must continue and improve.
According to officials, the number of workers injured in 2013 was estimated at 3 million in the private sector. Some sections within the private sector that had the greatest decline in injuries included utilities, retail and manufacturing. While the numbers have decreased, occupational health advocates say that safety standards still require greater attention and implementation.
Promotion of worker health and safety is the goal of both governmental and private sector employers alike. However, when injuries happen, employers have a system in place to assist the employee while he or she recuperates. Most jurisdictions require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. According to a state-regulated formula, workers’ compensation provides medical and certain disability benefits. Employers who are mandated to provide workers’ compensation and refuse may be subject to criminal and civil penalties.
Knowing what is covered and being aware of eligibility requirements if a worker is injured might be aided by the insight an attorney may provide. The attorney may review an individual’s situation and offer guidance in applying for workers’ compensation benefits.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Three Million Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in 2013: BLS”, January 03, 2015