Many employees in Kentucky have to deal with unsafe working conditions. For many companies, it appears that safety, as with so much else, is being subordinated to the bottom line.
Recently, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health released a list of a “dirty dozen” companies that are notorious safety offenders. Though the list is not detailed and is geared toward National COSH’s goal of establishing and strengthening unions, the information it provides is revealing. Among the companies noted for unsafe practices are Tesla and Amazon.
Since 2013, seven people have died in Amazon warehouses. Tesla currently has an accident rate 31 percent above the industry average, and it is now being investigated by the California branch of OSHA because it recently misidentified on-the-job injuries as personal medical cases occurring outside of work.
A waste disposal company called Waste Management was also listed; it has so far received over 60 citations from OSHA. The poultry farming and processing company Case Farms, which was on the list as well, has committed 74 OSHA violations per 1,000 employees.
The common thread is that some employers are blatantly disregarding safety. This is unfortunate for the companies because every worker death costs them millions, decreases productivity and creates bad publicity.
It’s important to note that employees who have been hurt on the job can receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can cover things like medical expenses and a percentage of the wages lost during physical recovery. Filing for these does mean that employees must waive the right to sue their employer for the same injury. Before filing, they can think about retaining a lawyer to make the process easier. A lawyer could even assist with an appeal should the claim be denied.