There were 209 people killed on the job in the State of Florida in 2012, according to preliminary statistics recently released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although we saw 17 fewer fatalities than in 2011, we still have a long way to go when it comes to keeping employees safe on the job.
According to the preliminary estimates, there were 44 people killed by violence on the job, close to 70 killed in on-the-job transportation accidents, 6 killed in fires and explosions, 42 died in slip, trip, and fall accidents, nearly 25 killed by exposure to harmful substances and another 28 were killed after contact with an object or equipment.
Our Cape Coral work accident attorneys understand that the number of work fatalities nationwide dropped from 2011 to 2012, but only by about 300.
While yes, this is good news, the truth of the matter is that we’re still losing thousands on the job each and every year. Here in the state of Florida, officials work to protect employee rights with a series of strict labor laws enforcing wage determination, fair child labor rules, unemployment compensation, notification rights, workplace safety and protection from discrimination and sexual harassment. Unfortunately, these regulations aren’t always effective, and employers too often fail to put ample focus on workplace safety. This is why it’s critical for you to understand your rights as a Florida employee.
Minor Workers (Ages 14-18):
Child workers are permitted to have a 30-minute uninterrupted break once for every 4 hours of work. They also can be employed in positions under a list of “safe jobs” determined by the state of Florida. They cannot work for companies that deal with slaughtering, mining, radioactive materials, explosives or other dangerous occupations.
Under this regulation, workers have the right to get a 60-day notice before a company closes or partakes in mass layoffs. These kinds of layoffs are defined as firing a third of the workforce within a month period.
Freedom from Harassment and Discrimination:
Under Florida State law, you have the right to a safe work environment, free from discrimination due to sex, race, age, national origin, religion, disability or pregnancy. Under Florida law, you are also protected from any kind of sexual harassment. If you feel that you’ve fallen victim to any of these circumstances, you have the right to speak out without the fear of retaliation.
Safety On The Job:
Workers in the state of Florida are to be guaranteed a safe work environment. Employers are to ensure that all work environments are free of known dangers that may cause illness, injury or death. Again, you have the right to speak out in the event that you do not feel safe, and you have that right to do so without fear or retaliation.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have spent four decades fighting for the rights of injured employees throughout South Florida. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Preventing South Florida Construction Falls with New CDC App, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 31, 2013
SWFL Construction Accidents a Spring and Summer Concern, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 18, 2013