Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970 to help reduce on-the-job injuries, illnesses and fatalities throughout the country.

The main principle behind OSHA is that by keeping employees healthy and safe, companies can reduce workers’ compensation and medical costs. Maintaining safe practices also tends to raise productivity, reduce training costs because fewer workers need to be replaced and cut the need for overtime.

Workplace deaths have fallen by more than 65 percent, from approximately 38 a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2011. Occupational injuries and illnesses have gone down 67 percent.

However, while OSHA has made a significant difference, workplace dangers still exist, and deaths continue to occur in workplaces across the country.

South Carolina Workplace Fatalities

Employers nationwide are subject to the federal standards designated by OSHA. But some states have their own plans that are federally approved and identical to the federal government’s rules. South Carolina is one of 25 states with such plans.

According to the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 81 workers were fatally injured 2011. Of those deaths, 46 involved transportation accidents. The majority of transportation fatalities (31) were on South Carolina roadways in motor vehicles. Three of the fatalities occurred in off-road motor vehicles such as construction equipment or fork lifts, and eight were pedestrian accidents.

Of those killed on the job in 2011, 48 were private sector employees. Government workers made up 11 of the deaths, and 22 of those who died were self-employed.

Need Legal Help?

Wherever you work in South Carolina, you expect your employer to make safety a priority. Unfortunately, some businesses do not look out for the wellbeing of their workers. If you or a loved one has been hurt at a South Carolina workplace, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm. Call (877) 941-2615 or use our online form so our attorneys can offer you advice about your rights.

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About the Author

Ken Harrell joined Joye Law Firm in 1994, and has been the managing partner since 2006. With 30 years of experience, he protects the rights of injured South Carolinians, including cases involving workers’ compensation, car accidents, and defective products. Ken also leads the firm’s referral practice, helping to ensure that our clients receive the best possible representation. He is a past president of South Carolina Injured Workers’ Advocates, and has served as the co-chairman of this organization’s legislative affairs committee for 12 years.

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