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Report reveals need for better safety policies in workplace

Most Americans wake up five days a week only to spend eight or more hours at work. Some see their co-workers more often than their families and see work as a type of second home. One can suffer minor or lifelong injuries from simply doing their job, even those that are considered low risk. But unlike one's home when a person gets hurt while on the job they can file for workers compensation. While the safety net of workers compensation is a positive invention many are working toward reducing workplace accidents.

A new report issued by two Massachusetts groups with an interest in worker safety suggested improvements to the safety training and standards for private and public workers. The report found that 48 individuals died in workplace accidents last year, many of which were preventable. A majority of the deaths came from falls or workers being caught or crushed in equipment. Many of the deaths were preventable and as such the groups who wrote the report recommended not only passing a bill which would extend protections to public sector workers but for more stringent regulations.

Seeking worker's compensation is many people's only option for workplace injuries as laws often bar other avenues of recovery. Massachusetts has an exclusive remedy provision associated with workers compensation making it the default starting place for work place injuries. This provision does have exceptions recognized by the courts of Massachusetts.

Workers Compensation serves the purpose of caring for those who were injured while performing duties for their employer. While having a safety net is a good idea working toward preventing serious workplace accidents in the first place may do more good.

Source: Boston Globe, "Mass. jobs report urges tougher safety rules," Dan Adams, April 27, 2014

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