Minnesota workers may be interested to learn that representatives of several of the nation's occupational safety organizations met at the plenary session of Safety 2014 on June 10. The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was on hand to reference the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and asked that employers around the country use the incident as motivation for improving their own safety standards. The NIOSH director emphasized safety is often neglected due to the pressures companies face from their own supply chains.
In an effort to improve safety considerations, NIOSH has recently initiated a new initiative called Prevention through Design, which challenges companies to make safety an innate part of their operational infrastructure. Although the initiative is expected to become law in some other countries, the NIOSH director expressed his doubt that it would become so in the United States, but did say that he hoped employers would incorporate its values regardless.
In addition to the NIOSH director's statements, the assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration delivered remarks indicating that progress has been made in improving safety standards for temporary workers. He warned employers to either utilize safe business practices or face legal sanction.
All employers are responsible for providing safe working conditions for their employees. If an employee is injured on the job due to the negligence of his or her employer, they may have the option of attempting to secure compensation through a lawsuit. Whether or not to pursue litigation or agree to a workers' compensation settlement often depends on the precise circumstances in which the workplace accident took place. An attorney may be able to consult with an injured employee as to which option is preferable given their case. Source: CDC, "Prevention Through Design"
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Final Silica Standard Expected in 2016", June 12, 2014