Schemery Zicolello

Pennsylvania workers remembered following their deaths

Across Pennsylvania people go to work every day and risk their lives. Some professions are inherently dangerous and require careful skill, attention to detail and precautions to avoid workplace accidents. However, accidents are not always avoidable and workers do get hurt. In some unfortunate cases, workers are even killed because of a job injury.

One Pennsylvania town recently commemorated the lives of those who have been killed in workplace accidents. During the memorial service, 50 people gathered to remember more than 750 people who had lost their lives while at work. While some of these deaths are decades old, three happened within the last year. To remember each person, a bell was rung.

While memorial services may be an important part of the healing following a workplace accident, they do little to ease the burden on the families of those killed and do not answer critical questions about why the accident occurred. Instead, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration steps into try and answer questions about why an accident happened and how to prevent it in the future. Many times these investigations end with the employer being fined, but do little to improve the families' day-to-day lives.

Workers compensation, on the other hand, is available to help families. When a family member is killed in a workplace accident, it can cause a huge financial burden. There is almost certainly lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses that the family must unexpectedly account for. Workers compensation helps to fill these gaps and provide compensation to families when they lose a loved one because of a job injury. Workers compensation can provide benefits for lost wages and provide compensation for medical bills and other expenses relating to the accident.

Source: The Express-Times, "Lehigh Valley workers who died on job remembered during memorial ceremony in Bethlehem -- Update," Pamela Sroka-Holzmann, May 1, 2013

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