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Safety initiatives crucial for wellbeing of Maryland workers

Construction accidents and industrial accidents seem to make the news the most in Maryland, but it turns out that agriculture, forestry and fishing occupations are actually the most dangerous fields of employment in the United States. In fact, one report finds that these industries have 2.5 times higher the risk of a fatal workplace accident than the field of construction work.

Accordingly, there exists a federal initiative called the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program which has effectively served to increase workplace safety in these industries. This is particularly important because there are a lot of young people and children that work in these industries. The initiatives of this program have served to successfully reduce child deaths and overall deaths by 40 percent in roughly a decade.

The program has also served to drastically decrease the rate of injury and death from heavy machinery rollovers on farms. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration governs most safety regulations, but many worksites of these industries are exempt. So NIOSHA serves to extend protection to more workers across the country, including here in Maryland.

While these safety pushes and increases are absolutely worth celebrating, injuries and accidents still happen in these industries and others in Maryland. It is critical that workers in Maryland are aware of their right and ability to recover following a workplace injury. The workers' compensation system can be difficult to navigate alone because there are often several parties working against an injured worker. An experienced attorney can assist a worker that has encountered an injury or illness through the course of their job in the pursuit of recovery.

Source: DevilsLakeJournal.com, "Review of safety programs for nation's deadlist jobs receives top marks," Feb. 12, 2013

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