A recent audit by the State of Vermont found that state officials aren’t
doing enough to prevent
workplace injuries suffered by state workers. And it’s safe to say these types of problems
aren’t relegated to Vermont alone.
First, however, let’s look at the flaws in Vermont’s system.
The audit found many weaknesses in how the state reports, records, reviews,
and prevents instances of work injury. The result: 4,825 injuries or illnesses
work-related injuries related to state employees alone in the last five
years. The only good news that can be gleaned from this audit is the fact
that the State Employee Workers Compensation and Injury Prevention Office
agreed with the findings. They admitted more needed to be done.
Nonetheless, the audit was alarming for multiple reasons.
First, Vermont is a relatively well-funded state with strong union support.
We’d venture to guess the protection for state workers is above-average
when compared to other states.
Second, if states aren’t doing enough to prevent state workers, we
can safely say private businesses – who, unlike governments, have
pressing profit demands – aren’t doing much better.
And third, state employees, much like private workers, engage in very dangerous
work like road construction, police, and prison work. You can bet, therefore,
the levels of preventable injuries at the private level are at least equal
to that of the public sector.
The sad reality is that even at the public employee level, not enough is
being done to protect workers from work injuries. If that’s the
case, then who is looking out for private workers? The answer: the team
at Thomas F. Martin PLC. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job,
give us a call. We will review your potential case at no charge and let you know if we can help.