Pennsylvania is not doing enough to protect its residents from the leading causes of preventable death according to a report from the National Safety Council. Accidental deaths are at an all-time high according to the NSC, and the nonprofit and nongovernmental public service organization decided to shed light on this issue by grading all 50 states based on how well they protect their residents from accidents in the home, on the roads and at work.
No state was graded an A by the NSC, and Pennsylvania was one of 15 states to earn a failing D grade. Criticisms leveled at the Keystone State by the NSC include not having stringent enough seat belt laws, allowing motorcyclists to ride without a helmet, not requiring sprinkler systems and smoke alarms with long-life batteries in new homes and not teaching CPR techniques to high school students. The NSC State of Safety report was released in June to coincide with the end of the organization’s annual National Safety Month initiative.
The NSC graded workplace safety efforts by looking at preparedness, prevention and enforcement legislation and policies and scrutinizing state workers’ compensation programs. Pennsylvania lost marks for not having comprehensive laws addressing wellness, drug use or violence in the workplace, but the state’s workers’ compensation program was praised in the NSC report.
Pennsylvania residents who are hurt while on the job are able to file workers’ compensation benefit claims, and the acceptance of benefits precludes seeking recourse against an employer. However, in the event that a non-employer third party is responsible for the injury, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment, in some cases an attorney representing an injured victim could file a separate lawsuit.