Far too often, Pennsylvania workers who get hurt on the job find out that their employers do not carry workers' compensation insurance. To protect against this, in 2006, Pennsylvania lawmakers created the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund ("UEGF") to help these injured workers with payment of wage loss and medical benefits. Unfortunately, the UEGF was not properly funded when it was created, and, as a result, payment of the much-needed benefits have been delayed or never paid.Senate Bill 676, a companion to the recently proposed reimplementation of Pennsylvania's Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) procedures, would increase funding to the UEGF by more than doubling the assessments paid by workers' compensation insurers. This provision would be a welcome change to the current state of affairs for injured workers, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves out of work and without payment of benefits-simply because their employers did not have workers' compensation insurance. In addition, these workers should not suffer because state lawmakers did not properly address funding for the UEGF.
Industrial workers' accidents are not uncommon in the United States, including here in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. A serious injury to an industrial worker may result in either temporary or permanent disability, or even death.
Pennsylvania residents know that there is widespread use of industrial trucks to transport materials. Lift trucks, rider trucks and forklifts are often seen at worksites statewide. Some workers who operate this machinery or work near it are injured every year due to unsafe work conditions.
Many people like to work for companies that are well known throughout the world. However, even these sites are not free from dangerous accidents that can cause injuries or even deaths. Residents of Pennsylvania may have heard about an industrial accident at an automaker's facility that caused the death of a worker and injured another eight people.
Every state in America, including Pennsylvania, has laws relating to worker safety and the duty to maintain safe workplaces. Employers are expected to provide safe working conditions to their workers. If any safety hazard is present in the industry, the worker may report it to the employer, as well as federal and state authorities.
When employers in Pennsylvania fail to pay attention to safety in their workplaces, they put their workers at an unacceptably high risk of injury and death. For that reason both the federal and state governments mandate that companies follow rules and regulations that derive from decades of experience to keep workers safe.