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Workers' compensation: Tennessee dangerous for workers?

In a humbling reminder of how quickly, and how devastating work accidents can be, Knoxville has come together to remember those who have lost their lives in the course of their employment. According to data compiled by the Workers' Compensation Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, along with OSHA, more than 160 Tennessee workers died from work accident injuries in 2011 and 2012. Now the people are calling for action.

One worker remembered was electrocuted on a construction site. His family believes that the working conditions were not safe or adequate, and that their loved one's death could have been prevented. Reports from the governing agencies indicate that employers should be proactive in developing more effective "injury prevention programs."

Data collected from 2010 reports indicate that the fatality rate in Tennessee beat out the entire United States. Data such as this is prompting authorities and agencies to reach out to the state's lawmakers in the hopes to better laws. An ETSU Professor has called out for employers to identify and assess hazards and then strive to control or prevent them.

The gathering of family members at the City-County Building in Knoxville may be a reminder to workers' compensation lawmakers and agencies that the people are craving better laws and policies to protect themselves and their loved ones. Sustaining a work injury can be devastating and costly, but losing a loved one to a preventable work accident can cause undue emotional and financial stress. While workers' compensation claims can be difficult and complex, they offer financial remedies when the right steps are taken.

Source:, "Families, friends remember victims of fatal work injuries," John Henry, April 27, 2013

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