The workplace can be a dangerous place for any employee. A new study by Zippia finds that, of all the industries in South Carolina, the postal service is the most dangerous to South Carolina workers. South Carolina was also ranked twenty-sixth overall in most dangerous states to work in. After any workplace injury, contact an experienced South Carolina workers' compensation attorney. Injury victims have legal rights which must be protected.
The Zippia study identified and weighed several factors in order to designate the “most dangerous” states and industries. First, it examined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s injury reports, and divided each state’s total reports by the number of workers employed in that state. Next, fatality rates reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics were weighed as a separate factor in weighing the danger. Finally, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was broken down to determine the number of injuries in each state per mile driven. (This factor was given less weight, as traffic accidents are not always work related.)
Of course, the simple fact that a particular state has a higher or lower accident rate than another state does not mean that workers are protected from injury. Employers and employees must be vigilant about using appropriate safety precautions in all industries, across all states. Employees also have rights to protection under South Carolina law: Title 41 of the South Carolina Code of Laws makes specific provisions for safety in the workplace. Employers which do not follow these laws are subject to regulatory penalties (such as suspension of a business license), fines, civil lawsuits, and even criminal charges.
Real Life Accidents in the Postal Service
Sadly, there is no lack of real-life evidence that postal workers face the risk of very serious injuries on the job.
- KRON reports that a mail carrier was shot in her postal vehicle in East Oakland, California.
- A New Orleans postal worker had his finger severed after being attacked by a dog. The Outline reports that the mail carrier delivered post through a mail slot as he had routinely done many times. He was unaware that a dog was waiting on the other side of the door. The Outline also reports that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration receives more reports of serious job injuries from the United States Postal Service than any other employer.
- CNN reports that 6,755 dog bites were sustained by postal employees in 2016. That was a three percent increase from the number of dog bites in 2015.
Both the statistical data and anecdotal evidence are clear: the postal industry can be a dangerous place to work. Employees must be vigilant and cautious in the workplace, and maintain constant awareness of their surroundings. Employees have legal rights to protections which prevent workplace accidents, and the right to be compensated for injuries sustained when workplace accidents do occur.