Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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Family awareness of workplace safety

Most West Virginia families take for granted that their loved ones will be coming home after a hard day's work. The reality is that 4,836 work fatalities occurred around the country in 2015. That means nearly five thousand loved ones didn't return home to their families as expected that year. Since fatal work-related accidents can strike without warning, families would do well to be aware of how they should handle such an unfortunate event so they are compensated appropriately for their loss.

The American Society of Safety Engineers holds a variety of awareness events during the year. They invite families and community members to attend these events and increase their awareness of workplace safety, compliance and to understand the accidents of the past so they don't happen again. Events include the Workers Memorial Day, National Safety Stand-Down and several others.

In a perfect world, all employers would do everything possible to keep their workplaces safe and their employees out of harm, but that is unfortunately not the case. It is often the responsibility of employees to spot dangerous situations or conditions and ensure their employer follows mandated safety procedures and protocols. It may also fall to an employee to report an employer who is negligent in its safety duties. Being aware of the law and common safety hazards is the first step in preventing more accidents and tragedies.

When an employee is injured or killed due to a work-related incident it is important for families to know how to deal with the situation. The death of a family member at work could mean seeking workers' compensation death benefits to cover the family's economic losses. An attorney can often be of assistance with the preparation of the required claim documentation.

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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Beckley, WV 25801

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