We celebrate Labor Day the first Monday of each September. For many people, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and a day off from work. However, how many of us think about what Labor Day really means and why it became a federal holiday in the first place? In today’s blog, we talk about the roots of Labor Day, the value of the Texas workforce, and the importance of protecting workers from harm.
The history of Labor Day in the US
The US Department of Labor (DOL) tells us that before Labor Day was made an official federal holiday in 1894, many states and municipalities began celebrating it independently as far back as 1885. Per the DOL:
Many Americans celebrate Labor Day with parades, picnics and parties – festivities very similar to those outlined by the first proposal for a holiday, which suggested that the day should be observed with – a street parade to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day.
American labor has raised the nation’s standard of living and contributed to the greatest production the world has ever known and the labor movement has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.
Here in Texas, where the oil and gas industry provides thousands of jobs and contributes heavily to the economy, workers are more important than ever. However, when workers are injured – or even killed – on the job, an annual celebration won’t pay the medical bills, and won’t relieve them of their physical pain and emotional suffering.
Our nation’s workers deserve better, and the Texas worksite accident attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger can help.
What are the most dangerous jobs in the country?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 4,764 fatal work injuries in 2020. Based on BLS fatal injury rates, following are the top 10 most hazardous jobs in the United States:
- Fishing and hunting workers
- Logging workers
- Construction trade workers
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors
- Structural iron and steel workers
- Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
- Underground mining machine operators
- Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
A work accident can happen in any job, at any location, but accidents in the industries noted above can result in life-altering, permanent, and disabling injuries.
What types of injuries result from Texas work accidents?
The National Safety Council (NSC) lists the top three work-related injuries in 2020 as exposure to harmful substances or environments*, overexertion or bodily reaction, and falls, slips, and trips. Rounding out the other causes of injury were contact with objects and equipment, transportation accidents, violence and attacks, fires and explosions, and non-classifiable accidents.
*The NSC notes that “Because of illness cases related to COVID-19…the leading cause of work-related injuries and illnesses involving days away from work in 2020 is Exposure to harmful substances or environments. Exposure to harmful substances or environments was previously the 6th ranked cause.”
Depending on the circumstances of their accident, injured workers may experience:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic amputation or loss of limb
- Severe burn injuries
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Wrongful death
If you suffered a serious injury due to another’s negligence, it’s crucial to have a legal advocate in your corner to ensure you secure compensation for your damages and losses.
What should I do if I’m injured on the job?
Many Texas workers are not provided workers’ compensation benefits, which means that, after an on-the-job injury, they have nowhere to turn. When an accident and injury is caused by another’s negligence, however, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. Liable parties in a worksite accident can include:
- Your employer, if unsafe conditions caused your accident and injuries
- A co-worker or third-party contractor, if their negligence, recklessness, or intentional act caused your accident and injuries
- A machine or tool manufacturer, if a defective product caused your injuries
- The owner of the property, if dangerous premises caused your injuries
Our worksite accident lawyers can get to work determining all liable parties in your injury case in a free consultation.
This Labor Day, the attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger honor our Texas workers. If you or a loved one were injured in a worksite or construction accident, we want to help. To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us at 800-455-8686, or submit our contact form today. We have offices in Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth.
The firm handles cases involving catastrophic personal injuries and deaths. Our work spans three decades of handling airplane and helicopter crashes, truck and car accidents, oilfield and construction accidents, and other devastating accidents. We try lawsuits throughout the country in both federal and state courts and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. To date, we have handled or tried cases in 47 states, read more about our attorneys and firm.