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Ceiling collapses on Detroit city employee

It is the responsibility of every employer to provide a safe working environment for their employees. No one should be forced to work in unsafe conditions where they may be exposed to toxic chemicals, or dangerous machinery absent the proper safety equipment and training. As another way to protect workers, employers in Michigan are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance. This will cover the cost of medical care and other expenses when an employee is injured in a work-related accident.

Last week in Detroit, a city worker was injured when a 12 foot concrete ceiling collapsed over his head. The man suffered injuries to his head, neck and shoulders, and is reportedly lucky to be alive. Representatives for the employees say that they had made repeated warnings to the employer about the very room in which the ceiling collapsed because water from the story above was apparently eroding the ceiling.

The employer had hired a construction contractor to renovate parts of the building when they began using it. But a report in the Detroit Free Press quotes the contracting company as saying that they were only hired to conduct cosmetic work and not inspect or improve the structural integrity of the building.

The city of Detroit moved Department of Human Services staff to the city owned building in August, citing immediate threats posed to safety by the Departments former building. It has been a source of controversy ever since the move was announced.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Detroit city workers: Ceiling collapsed in unsafe building we were forced to move into," Steve Neavling, Jan. 20, 2012

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