Fatal Accidents in the Workplace Increasing
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney. Workplace fatalities due to accidents are increasing in the United States. Unfortunately, families are left not only to grieve but to face the financial consequences that the loss of a loved one brings. Let’s look at workplace deaths and the ways a family can recover monetary damages.
The incidence of Workplace Fatalities
The Department of Labor recently released statistics detailing worker deaths in 2016. In that period, 5,190 people died. This represents an increase of 7 percent over the previous year where 4,836 individuals died due to work injuries. The last time the number of deaths topped 5,000 was in 2008 when the total reached 5,214. In 2009, the census of fatal injuries dipped to 4,551 and has been rising each year since then.
Workplace Deaths by Employee Status
Looking at the work status of employees from those employed and paid a wage versus those who are self-employed, a discrepancy appears between the two in terms of the number of worker deaths. The number of self-employed workers killed due to work-related activities in 2016 numbered 1,092, while those who died as a salaried employee numbered 4,098. However, this discrepancy is likely influenced by the larger number of wage earners (about 120 million) compared to self-employed workers (approximately 10 million) in this country.
Workplace Deaths and Age
The rate of fatal injuries differed by age in 2016. Younger workers between the ages of 18 to 19 years were less likely to be involved in a fatal injury than their older counterparts. Workers 65 and older had the highest workplace death rate.
Fatal Events leading to Workplace Deaths
Six different event categories showed a marked difference in the number of workplace deaths. They are:
- Transportation: This category involved the highest number of worker deaths numbering 2,083 in 2016 or 40 percent of all work-related deaths. Of these, the most common involved a roadway accident at 1,252. Pedestrian workers killed by a vehicle were the next highest reason for transportation deaths at 342. Non-roadway incidents make up the next largest category with 245 deaths. Aircraft accidents killed 130 workers in 2016.
- Violence: The next highest category involved workplace violence and accounted for 866 deaths. Overall, violence by another individual or an animal increased by 23 percent in 2016. The highest number (792) was related to an intentional injury by another person. Those inflicted by an animal or an insect bite were tabulated at 47 death in 2016. An unintentional violent act accounted for 27 deaths.
- Slips, Trips and Falls: Falls to a lower level accounted for the most deaths in this category at 697. Falls on the same level left 134 workers dead.
- Object or Equipment Contact. This category resulted in 761 deaths. The majority involved 553 worker deaths resulting from the person being hit by either an object or piece of equipment. One hundred and seventeen workers died when they fell into or were compressed by equipment. Eighty-two died when they were hit by a collapsing structure or falling equipment.
- Drug Overdoses: The number of deaths from drug overdoses increased by 32 percent in 2016. The numbers have gone up each year since 2012.
Of the total number of workers who died in 2016, construction-related accidents caused the most deaths at 991. Warehousing and transportation were next with 825. Five hundred and fifty-three workers died while performing agricultural and forestry work. Business and professional services followed at 540 deaths.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Losing a loved one at work can have a profound effect on the family. In California, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help the family. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to pay:
- Burial expenses: This covers reasonable burial expenses. The amount the family can receive is $10,000.
- Death benefits: The amount of death benefits is related to the number of individuals who were dependent on the worker. They are paid at a rate of total temporary disability.
Related Articles by Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney Ed Smith
- Medical Care for an Injured Worker – Part 1
- Medical Care for an Injured Worker – Part 2
- Benefits in Case of a Temporary Disability
- Benefits in Case of a Permanent Disability
Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney. The death of a loved one at work is difficult on many levels. Financial worry need not be one of them. Give me a call at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area and (800) 404-5400 outside of it. You can contact me online too. I’ll provide you with friendly advice that is always free.
Before calling, you might want to know more about me and my practice. Go to:
Check out my settlements and verdicts page to see how I resolved other cases.
I’ve been able to amass million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients. Because of this, I was accepted into the Million Dollar Advocates forum.
I created and own AutoAccident.com. It was built to serve as a repository for information for clients on personal injury law.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/industrial-security-logistic-1636390/
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