According to a new release issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this is the third consecutive year where job fatalities have risen in the United States. In 2016, the most recent year for which data has been analyzed by the government agency, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries. This number is up seven percent from the year before.
The agency broke down the types of accidents by subgroup and found that transportation incidents were by far the most common type of fatality. Following close behind were violent incidents by persons or animals, slip and falls, contact with objects and equipment, exposure to harmful substances or environments, and fatal injuries from fires or explosions. The agency also found that there was a spike in on-the-job overdoses from non-medical uses of drugs or alcohol, jumping 32 percent from the year before. These numbers have been rising at least 25 percent per year since 2012.
The agency also broke down the number of fatalities by occupation, finding that fatal injuries were most common among logging workers, fishermen, pilots, roofers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, steel workers, drivers, farmers, first line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, and grounds maintenance workers. Other industries that’s deemed to have an increase in the number of annual fatalities included food preparation and serving related occupations, installation, maintenance and repair occupations, and sales and related occupations.
Age Plays an Important Factor
This year, workers aged 55 years and over suffered a disproportionate number of fatalities, the highest since the agency began analyzing national data in 1992. That year, workers aged 55 years and older accounted for 20 percent of all fatalities. This year, they accounted for a staggering 36 percent. Among all ethnic groups, Asian workers saw the highest increase of fatalities, rising 40 percent from last year. African-American workers also saw a large percentage increase, rising nearly 20 percent since last year. Hispanic or Latino workers saw fewer fatalities than they did last year.
In response to the Bureau’s report, the National Safety Council (NSC) has called on all employers to do their part. Specifically, the NSC has asked that employers ensure they have policies and training in place to address some of the major causes of work-related fatalities. Some of the most easily preventable causes include the ongoing opioid crisis and worker fatigue. The NSC has called for leadership to set the tone from the top down, and to engage all workers. All employees should actively and continuously try to identify safety hazards and make conditions better for all employees.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Workers Injured on the JobIf you have been injured at work, we can help you obtain compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages through the Workers’ Compensation system. To learn more about how we can help, call a Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer at DiTomaso Law today at 856-414-0010 or contact us online for a free consultation. With an office conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve injured individuals throughout the state.