New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Worker Fatalities Increase

Posted on Jun 13, 2016 in Construction Accidents, Slip and Fall, Workers' Compensation

Each year, the government tallies up the total number of fatal occupational injuries that occur on work sites throughout the United States. The report on the total number of work injuries in 2014 was just recently released. According to Safety News Alert, the total number of employees who were killed while performing their work tasks in 2014 was 4,821.  This was a significant increase as compared with the number of worker deaths in 2013.

The year-to-year rise in the number of employees who lost their lives is bad news for workers who face greater risks in the workplace. When a worker is killed during the course of his job performance, a New York workers’ compensation law firm should be consulted by surviving family members to explore options for receiving workers’ comp death benefits.

Workplace Fatality Rate Rises in 2014

With 4,821 worker deaths in 2014, the fatal work injury rate over the course of the year was 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. This is up from a fatal work injury rate of 3.3 deaths per 100,000 full time workers in 2013.

While this may not seem like a big increase, it means hundreds more people died. It is also the first time there was an increase in the workplace fatality rate since 2010.  Each year since 2009, the total number of worker deaths was below 4,700. Now, this ceiling has been broken with many more fatal workplace incidents. With the new higher death rates, 13 workers now die on average every day on job sites across the United States.

The Occupations Most Affected by the Increase

The rise in fatality rates was most profound within certain fields and sectors. For example, the total number of people killed in construction accidents was nine percent higher than the number of construction workers killed in 2013. More construction workers were killed on-the-job in 2014 than at any time since 2008.

There was also a recent record in the number of fall injuries in the field of private mining, oil and gas extraction, and quarrying. Fatal injuries in oil and gas extraction were at an all-time high, while fall injuries across these sectors were all higher than they were since 2007.  There were also five percent more fatal work injuries due to road incidents in 2014 as compared with in 2015.

While the number of fatal injuries involving Hispanic workers declined from 2014 to 2015, the number of older workers age 55 and up who died on the job was higher than it has ever been since statistics first began being kept in 1992.

Workers of any age and in any industry deserve to be safe at work. When an employee is killed, his or her surviving family members may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation death benefits to help reduce the financial devastation that can come with the death of a breadwinner. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff should be consulted for help after a worker’s death in order to understand the process for making a claim to secure death benefits.

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