Workplace fatalities increase for the second year in a row
Recently released figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that overall workplace fatalities increased for the second year in a row in 2015, according to the New York Times. While the rate at which workers are suffering from fatal injuries on the job has declined, the overall number of fatalities is the highest it has been since 2008. The BLS report reveals the workers who are most at risk of being seriously injured while at work, including the types of occupations that account for the largest number of workplace fatalities.
Workplace fatalities increase
The recently released data from the BLS covers workplace fatalities for 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. That data shows that nationwide there were 4,836 worker fatalities, up slightly from the 4,821 who were killed in 2014, and well above the 4,585 who were killed in 2013. Furthermore, 2015 saw the largest number of workplace fatalities since 2008, when 5,214 workers were killed.
The rate at which workers are dying on the job did, however, drop slightly from 2014, to 3.38 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2015. However, that rate is up from 2013’s figures and it means that the rate at which workers are dying has remained relatively stagnant over the past three years after making significant improvements in the decade before that.
Workers at the most risk
Not surprisingly, some jobs were more dangerous than others. As Forbes reports, truck and delivery drivers suffered from the overall highest number of on-the-job fatalities, suffering 885 fatalities in 2015. Furthermore, transportation incidents accounted for 42 percent of all workplace fatalities, causing 2,054 deaths in 2015. However, the most dangerous profession was logging, which had a fatality rate of 132.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. Fishers, aircraft pilots, and flight engineers also had high fatality rates.
Furthermore, men, older workers, and Hispanic and Latino workers were at the highest risk of being killed on the job. Men accounted for 93 percent of all workplace deaths, while workers over 65 had the highest fatality rate of any age group at 9.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Hispanic or Latino worker deaths also increased to 903 in 2015, the most since 2007.
A workplace injury can be devastating. Injured workers not only have to deal with the pain of their injury, but also with the added stress that comes with taking time off work. In the worst of cases, injured workers may not be able to ever return to their previous jobs, or they might be one of the unlucky few who die on the job. That’s why workers compensation is so important: it provides security and peace of mind during what is an often stressful and difficult time, and can provide substantial benefits to the spouses and dependent children of deceased workers. Anybody who has been hurt on the job, and the family members of loved ones who died on the job, should talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to learn about what benefits may be available and how to go about filing a claim or a fatal claim.