An analysis of how people are injured on the job draws public awareness to dangerous work conditions. The information also focuses the attention of Pennsylvania and federal government regulators, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, on safety hazards and solutions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles workplace accident statistics from every state. The agency annually releases those statistics about fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries. The numbers are compared to information and totals from previous years to highlight national and state trends and influence job safety regulations.
A recent BLS report showed a year-to-year decrease in overall Pennsylvania workplace deaths for 2013. A preliminary total of 178 work-related fatalities was down from 194 deaths in 2012 and well below the 354 statewide fatalities in 1994. The downward trend was reflected nationwide, where just over 4,400 workers lost their lives.
Two types of Pennsylvania workplace accidents were responsible for 57 percent of employee deaths in 2013. Seventy of the 178 fatal injuries – 39 percent of the total deaths — were the result of transportation accidents, including accidents on and off roadways. Another 31 deaths were due to workers being harmed while coming in contact with objects or workplace equipment.
More than half of the 29 fatal injuries caused by violence, the state’s third highest cause of on-the-job deaths, were due to homicides. Slips, trips and falls claimed the lives of another 25 workers statewide. The number of violent deaths was static, compared to the previous year, while fatal injuries in the remaining categories declined.
Transportation incidents were the reason for 40 percent of worker fatalities at the national level. Seventeen percent of deaths were caused by acts of violence, accounting for the second-highest number of workplace fatalities. The most dangerous Pennsylvania occupations were warehousing, transportation and construction.
Attorneys help surviving family members recover from these tragic events through claims for workers’ compensation and other benefits and negligence lawsuits.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Workplace Fatalities in Pennsylvania – 2013,” accessed Oct. 09, 2015