According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 172 fatal work injuries in Pennsylvania during the year 2017. This represents an increase over the total of 163 for the state in 2016. Nationally, the number of workplace fatalities was slightly lower in 2017, at 5,147, than it was in 2016, which saw 5,190 occupational fatalities. In Pennsylvania, the greatest number of workplace deaths, 61, occurred due to transportation events.

Contacts with equipment and objects were responsible for 34 workplace deaths in the state. These two categories made up 55% of workplace fatalities statewide in 2017. The third-ranking cause of workplace fatalities was violence and other injuries by animals or persons, with 27 deaths in 2017, representing an increase from 17 deaths in 2016. Exposure to harmful environments or substances accounted for 26 fatalities in 2017, up from 20 in 2016.

Broken down by industry, private transportation and warehousing had the highest number of workplace deaths in 2017, with 44. This was an increase of 16 deaths from the 28 that occurred in that industry in 2016. The general freight long distance trucking industry had 16 workplace fatalities. An industry that saw a decrease in the number of deaths at work was private construction. In 2017, private construction had 31 workplace fatalities, compared with 39 in 2016. Approximately 94% of the people who were killed at work in Pennsylvania were men, which was consistent with the national rate of 93%.

In a case where a worker is injured or killed at work, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system should provide benefits to the worker or his or her family. A Pennsylvania certified specialist workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help in such cases by gathering evidence and medical records and filing a claim if necessary, or by communicating with relevant government agencies to secure relief.