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How common are occupational fatalities?

Posted on August 9, 2019 in Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation focuses on helping injured employees recover benefits based on the severity of an injury or condition. Whether caused by a single accident, a history of muscle repetition or toxic exposure, workers are likely to face serious consequences. Unfortunately, the most severe accidents can result in the loss of life.

The compilation of 2017 stats shows there were 5,147 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States that year. The fatal injuries were caused by a wide range of accident types, including:

  • Transportation accidents accounted for the biggest single total in the report. They represented 2,077 of the fatalities.
  • Fatal falls accounted for 887 of the worker deaths. This is 17 percent of the total, and represents the highest level of this type of incident in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
  • Incidents related to direct contact with objects and equipment accounted for 695 work fatalities.
  • Unintentional overdoses associated with nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol accounted for 272 fatalities.
  • Deaths in confined spaces accounted for 166 occupational fatalities.
  • Crane-related incidents accounted for 33 deaths in 2017.

While occupational injuries, illnesses and life-long conditions have become common, the loss of life suffered due to an occupational accident remains a rarity. Surviving loved ones are often forced to face emotional turmoil while struggling to maintain financial stability. It is wise to consult with an attorney who has experience representing clients in work fatality cases to ensure your rights are protected.