A number of Pennsylvanians suffer serious injuries or fatalities every year while they are working at their jobs. A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workplace fatalities sharply increased in 2016.
According to the report, workplace fatalities increased by 7 percent overall in 2016. A total of 5,190 workplace deaths occurred in the U.S. The fatality rate in 2016 was 3.6 workers per 100,000 people. In 2015, the fatality rate was 3.4 workers per 100,000 people. The leading cause of workplace deaths in 2016 was transportation accidents. The second most common cause of workplace deaths during the year was workplace violence, which increased by 23 percent.
Fatalities from slips, trips and falls have increased by 25 percent since 2011. Overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016. Overdoses leading to fatalities at work have increased by at least 25 percent each year since 2012. Workers who were over the age of 55 accounted for 36 percent of the fatalities. Asian workers suffered 160 fatalities in 2016, which was a 40 percent increase over the prior year. Deaths among black workers increased by 19 percent.
Workplace safety rules are in place in order to protect workers. When these rules are ignored, workers may be seriously injured or killed. It is important for employers to adhere to the safety regulations that are in place. Workers should also be mindful of workplace safety at all times. When workers are killed on the job, their families may file claims for workers compensation benefits from their loved ones’ former employers. They may be entitled to benefits to pay for the reasonable costs involved with their loved ones’ funerals and burials. They might also receive monthly benefits to replace a percentage of their loved ones’ former salaries.