For many workers in Pennsylvania, going to work can also mean putting one’s life on the line, especially for people involved in particularly hazardous professions. In 2016, 5,190 American workers wee killed at work, marking an increase from the prior year, when 4,836 people lost their lives on the job. This means that every day, 15 workers lose their lives due to hazards and dangers on the job.
However, this number runs the risk of understating the problem of workplace injuries and occupational diseases. Each year, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 people die from causes linked to hazardous exposure on the job, including toxic chemicals or dangerous minerals. The most dangerous sector of work in the United States appeared to be agriculture, forestry or fishing and hunting. Workers in this industry had a fatality rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers, and 593 people lost their lives in the industry in 2016.
The second most dangerous industry was transportation and warehousing, with a fatality rate of 14.3 per 100,000 workers; 825 workers in the industry were killed in 2016. While the construction industry had the highest number of total deaths, 991, the fatality rate in the industry did not shift upward and remained firm at 10.1 per 100,000 workers. In addition, workers older than 65 are 2.5 times more likely to die on the job, and 36 percent of all deaths at work took the lives of people over 55. The report also noted that there are 7.4 million to 11.1 workplace injuries and illnesses each year in the United States.
Workplace fatalities can be particularly devastating, but workplace injuries and accidents can also be life-changing. People who have been injured in the course of their work may benefit from consulting a workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney might help injured workers to protect their rights and receive the compensation they deserve.