The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics collects information about many aspects of our workforce, including the rate at which workers suffer injuries and fatalities. Recently, the Bureau released a report that summarizes its findings regarding the number of fatal illnesses and workplace injuries that occurred during 2016. The results of this report are startling and highlight what we as experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyers already know: Massachusetts workers face serious risks of injuries and must protect themselves at every opportunity.
According to the report, there were over 5,000 employees who lost their lives as results of accidents at the workplace during 2016. This constituted the highest number of fatal accidents since 2008. This is particularly staggering considering the increased efforts from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve safety conditions in workplaces throughout the country. Many state and local agencies have also increased their efforts to make sure that employers are providing safe working conditions and complying with safety laws.
The report pinpointed traffic accidents as the primary reason that workers lose their lives on the job. In a bustling city like Boston, the odds that an employee will be involved in a crash are likely higher due to the heavy traffic and high population. Violence in the workplace was the next most significant cause of fatalities for workers, followed by falls. Contact with equipment and objects was the next highest category. Finally, the Bureau listed encounters with dangerous chemicals and substances as a major cause of deaths.
When it comes to the most dangerous industries for workers, the results were not surprising. Construction and transportation topped the list, followed by agriculture. These are prominent industries throughout Massachusetts, putting our residents at serious risk of suffering work-related fatalities. Waste management, manufacturing, and food services were also listed as industries in which workers were at a higher risk of suffering fatalities.
The report broke down these statistics to identify the employees and job positions that suffered the highest instances of fatal injuries. Logging is the most dangerous occupation in the United States, with 135 out of every 100,000 workers losing their lives on the job. Other dangerous occupations include truck drivers, farmers, roofers, steel workers, garbage collectors, pilots, and fishers. Despite the high rate of fatal injuries occurring in these industries and these positions, almost any job can become dangerous and life-threatening under certain conditions. This is particularly true when your employer fails to follow rules regarding safety.
If you were injured on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover compensation and benefits for your lost wages and medical expenses. At Pulgini & Norton, we have proudly guided many injured Boston residents through the workers’ compensation process, and we are standing by to help you fight for your right to support after suffering a workplace injury. If you lost a loved one as a result of a workplace injury, we are also ready to help you seek the justice that your family deserves. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us online.