Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

Car accidents, violence top causes of workplace deaths

Every day, thousands of workers in Georgia and across the U.S. face dangerous work conditions. In fact, a recent report found that nearly 5,200 American workers were killed on the job in 2016, which was an increase from the 4,836 who were killed in 2015. The report, entitled "Death on the Job, the Toll of Neglect, 2018," was issued by the AFL-CIO federation of unions.

According to the report, hazardous working conditions led to approximately 150 worker deaths every day in 2016. Car accidents and other transportation incidents represented the top danger for workers, accounting for 2,083 deaths. Workplace violence was the second most common worker hazard, accounting for 866 deaths. In addition, workplace violence caused 27,000 lost-time injuries, two-thirds of which were suffered by women.

The report found that the most dangerous industry for workers was forestry, fishing and hunting, which had a fatality rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers and suffered 593 deaths in 2016. The construction industry actually suffered the highest number of deaths that year at 991. However, the industry's fatality rate is 10.1 per 100,000 workers. The report also found that older and minority workers were most likely to die on the job. For example, 36 percent of all worker deaths involved people who were age 55 or older, and workers age 65 and above were 2.5 times more likely to die in a job-related accident. Meanwhile, Latino workers suffered the highest fatality rate with 3.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. In comparison, the national average is 3.6 per 100,000 workers.

When Georgia workers suffer on-the-job injuries, they are often eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits to cover medical bills and other expenses. An attorney may help prepare a workers' compensation claim and fight to obtain the maximum amount of benefits available.

Source: Market Watch, "Older and Latino workers are far more likely to die on the job than others," Quentin Fottrell, April 29, 2018

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