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Ohio ranks fifth among states in workplace deaths

Fatal workplace accidents are an unwelcome aspect of an industrialized society. According to figures recently released by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio had the fifth highest statewide total of fatal workplace injuries in 2015, the most recent year for which such numbers are available. A review of the statistics for Ohio and the nation at large reveals some interesting patterns.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' figures show that the number of fatal occupational injuries increased from 4,821 in 2014 to 4,836 in 2015. Ohio's number of fatal occupational injuries increased by 17 or the same period, from 185 in 2014 to 202 in 2015. The only states with higher numbers of workplace deaths were Texas (527), California (388), Florida (272) and New York (236). The Bureau said that the national total of fatalities in 2015 was the highest since 2008, when 5,214 fatal workplace accidents occurred across the country. In spite of Ohio's relatively high rank in the absolute number of workplace fatalities, the number of deaths per 100,000 workers was 3.9 in 2015, ranking the state 20th overall. The highest number of workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers was 12.5 in North Dakota.

The most dangerous occupation was heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver, with 745 fatalities. Private construction, with all trades and occupations included, accounted for 937 deaths in 2015. Workers aged 65 and older accounted for a lower percentage of workplace fatalities than younger workers.

Anyone who has lost a loved one in a workplace accident may be entitled to recover damages under Ohio's workers compensation system or in a civil lawsuit. A consultation with an attorney who specializes in workplace accident cases may be able to provide an evaluation of the law and facts of the case and to provide a helpful estimate of the likelihood of recovering workers compensation benefits or damages for medical expenses, lost income and loss of companionship.

Source: Cleveland Patch, "Working in Ohio Might Kill You," Rick Uldricks, Dec. 28, 2016

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