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Do not overestimate the safety of your workplace

The majority of workers in Franklin, Ohio, may not be keen to the fact that a number of people go to work every day and do not return home. This tragic fact is underscored by data recently released, indicating current workplace death figures. It may be alarming, but the truth is that a fatal injury can occur to any employee in nearly any industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most recent year with complete data was 2011. That year, there were 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers. This rate shows a slight decline from the previous year, which saw 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers. The data from 2011 translates to 4,693 deaths, which was three more than the number of workplace deaths in 2010. Though there were more deaths in 2011, it is likely there were more workers, allowing the rate to decline but the actual number of deaths to increase.

The director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health said that many of these deaths were likely preventable and could have been avoided if employers simply followed safety regulations. Many companies put their profits before their employees, thus leaving them open to hazardous risks that can leave employees disabled or dead. Many labor advocacy groups see this as unfair. Many attorneys feel the same way and are willing to help you fight for a claim against an employer if you have been injured due to the company’s irresponsibility.

When breaking down the 2011 figures, the report from BLS shows that almost 2,000 workers lost their lives to transportation incidents. About 10 percent of the workers that died lost their lives due to workplace homicide. Some industries that had high rates of death included construction and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. The former had a rate of 9.1 deaths per 100,000 workers while the latter saw 24.9 deaths per 100,000. This translated to 738 and 566 deaths, respectively.

Source:  npr.org, “On-the-job deaths continue at steady, grim pace” Howard Berkes, Apr. 26, 2013

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