Each year, thousands of workers are killed in the United States. Statistics show that around 5,000 workers die yearly from injuries sustained at work, while another 95,000 die from occupational diseases.
While some of these fatalities may be unavoidable, many can be prevented through safe work practices and compliance with safety regulations. This article will discuss the top five causes of workplace fatalities in the United States.
Death in the workplace
People work to earn a living and support themselves and their families. No one expects to be killed while on the job. However, every year, thousands of workers are killed while working. In 2016, there were 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This number represents an increase of 7% from the previous year.
Why is it important to be aware of these statistics? Because knowledge is power. By understanding the risks involved in certain types of work, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For example, if your spouse died in the workplace, you can take steps to seek justice and compensation for your loss. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. Here are the five most common causes of workplace fatalities in the United States.
Falls are a leading cause of workplace fatalities, accounting for more than 700 deaths yearly. Many of these accidents could be prevented with simple safety measures, such as using fall protection equipment and ensuring that work areas are free of tripping hazards. Falls can occur when workers perform tasks at heights, such as scaffolding or roofing. They can also happen when working on uneven surfaces, such as excavations or slippery floors.
Overexertion and Body Stress
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overexertion and body stress was the leading cause of workplace fatalities in 2019. This category includes injuries such as strains, sprains, and tears that can occur when workers lift, lower, push, or pull objects. It also has injuries caused by repetitive motion and awkward posture.
One of the most common types of overexertion injuries is back strain, which can be caused by lifting heavy objects or repetitive motions. Other common injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and epicondylitis. These injuries can result in a loss of productivity and expensive medical bills.
The most common type of transportation incident is a motor vehicle accident, which can occur when workers drive for work-related purposes or work near traffic. Other transportation incidents include pedestrian accidents, injuries sustained while loading or unloading vehicles, and accidents involving powered industrial trucks.
To help prevent workplace fatalities due to transportation incidents, employers should ensure that workers required to drive for work have the proper training and license. Employers should also develop safe work procedures such as loading and unloading vehicles, which should be reviewed regularly.
Violence and Other Injuries by Persons or Animals
Workplace fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased from 866 in 2016 to 903 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was the fourth consecutive year that workplace fatalities from these causes increased. Before 2014, there had been a decline in such fatalities since 1994.
Most workplace homicides are committed with firearms, and most workplace homicide victims are male. In 2017, the industries with the highest number of workplace fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals were private security firms, taxi and limousine services, and warehousing and storage.
Electrocution is the fourth leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States. Each year, an average of electrocutions occur, accounting for fatal occupational injuries. Electrocutions typically occur when workers come into contact with overhead power lines or electrical wiring. However, they can also happen when workers use electrical equipment that is not properly grounded or when working in areas that are wet or damp.
The best way to prevent electrocutions is to always follow safety guidelines and to use proper precautions when working with electrical equipment. Always be aware of your surroundings when working outdoors and clear of overhead power lines. If you are working with electrical equipment, make sure that it is properly grounded and that you are using the proper safety precautions.
Workplace fatalities are a tragedy that can be prevented with proper safety measures. Employers and employees alike must be aware of the risks associated with various job tasks and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. Stay mindful of your surroundings, follow safety guidelines, and always use proper precautions when working with dangerous materials or equipment. If you have any concerns about your safety at work, speak up and ask for help. Remember, safety is always the top priority.