Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

BLS releases 2016 workplace fatalities report

Traffic congestion may not be what Connecticut residents think of first when it comes to on-the-job dangers. However, government data reveals that transportation accidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the United States. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of the workers killed in 2016 lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. Among the dead were 632 truck drivers, 116 farmers and 62 landscapers.

The BLS releases a Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries every year, which includes a list of the nation's most dangerous occupations and how often workers in these sectors lose their lives while on the job. Workers in the logging sector face the highest risks, according to the 2016 data, but truck and sales drivers were killed in far higher numbers. Construction workers, roofers, steel workers, trash collection and recycling plant workers, pilots and fishing industry workers are also killed at rates far higher than workers in other sectors.

Trips, slips and falls are usually the second most common cause of worker deaths in the annual BLS report, but workplace violence claimed this dubious distinction in 2016. While some workers lost their lives in incidents involving disgruntled colleagues, most were killed by criminals, enraged customers or members of the public, according to the federal watchdog.

Employers are expected to take all reasonable steps to keep their workers safe, and this is especially true when they perform dangerous tasks. Experienced personal injury attorneys can help workers complete and submit workers' compensation paperwork following a workplace accident. If their medical evidence is questioned or their claims are contested by employers, lawyers could advocate on their behalf.

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