Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Workplace deaths continue to increase


As previously discussed on this blog, accidents in the workplace can and do occur in every profession. Oftentimes, these incidences occur more frequently than we are aware. One would think that this fact would give way to increased safety measures and, in turn, more safe workplaces. However, a study recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a grim portrait of America's workplace safety.

According to that study, workplace deaths increased seven percent between 2015 and 2016. In 2016 alone, more than 5,000 workers were killed in their place of work. Approximately 25 percent of these deaths are caused by transportation accidents, making it the number one cause of worker deaths. Workplace violence also increased, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatalities.

Perhaps just as concerning is the fact that the number of workplace deaths seen in 2016 is the most since 2008. Some claim that this is caused by a lack of oversight. The federal OSHA, for example, is seeing drastic employee shortages, with only 800 employees. This means that they would only be able to inspect a workplace only once every 159 years if they were to inspect every workplace. Unfortunately, things may not get much better, as proposed budgets for 2018 seek to cut funding that could affect inspections and, in turn, workplace safety.

Those who lose a loved one in a workplace accident can face serious hardship in the aftermath of their loved one's passing. While the emotional turmoil may be more than enough to try to get a grasp on, the financial ramifications can be debilitating, too. Medical expenses, lost wages and funeral costs can all be significant and unexpected, throwing a family into financial turmoil. Although there is nothing that can bring a loved one back, seeking death benefits through the workers' compensation system may provide much needed financial relief.

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