U.S. Workplace Deaths Increasing

Workplace-Deaths-IncreasingThe number of workplace deaths among Americans is on the rise, specifically among contract, self-employed, and older workers. Experts are expecting that last years numbers could be the highest number of workplace deaths since 2008.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), preliminary 2014 numbers reveal a total of 4,679 workplace deaths a two percent hike from 2013. By the time the 2014 figures are released this spring, the final tally will most likely increase.

The overall fatality rate was 3.3 per 100,000 workers in 2014, more than the 3.2 preliminary rate for 2013. A breakdown of the numbers is included below:

  • Latinos had the highest rate of work-related fatalities at 3.6 for every 100,000 workers, which is a decrease from 3.9 last year.
  • The rate for African-Americans increased to 3.0.
  • Asian-American workers rates increased to 1.7.
  • For whites, the rate remained constant at 3.4.
  • While women experienced 13 percent more fatalities in 2014, their figure was only eight percent of the final death figure.
  • Older workers, ages 55 and up, saw an increased death toll of nine percent in 2014. This figure is the highest that has ever been documented by the BLS.

While a jump in employment could be contributing to the increased workplace deaths, experts believe other components factored in as well.

Rebecca Reindel, a health and safety specialist, claims that much of the boost in the older worker group comes from people ages 65 and older. People are working longer than before and this group of workers may be at a greater risk for safety hazards.

Keshia Pollack, an occupational injury expert from Johns Hopkins University, says that trips and falls continue to contribute to workplace fatalities. Protective equipment, better instruction and increased workplace regulations may help prevent these types of deaths.

An increase in contract or self-employed worker fatalities could indicate that employers are improperly labeling workers as independent contractors to avoid workers compensation and wage mandates.

If you have suffered an injury on the job or lost a loved one to a death while on the job, contact theChicago workers compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.