Why have fatal workplace injuries increased in recent years?

| Jan 9, 2021 | Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation |

Most people in Minnesota think that workplace injuries have decreased with time. In a broad sense, that’s true; things are much safer for workers today than they were a hundred years ago. But in 2019, there was an uptick in injuries leading to death on the job compared to 2018. This is obviously a concern to individual workers, their employers and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Breaking the numbers down

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for tracking workplace injuries, including the ones that lead to fatalities, and examining them closely for patterns. In 2019, more workers died on the job than in any year since 2007.

Over 5,000 workers were killed in 2019. More than 20% them were killed as the result of motor vehicle accidents. Delivery drivers, truckers and sales professionals make up most of that number. Another dangerous occupation is the construction and extraction industry. Over 1,000 people employed in that sector were killed during 2019.

However, not every profession saw an increase in fatal injuries, even very dangerous ones. For example, fewer law enforcement officers were killed in 2019 than 2018; in fact, the number of fatalities went down by almost 25%. This suggests that there may be a relationship between training, the use of PPE and fatality rates. Hopefully, all industries will review their best practices and training for workers.

Filing a claim after a workplace accident

If your loved one died or was injured on the job, it’s wise to contact an attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you understand if you have a valid case. If an employer was negligent or did not provide adequate rest breaks, they may be seen as sharing some responsibility for the incident.