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Fatal work injuries falling but still too high

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An annual study published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that fatal occupational injuries are slowly decreasing among American workers. The rate of accidental death on the job dropped by several percentage points in most areas of industry during 2013. This improvement is good news, but a Algonquin worker comp attorney will affirm that the number of deaths in the workplace is still unacceptably high.

Preliminary results of the National Census

The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is a systematic census of all deaths on the job in America. When a worker dies in the line of duty, the details of the case are recorded by the BLS and added to the census. The preliminary statistics for the 2013 census were recently released. Final data will be published during 2015.

Key findings of the 2013 preliminary results

The 2013 preliminary results include many items of good news. Highlights include the following:

  • The overall rate of deaths on the job dropped from 3.4 per 100,000 employees to 3.2 per 100,000.

  • 3,929 workers died on the job during 2013, the lowest number since the BLS began conducting a national census of deaths in 1992.

  • Deaths among very young workers (under 16 years of age) plummeted from 19 during 2012 to only 5 during 2013. This number is also the lowest recorded since the BLS started collecting these statistics.

  • Deaths among self-employed people dropped by 16 percent, from a 2012 figure of 1,057 to a new figure of 892.

  • Fatalities among all ethnic and racial groups dropped during this 12-month period, with the single exception of Latino and Hispanic workers.

These statistics paint a generally positive picture of work conditions in the U.S.

Many industries are becoming safer

The rate of fatal job-related injuries in the private industry sector dropped by 6 percent from 2012 to 2013. Deadly transportation incidents dropped by 10 percent. Many other industries also showed positive change, as an Algonquin worker comp attorney is aware.

Negative news on some fronts

Not all of the changes during 2013 were positive. According to BLS statistics, there was an 8 percent rise in suicides on the job. Workplace violence of different sorts accounted for a full 16 percent of deadly injuries in the workplace.

Fatal incidents on the job are life-changing for the families who are left behind. Survivors of deceased workers should speak with an Algonquin worker comp attorney about their experiences.

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McHenry, IL 60050

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