The Rising Trend of Workplace Fatalities
Workers are not safe on the job today, and many are concerned about this rising trend of fatalities on the job.
Several factors contribute to this shocking trend of American workers dying on the job. From the BLS Report, we know that some occupations and lines of work are more dangerous than others. And that dying in a fatal “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident while on the job is a risk that just keeps getting greater for workers in a variety of jobs.
For those working in Illinois and Indiana, it’s important to know the following:
1. Falling Down: Fatal Fall Accidents at the Workplace
For workers in Indiana and Illinois, it is critical that both workers and supervisors are aware that many fatal on the job accidents in this country are caused by falls – and that serious fall accidents are happening more and more often. According to the BLS Report, there has been a shocking 25% increase in the number of fatal falls on the job since 2011. That is a huge increase in the danger of dying in a fall while working on the job, regardless of industry or job title.
However, there are some kinds of work that are especially high risk right now for fatal falls. According to the BLS Report, they are roofing, carpentry, tree trimming and pruning, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck driving. BLS Report, page 2.
Of course, there are various kinds of fall incidents. There are slip and falls, where footing is lost by slipping on a slick surface and the victim falls. There are also trip and falls, where the victim falls because of an impediment in his walking path. We’ve discussed the various kinds of fall accidents in earlier posts, as well as the distinction made between falls on the “same level” versus those from a higher level (like from a scaffold).
- Injuries From Falls on the Rise: Falling Accident Dangers at Work, Home, and School
- Construction Falls: Scaffolds and Ladders Can Cause Serious Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace: Severe Injury or Death on the Job
- Fell Down, Seriously Hurt: Slip and Fall Accidents in Indiana and Illinois
2. Dying in Motor Vehicle Accident on the Job
Almost half of worker deaths in this country happen because of “transportation incidents,” according to the BLS Report, which explains that 40% of fatal work events are caused by motor vehicle related injuries. BLS Report, page 1. These include collisions and crashes between vehicles of various types, as well as pedestrian accidents, where someone on foot is hit by a motor vehicle. Specifically, “transportation incidents” include (1) aircraft incidents; (2) rail vehicle incidents; (3) water vehicle incidents; and, (4) roadway incidents. BLS Report, page 7.
For more details on these kinds of risks, read:
- Railroad Safety Laws and Deadly Train Wrecks in Illinois
- The Jones Act vs. the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act for Maritime Workers
- Types and Causes of Train Crashes and Railroad Accidents
- Ride a Bicycle or Take a Walk in Indiana or Illinois: Rising Danger of Large Truck Accidents with Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- Fatal Traffic Accidents on the Rise: Increasing Danger of Death in Crashes Involving Cars, Trucks, Pedestrians, Bicyclists
3. Construction Accidents
Construction workers know they work in a very dangerous trade. Tragically, it’s more dangerous than ever. The BLS Job Fatality Report warns that the private construction industry has recorded more deaths in the past year than it has in the past ten years (2008). BLS Report, page 2.
Construction dangers are a big concern in our part of the country. See:
- Construction Workers in Indiana and Illinois Deserve Respect for Working One of the Most Dangerous of Jobs
- Construction Workers: The Most Dangerous Job Today
- Residential Construction Workers: Greater Danger of On the Job Injuries
- Construction Worker’s Danger of Being Hurt or Killed on the Job: High Risk and Little Protection
4. Truck Drivers at Great Risk of Fatal Work Injuries
Truckers who drive heavy trucks or tractor-trailers are the most vulnerable to dying on the job, according to the new research findings. According to these findings, the number of truck driver deaths on the job has increased 17.3% since 2011. This corresponds with an earlier warning of the risk of fatal truck crashes that was identified in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System annual census of October 2017.
For more on the risks of death facing truck drivers on the job, read:
- Shortage of Commercial Truck Drivers: Accidents Waiting to Happen
- Semi-Truck Crashes in Indiana and Illinois: Regulations and Compliance
- Winter Accidents with Semi-Trucks: Driving Dangers in Indiana and Illinois
- Rising Danger of Fatal Truck Crashes Clashing With Weakened Federal Regulation
It is more dangerous than ever for workers on the job here in Indiana and Illinois. Truck drivers and construction workers are at very high risk of dying on the job. It’s important for all of us to be aware of these dangers and join together to try and protect against these tragedies as we also seek justice for those workers who die at their workplace. Please, let’s be careful out there!