A report by the AFL-CIO, released on May 7, 2013, shows that in the United States, approximately 150 people a day die of work-related fatalities and illnesses. The statistics include all of the 50 states, including Alabama. Work-related deaths can occur as a result of a wrongful death, illness or disease. The report shows that in a year, over 137 people a day or 50,000 a year die as a result of illnesses that occur as a result of their work environments.
The statistics demonstrate that throughout the United States, workers continue to die on the job. The passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has helped to bring down the number of work-related deaths, but they still occur for different reasons. People working in the fishing and logging industry have the highest incidence of death on-the-job, and the Latino population has a high incident of work-related deaths. The number of deaths each year varies by state. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that in Alabama, 75 people died from work-related transportation, slip and fall, equipment, violence or chemical incidents.
The results of the AFL-CIO study and the recent incident involving the Texas fertilizer plant, which killed 14 workers, show that workplace deaths continue to be an issue in the United States despite laws and workplace safety procedures put in place to protect workers. The AFL-CIO has been pushing the federal government to pass a Protecting America’s Workers Act, which will offer further protections to workers. Although OSHA performs regular inspections of workplaces, the agency is understaffed and can only check a certain number of workplaces in a year.
A wrongful death in a workplace is devastating to a family that experiences pain and suffering as a result of the loss of a loved one. A fatal accident or work-related illness can happen quickly and take away a family member. Attorneys with experience in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases can help families to recover damages from a negligent party in a case involving a workplace death. The lawyers assist clients on cases where negligence, a transportation accident, defective equipment or the actions of another employee resulted in the death of a worker.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Fatal Occupational Injures in Alabama,” 2011.
Source: MSNBC, “US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report“, Ned Resnikoff, May 08, 2013