The workforce is getting safer and less people are dying on the job, according to a recent report from CNN Money. But it’s not expected to last. As our economy continues to improve and more Americans head back to work, the number of fatal work accidents is expected to rise.According to the most recent statistics released last week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 4,600 workers who were killed on the job in the U.S. last year.
That’s down more than 1.5 percent from 2011. In 2010, there were close to 4,700 people who were killed on the job, which is an increase of more than 20 percent increase compared to 2001.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers understand that the number of workplace deaths has dropped through the recent economic downturn. But regardless of the status of our economy or how many people might be employed, it’s an employer’s responsibility to make sure that workers are safe on the job.
Work hazards are federally required to be minimized if not eliminated and employees must be provided with the proper safety equipment and safety training to perform each duty safely. This is especially important as the economy recovers because as more people head back to work, some of the newcomers will lack experience and will be more likely to be injured on the job.
The Department of Labor reports that the most common dangerous workplace activity was driving. Traffic accidents accounted for about 40 percent of all on-the-job fatalities. As a matter of fact, more truckers were killed on the job than any other job position.
Just last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a new set of rules to try to improve road safety for truckers. They aimed to cap the time that a driver is allowed to stay behind the wheel. Truckers are now only allowed to drive eight consecutive hours before that have to take a 30-minute break. These drivers are also prohibited from driving more than 70 hours in a week.
Although a smaller number of these workers are killed on the job, fishermen have the highest fatality rate of all U.S. workers — more than 120 fatalities per 100,000 workers. That’s more than five times that of truck drivers.
Key Findings in the 2011Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary:
-The number of fatal work accidents in the private construction sector is down about 5 percent.
-Violence and other injuries by people or animals accounted for close to 800 work-related fatalities.
-Coal mining fatalities fell to 17 in 2011 from 43 in 2010.
-Fatal work accidents in the private truck transportation increased by close to 15 percent in 2011.
If you have been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.