Workers in almost every occupation face some sort of danger on every shift. It could be a vehicle accident, a slip-and-fall accident or even exposure to toxic materials – but nearly everyone faces the prospect of injury. Serious conditions, however, might lead to fatalities.
Far from a fantasy notion, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported 172 work-related fatalities in 2017. These fatal occupational injuries in Pennsylvania have ranged from a high of 354 in 1994 to a low of 163 in 2016. Since 2011, the state has averaged 179 work-related fatalities each year.
What are the types of incidents?
According to the BLS data, Pennsylvania’s work-related fatalities are similar in percentage to the rest of the United States. For 2017:
- 35 percent: Transportation incidents
- 20 percent: Contact with objects and environment
- 16 percent: Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
- 15 percent: Exposure to harmful substances or environments
- 14 percent: All other types of incidents
Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased by 10 events from 2016 to 2017 while exposure harmful substances or environments increased by 20 events in the same period.
Industries and occupations
As evidenced by the percentage, the private transportation and warehousing sector had the largest number of fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2017. Long-distance general freight trucking accounted for the most work-related fatalities on record. Transportation and material moving occupations as well as construction and extraction occupations proved to be the most dangerous for the reported data in 2017.
Employers must provide adequate training, the proper personal protective equipment and appropriate warning signs in dangerous environments. Additionally, employees must speak up when they notice an unsafe situation. If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a work-related incident, discuss your case with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.