On-the-job deaths rose 2% from 2017 to 2018

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

People in New Jersey might complain that their jobs are killing them, but the statement is not a joke for too many workers. The latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a 2% increase in work-related fatalities between 2017 and 2018. In 2017, 5,147 died in situations involving their workplaces. By 2018, the number of work-related deaths had gone up to 5,250.

The most common source of work-related deaths arose from transportation incidents, which accounted for 40% of the fatalities. According to bureau data, increasing numbers of workers have been dying from accidental overdoses after using alcohol or drugs for nonmedical reasons. The death count from overdoses went up 12%, and this category of workplace fatalities has been rising for six straight years. Suicides attributed to work also rose by 11%.

These trends have disturbed the people at the National Safety Council. In response to the figures released by the government, the council asked employers to make a greater effort to foster workplace cultures centered on safety. The council suggested a comprehensive approach to workplace safety that emphasized risk assessment, training and policies. Safety advocates believe that upper management plays a crucial role in promoting safety and reversing the upward trend in workplace deaths.

The surviving family of someone who dies on the job might have access to a death benefit from the employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Federal law requires employers to carry this form of insurance to pay for the medical expenses of injured workers or death benefits. The assistance of an attorney might help a person meet the filing deadlines imposed by an insurer or challenge a denied claim. With legal representation, a person may access unbiased information about how to qualify for a settlement.