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Workplace Fatality Statistics

Colburn Law

Workplace Fatality Statistics

Workplace safety is a critical issue for employers and employees alike. Every year, thousands of workers are killed on the job, leaving behind devastated families and colleagues. To better understand this problem, it is essential to examine the latest workplace fatality statistics.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects data on fatalities and injuries that happen in workplaces across the country. In addition to tallying the number of cases, this data identifies the most common causes of workplace fatalities and the industries most affected by these tragedies.

How Many Workplace Fatalities Happened in 2021?

According to a report by the BLS, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries in 2021, up 8.9% from 2020. This increase in workplace fatalities occurred despite a decline in overall employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, there were 3.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers.

The increase in workplace fatalities in 2021 highlights the need for continued efforts to improve occupational safety. Employers must take steps to identify and address potential hazards in the workplace, implement effective safety programs, and provide proper training to their employees. By doing so, they can help to prevent workplace fatalities and ensure the safety of their workers.

Common Causes of Workplace Fatalities

Many factors can lead to workplace accidents and fatalities. The BLS has identified the following as the common causes of fatal work injuries in 2021:

  • Transportation incidents, which resulted in 1,982 deaths. These incidents include roadway accidents involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, as well as incidents involving aircraft, trains, and watercraft.
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 761 workplace fatalities. This category includes intentional harm caused by another person, such as assault and homicide.
  • Falls, slips, and trips accounted for 850 workplace fatalities. This category involves incidents where a worker falls from a height, slips or trips and falls, or suffers injuries as a result of collapsing structures or equipment.
  • Contact with objects and equipment led to 705 workplace fatalities. This category includes incidents where a worker is struck by an object, caught in or compressed by equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing materials.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 798 workplace fatalities. This category includes incidents where a worker is exposed to chemical, biological, or radiological substances or environments.

What to Do If You Lose a Loved One in a Workplace Accident

Losing a loved one in a workplace accident can be an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. If you are navigating the aftermath of your loved one’s death, you may be entitled to compensation.

First, you could claim death benefits through Washington state’s workers’ compensation program. If someone else’s negligence was responsible for your loved one’s death, your family may also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. Through these claims, you could recover compensation to pay for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Navigating the legal process following a workplace fatality can be challenging and overwhelming, particularly in the midst of grief and emotional turmoil. That is why it is essential to work with an attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your legal options. As soon as possible following your loved one’s death, contact a Washington workers’ compensation lawyer and take your first steps toward securing justice.