A new AFL-CIO sponsored report indicates that at least 150 people per day died from work-related illness and injury in 2011. While 13 died from a workplace injury, the largest number, 137, died from illness contracted at work or exposure to environmental elements that caused illness. These numbers represent a steady trend for the past three years after four decades of decline in work-related deaths. Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began keeping records on workplace death in 1970, there has been a steady decline of fatality numbers that most experts equate with stricter enforcement of safety standards. However, in the past three years these numbers have shown almost no change. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA show that Latino workers have a 14 percent greater number of workplace injuries than other groups. While workplace injuries represent hundreds of deaths per year, the greatest number of deaths come from illnesses. Nurses and firefighters are at the greatest risk, but other groups may be affected by environmental factors at work that can lead to illness and death. In all, 4,693 people died from work-related accidents and approximately 50,000 from illnesses in 2011. When a victim suffers a work-related accident, injury or illness, it may be difficult for him or her to collect workers’ compensation for various reasons. A workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help a worker who has suffered an injury or illness to collect compensation for medical costs such as treatments, prescription drugs, surgeries, hospitalizations, and tests. A workers’ compensation attorney could help a victim collect compensation for lost wages, living expenses and other costs associated with a workplace injury or illness.
Source: MSNBC, “US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report“, Ned Resnikoff, May 08, 2013