While every employer has some responsibility for keeping workers as safe as possible on the job, obviously some industries are more dangerous than others. The risks associated with something such as deep-sea offshore diving are much greater than the risks associated with cashiering in a local grocery store. While accidents can happen in any workplace, it is good to know where your industry stands on such things.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes statistics regarding the number of injuries within various industries that lead to worker deaths. In 2014, the BLS recorded 179 fatal injuries occurring in workplaces in Pennsylvania, though 23 of those were associated with violence that was caused by another person or an animal. Other top reasons recorded for fatal injuries included transportation accidents, slips and falls, explosions or fires, exposure to a harmful environment or substance and contact with equipment or objects.
When broken down by industry, most injuries occurred in jobs that related to providing goods or services. The construction industry accounted for 40 of the fatalities in 2014, while agriculture, fishing and hunting accounted for 22. Deaths in transportation and warehousing jobs totaled 36, rounding out the top three. Other industries with a notable number of fatal injuries included manufacturing and waste services.
The BLS notes that the majority — 137 of 179 — of fatal injury victims were employed by someone else while 42 were self-employed. Men made up 167 of the fatalities.
Injuries can happen in any workplace, but fatal injuries are certainly more statistically common in certain types of environments. Understanding how to keep yourself safe is important, and if you are injured or lose a loved one in a workplace accident, understanding how to seek benefits or compensation can help you move forward with recovery.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Fatal occupational injuries in Pennsylvania,” accessed May 20, 2016