BLS: Workplace Fatalities Increased in 2022
More needs to be done to keep workers safe.
Many workplaces have hazards, and workers often suffer injuries in accidents. Tragically, some of these injuries are fatal. Every year, workers in Mississippi and throughout the country lose their lives while on the job, leaving behind grieving families and friends. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that seems to be getting worse.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,486 workers died from injuries suffered on the job in 2022. That’s a 5.7% increase from the year before. And it’s the sixth time in seven years that workplace deaths topped 5,000 on the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
Transportation incidents led to 2,066 fatalities – 37.7% of all fatal work-related injuries.
A rise in overdoses from the nonmedical use of drugs
Another troubling statistic was the continued increase in unintentional overdose deaths. There were 525 deaths in 2022, a 13.1% increase from the 464 deaths the year before.
“More must be done by employers to prevent these fatalities,” the National Safety Council said in a statement. “Overdoses can happen anywhere, and the BLS report shows these medical emergencies can be fatal and are occurring in the workplace.”
The NSC called for access to naloxone in workplace first aid kits, as well as the adoption of programs to ensure workplaces and workers are equipped to save a life.
The BLS also noted that:
- In 2022, a worker died every 96 minutes – it was every 101 minutes the year before.
- The highest number of workplace fatalities were in the transportation and material moving sector, which saw 1,620 deaths.
- The second highest number of workplace fatalities was in the construction and extraction sector, with 1,056 deaths.
- The fatality rate for Black/African American workers rose from 4.0 to 4.2 per 100,000 full-time employees (FTE).
Workers’ compensation death benefits can help families
In Mississippi, when a worker dies as the result of a work-related injury or illness, certain family members, such as spouses and unmarried children, may be able to receive death benefits. Depending on the situation, these could include funeral expenses, a lump-sum payment, and a percentage of the worker’s weekly wages.
However, employers or their insurance providers can challenge death benefits claims. Common reasons for challenges include:
- Disputes over the cause of death – They may take the position that a worker's death was not directly related to the job or occurred due to pre-existing conditions.
- Eligibility issues – There may be a dispute over whether the deceased worker's dependents or beneficiaries are eligible for death benefits.
- Coverage issues – An employer may argue that the worker was not covered by workers' compensation or the employer-provided insurance policy at the time of the accident.
- Procedural errors – There may be a challenge based on procedural errors or missed deadlines during the claims process.
Let our family fight for you
That’s why you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side. The lawyers at Tabor Law Firm, P.A. fight for workers and their families in Ridgeland, Jackson, and throughout Mississippi.
If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, our attorneys can help you file a claim for benefits and guide you through the process every step of the way. This includes representation at all hearings in front of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission during appeals.
We can discuss your options and answer any questions you have during a free consultation. Contact us to schedule a time that is convenient for you.