Unintentional worker death rate on the rise
You might think advances in safety technology and increased awareness of the need to prevent work-related accidents would lead to a decline in worker fatalities. You would be wrong, however.
In a troubling report, the National Safety Council announced unintentional, preventable worker fatalities numbered 4,414 in 2017, a slight upturn over the 4,398 deaths in 2016 (statistics from 2018 are not yet available). Some of the disturbing details:
- Work-related motor vehicle crashes topped the list, increasing from 1,252 to 1,299.
- Falls to a lower level, common at construction sites, rose from 697 to 713.
- Drug overdoses continued a distressing trend, jumping from 217 to 272.
In many cases, these fatalities could have been prevented. “Once again,” the NSC report states, “the data clearly show we are not doing enough to mitigate the risks of these everyday killers.”
What can be done?
While accidents are going to happen, eliminating all worker deaths should always remain the goal. It has to be a team effort.
Workers can contribute by always practicing safety. Experienced workers, in particular, know enough about their jobs to identify and report dangerous conditions. Their diligence is one key to preventing injuries.
Employers also bear much of the responsibility. Their policies and practices set the tone for the workplace. Safety training programs are essential and should continuously be updated. To assist, the NSC offers both a Safe Driving Kit and Prescription Drug Employer Toolkit.
Seek medical attention, even if it seems minor
Sadly, some employers do not actively encourage safety. At best, they put minimal effort into meeting legal requirements, instituting policies and providing training. They maintain injuries and fatalities are a cost of doing business.
If you have been injured or your family has lost a loved one in a workplace accident, your lives have been shattered. Your regular bills continue to pile up as you face extensive medical and, possibly, funeral expenses. You will discover that the workers’ compensation system seems like it is designed to frustrate you with its paperwork and bureaucracy. Your employer is not going to take any responsibility for the accident and probably will blame you. An insurance company is going to pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer because they know you are desperate for money.
The Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Tabor Law Firm, P.A., have experience successfully handling cases just like yours. We serve victims of workplace injuries and their families throughout Mississippi. Our lawyers know how to play hardball with your employer, insurance companies and the government. We will work aggressively to secure your financial future while treating you with respect and compassion. Contact us today for a free case consultation.