In the United States, approximately 65,000 workers die each year of work-related illnesses and injuries – totaling more than 180 work related deaths each day!!
Cost of Occupational Injuries and Deaths
The cost of occupational injuries and deaths in the United States is staggering, estimated at $250 billion to $300 billion per year.
Occupational Traffic Fatalities
During 2003–2010, a total of 11,587 workers in the United States died in occupational highway transportation incidents. Highway transportation incidents are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the United States. (OSHA).
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, a total of 3,514 people died in large truck crashes in 2012. 17 % of these deaths were truck occupants, 67% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 12% higher in 2012 than in 2009, when it was lower than at any year since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975.
Workplace Fatalities in 2013 – United States
- Transportation incidents – 1,740 (991 of these were Highway incidents)
- Transportation and material moving occupations – 1,160
- Construction fatalities – 818
- Manufacturing fatalities – 304
- Mining industry fatalities – 172
- Falls – 699
- Assaults and violent acts – 753
- Homicides – 397
- Workplace suicides – 270
- Fires and explosions –148
- Contact with objects and equipment – 717
Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure -2013 – Virginia
- Virginia 2013 Fatality Total – 126
- Violence and other injuries by person or animal – 27
- Transportation Fatalities – 54
- Fires and Explosions – 0
- Falls, slips, trips – 21
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments – 6
- Contact with objects/equipment – 16
Fatal Occupational Injuries Resulting From Homicides – All United States, 2010
Occupational Homicides Total = 518, Homicides by Shooting = 405, All Other Homicides = 113
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
Out of all worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2013, 20.3% were in construction―that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in the construction industry. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were 1. Falls, 2. Struck by object, 3. Electrocution, 4. Caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (58.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2013*, BLS reports.
The following were the top 10 most frequently violated safety standards by Federal OSHA in fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013):
- Fall protection, construction
- Hazard communication standard, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Respiratory protection, general industry
- Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry
- Ladders, construction
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general
- Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
What does your employer have to do under the Health and Safety Act 1992?
- Be responsible for providing a safe working environment
- Ensure you are properly trained and supervised so you can work safely
- Work with you to:
(a) Identify hazards in the workplace, and
(b) Ensure that those hazards are eliminated, isolated or minimized.
(c) Eliminate hazards where possible, depending on how much harm it could cause and how difficult and expensive it would be. Where a hazard cannot be eliminated you have the right to know about the hazard and what you need to do (or not do) to work safely.
You have a right to the information and equipment you need to be safe at work.
A workplace is anywhere your employer requires you to be as part of your job, whether on-site or off-site. This includes places like the lunchroom, the car park, any motor vehicle you drive as part of work, and any equipment you use such as a crane or a ladder. Your vehicle is also a workplace while you drive from job to job.
Your employer must:
- Provide you with information about any hazards and how to protect yourself from them. For example, you should be told how to deal with any hazardous chemicals you are using, any effects they could have on you or others, and how to get help if there are problems
- Ensure that you have, and use the right protective equipment or clothing. You can choose to provide your own protective clothing, but if you make that decision your employer must ensure it is good enough for the job, and
- Record and investigate any accidents or “near misses” to you, your fellow employees and visitors to the workplace. When a person suffers serious harm, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment must be advised.
- Your employer needs to constantly manage health and safety and keep systems and processes for informing and involving staff up-to-date. You can contribute to this.
The Parrish Law Firm work injury attorney works with Northern Virginia residents who have been injured or killed because of another party’s negligence and are looking for fair compensation. Contact us today for a free case consultation or call us at 703-906-4229.
A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.