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Unveiling the Leading Causes of Workplace Fatalities Nationwide

Since 1956, our Santa Barbara workers’ compensation attorneys and support staff have protected the rights of California workers after they have suffered injuries on the job. We realize the devastating impact workplace injuries have on employees and their families and work tirelessly to pursue benefits on their behalf from a California workers’ compensation agency that is not designed to put their best interests first.

Our experience tells us that the system not only stalls when reviewing injured workers’ compensation claims. Death benefits are becoming equally challenging to obtain, leaving family members devastated a second time when the reality of their financial losses overrides their grief.

Sadly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that one worker loses their life every 111 minutes across the country from a work-related injury — accounting for 4,764 fatal occupational injuries last year alone.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld believe the more employers and employees know about workplace dangers, the more prepared they can be to prevent them. Here, we discuss the leading causes of workplace fatalities to bring awareness to these potentially dangerous circumstances.

Transportation Accidents Were the Leading Cause of Workplace Fatalities Last Year

While the leading causes of work-related deaths are not always the same, one ranks at the top year after year. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), transportation incidents accounted for 38% of all work-related deaths in the U.S. last year.

NSC attributes the high number of transportation-related fatalities to the increase in industries that rely on large trucks, work vehicles, and heavy equipment daily.

Agriculture, construction, industrial, and manufacturing industries all have high transportation fatality numbers, with common fatal accidents stemming from workers:

  • Being hit or run over.
  • Crushed under an overturned vehicle.
  • Falling from moving equipment.

Unfortunately, these fatal incidents are often preventable. Workers can pay the ultimate price when employers fail to implement the proper safety education, training, and other preventive measures.

Slips, Trips, and Falls are the Second Leading Cause of Workplace Fatalities in the U.S.

Behind transportation accidents, the NSC lists slips, trips, and falls as the second leading cause of workplace deaths — accounting for 17% of all workplace fatalities last year.

These fatal accidents are prevalent across all industries because they can happen anywhere and to anyone, no matter where they work or which sector they are employed.

The balance of causes that led to work-related fatalities in the U.S. last year included:

  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals: 16%
  • Contact with objects and equipment: 14%
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments: 12%
  • Fires and explosions: 2%

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident in California, you may be eligible to pursue death benefits from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Santa Barbara workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your eligibility, legal rights, and options to pursue the benefits your family needs to move forward.

We have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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