According to new data from the Department of Labor, fatal workplace accidents decreased by 16 percent in Pennsylvania in 2011 compared to the year before. Overall, there were 186 workers killed on the job in the state during the year 2011, which was down from 221 fatalities in 2010. This is the most recent data available from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to an economist at the BLS Philadelphia office, workplace fatalities were on the rise in Pennsylvania until 2011, so the new statistics are a step in the right direction. She said the state had been trending above 200 fatalities per year for seven of the past 10 years. As in years past, she said transportation incidents were responsible for the highest number of worker deaths in 2011.
A total of 69 workers in the state lost their lives in transportation-related accident in 2011. The next cause was slips and falls, which was responsible for 34 deaths in the state in 2011. Finally, 32 fatalities were a result of contact with objects and equipment, the data revealed.
Even with this downward trend, workplace fatalities are more common than they should be in Philadelphia and the rest of the state. Oftentimes, the causes of these tragic accidents have to do with employers cutting corners on safety rules and regulations.
When this is the case, the family of the worker who was killed often is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer. While a lawsuit can never take away the pain of losing a loved one in a workplace accident, it can help the family deal with the economic hardship associated with the death. It may also be therapeutic to know that a lawsuit could prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Source: Citizen Voice, “Workplace fatalities down in Pennsylvania,” James Haggerty, Jan. 4, 2013