Workplace fatalities continue to be an issue in the U.S., as evidenced by the newest nationwide census by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In that most recent report, the bureau revealed the top fatal workplace injuries by occupation, fatal event, worker type, and other criteria for the year 2020.
Overall, there were 4,764 fatal work injuries, which translates to 3.4 fatalities for every 100,000 full time employees: a worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.
Transportation incidents were the most common and accounted for 37.3 percent of all worker deaths. Other causes included:
- Worker deaths due to violence and intentional injuries (841 fatalities),
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments (672), and
- Unintentional overdoses from nonmedical use of drugs represented (388 deaths).
When analyzed by occupation, the workers who represented nearly half of all work-related fatalities were in transportation, material moving, construction or extraction jobs. They accounted for 47.4 percent of the fatal injuries. Workplace fatalities in healthcare support occupations increased 15.8 percent in 2020. Law enforcement workers also experienced an increase in fatal injuries.
A deeper dive into worker characteristics revealed that Hispanic and Latino workers represented 4.5 deaths per 100,000 full time workers. Deaths among Hispanic and Latino workers increased from 20.4 percent in 2019 to 22.5 percent in 2020. Black workers saw a decrease in work-related fatalities, as did workers between the ages of 45 and 54. Women accounted for 8.1 percent of fatal injuries and 16.3 percent of workplace homicides.
Whether a work accident is fatal or not, it is important to ensure that you understand all of your legal rights and the possibility for compensation for your injuries. Talking to an experienced workplace accident attorney in Pennsylvania may help. Please reach out to us to discuss the details of your case and to see if we may help.