The risk of workplace injuries and fatalities at work is still far too high. Unfortunately, because many jobs have inherent risks and many worksites are not as safe as they should be, thousands of workers are killed every single year. Preventing injuries and fatalities should be a top priority, but too many employers don’t do enough.
All workers are potentially at risk due to unsafe work sites or high-risk activities on-the-job, but certain employees also face an especially significant chance of being hurt or killed while they are trying to earn a living. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can provide help to any employee who has been harmed at work.
A new report from the AFL-CIO, called Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, demonstrates just how serious the risk of work injury is. The rate of all injuries is remaining steady instead of declining, and there are still millions of injuries occurring and changing the lives of workers though the United States.
Atlanta Workers Face a Significant Risk of Getting Hurt On-the-Job
According to the AFL-CIO report, which was released in April of 2017, 4,836 workers lost their lives throughout the United States while they were doing their jobs in 2015. The rate of fatal injuries is 3.4 workers killed per 100,000 workers, which is the same rate of workplace fatal injuries as in 2014. In total, around 150 workers died daily as a result of working conditions in the United States. In addition, there were between 50,000 and 60,000 people who died over the course of 2015 as a result of occupational injuries.
Underreporting of work injuries is widespread and makes it difficult to determine exactly how many people get hurt on-the-job each year. Even with significant underreporting of work injuries, around 3.7 million injuries were reported. However, AFL-CIO estimates that the true number of workers who get hurt on-the-job is between 7.4 million and 11.1 million.
Latino workers, immigrant workers and older workers face a disproportionate risk of being hurt or killed at work. The workplace fatality rate among Latino workers was four fatalities for every 100,000 workers, which is 18 percent higher than the national average fatality rate among all workers.
There was a significant increase in the number of Latino workers killed in 2015 compared with in 20154, with 903 Latinos killed in 2015 compared with 804 deaths one year prior. Almost this entire increase can be attributed to a higher rate of death among immigrant workers. Of all Latino workers who were killed on-the-job, 67 percent were immigrants. In total, there were 943 immigrant workers who lost their lives, which is the highest number of immigrants killed at work since 2007.
Among older workers, those 65 and older who are still in the workforce have a significantly higher fatality rate of 9.4 worker fatalities per 100,000 workers. This means workers 65 and up have 2.5 times the risk of being killed at work compared with other employes. In total, 35 percent of all workplace fatalities occurred among workers who were 65 or older and a total of 1,681 workers above the age of 55 were killed in 2015.
Workers of any age or demographic background deserve to be safe at work and all employees hurt on-the-job should talk with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer to find out how to pursue a claim for benefits after an injury happens at work.