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BLS releases latest fatal workplace accident statistics

A fatal accident can happen at any time and in any kind of job in Louisiana. While there are some jobs that are automatically assumed to place workers in danger due to the sheer nature of them, accidents and wrongful death incidents are universal. The litany of issues that accompany the loss of a loved one in a fatal workplace accident can be complex. The statistics and research into workplace fatalities - released annually by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - can be integral when a family that has been impacted by such an incident considers a legal filing.

The latest statistics for 2017 show that the U.S. experienced a reduction in fatal workplace accidents from the year before. Overall, there as a drop of 0.8 percent to 5,147 from 5,190 in 2016. This is the second year in a row in which there were more than 5,000 workplace fatalities. Despite that reduction, there are concerns including the number of workers who have died in falls and drug overdoses. For every 100,000 full-time equivalent employees, there were 3.5 deaths. That is a reduction from the 3.6 for every 100,000 in 2016.

The number of workers who died in falls was the highest in the history of the BLS keeping track. More than 17 percent of all worker deaths came about because of falls. The biggest causes of deaths were transportation fatalities with more than 2,000. That was more than 40 percent of the fatal accidents. There were slightly fewer than 700 workers who died in contact incidents with equipment and objects. 76 people died when they were caught in machinery or running equipment.

Fatalities for workers who were in confined spaces was at 166 - a rise of 15.2 percent from the year before. There were the fewest crane-related deaths ever recorded with 33. For workers 65 and older, workplace deaths continued to be problematic with 15.1 percent of all deaths coming in this age range. When BLS began keeping track in 1992, that was 8 percent. Hispanic and Latino workers had a rise of 2.7 percent from 2016.

Louisianans who see a loved one go to work are not thinking that it will be the last time. Unfortunately, work accidents happen and people will be confronted with the reality of having to move forward without their family member. Lost wages, lost companionship, the emotional impact and more will all be issues they must deal with. The key to a legal filing is accruing evidence and determining what happened. A law firm that is experienced in wrongful death cases can help with a filing after a workplace fatality.

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