Most people associate workplace accidents with traumatic injuries. While it is true that workplace injuries are a serious problem, there is another problem that few people seem to be addressing — workplace deaths. Thousands of people die at work each and every year.
In 2018, 5,250 people died in workplace accidents. Even though employers have access to perhaps more safety information than ever before, the 2018 fatality rate was actually higher than in 2017. Most of those fatalities happened in transportation accidents, and some men and women in Louisiana have a higher risk for death than others.
Truck drivers are not safe
Truck drivers play an integral part in the economy, transporting consumer goods all across the country. Since these workers spend most of their working hours on the road, it might not be a surprise that they have a fairly high risk for dying in transportation accidents. In fact, the trucking industry had the most fatalities in 2018.
There were approximately 414,860 truck drivers that same year, 966 of whom died. This works out to 26 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers. Another 78,520 suffered non-fatal injuries.
Refuse workers are also at risk
Collecting waste, recycling and refuse is a physically and mentally tasking job. Men and women who work in the refuse and recyclable industry must work in virtually all weather conditions, even those that are unsafe for regular travel. Whether behind the wheel of a collection truck or riding along to help unload bins, these workers are even more likely to die on the job than truck drivers.
In 2018, only 115,130 people worked full time in this industry. Although a comparatively small number of workers died — only 37 people — the ratio of deaths to workers is very high. For every 100,000 workers, 44.3 suffered fatal injuries. Most of those deaths were in transportation accidents.
Are there benefits for worker deaths?
Workers’ compensation provides injured workers with compensation for things like lost wages and medical bills. These benefits give victims the opportunity to focus on recovery without worrying about money or returning to work before they are ready. But did you know that there are also workers’ compensation benefits for fatal injuries.
Workplace deaths often compromise the financial security of surviving family members. Although nothing could ever replace a loved one’s life, temporary death benefits through the workers’ compensation system could help bridge the financial gap as you and your family grieve. Unfortunately, denied claims are not at all uncommon, and appealing those decisions is not always easy. Instead of hoping for the best, you should be sure to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through this difficult period of life.