Better safety procedures and personal protective equipment have made workplaces in Louisiana and across the country safer for employees in recent decades. Regrettably, though, serious injuries and fatalities are still not exactly rare.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data about workplace fatalities in Louisiana in 2019. That year, 119 individuals died in industrial accidents, making the Pelican State’s workplace fatality rate 6.2 per 100,000 full-time workers. Only Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana and West Virginia had higher workplace fatality rates in 2019.
A disturbing uptick
Data from the BLS shows only 98 Louisianans died in industrial accidents in 2018. Alarmingly, in just one year, the number of workplace fatalities jumped by 21.4% The 119 workplace fatalities in 2019 were the most the state had seen since 2014 when 120 individuals died at work in Louisiana.
Workers’ compensation benefits
Individuals who suffer work-related injuries are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Lousiana’s program also extends benefits to the families of those who die in industrial accidents or their aftermath.
Death benefits often include a portion of the worker’s wages. For widows and widowers, these benefits may last until death or remarriage, while children are often eligible for benefits until they turn 18. Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system also provides up to $8,500 for funeral expenses.
While it is not yet clear whether 2019’s increase in workplace fatalities is an anomaly or a trend, nothing can replace a deceased member of the family. Ultimately, though, workers’ compensation benefits may make it easier for relatives to move forward with their lives.