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2017 sees slight dip in work-related fatalities

Texas residents who work in the transportation and construction industry should know that work-related deaths around the country declined from 5,190 in 2016 to 5,147 in 2017, though their industries still compose the majority of fatalities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its annual report, states that the number is still high compared to the previous low of 4,551 in 2009.

Transportation, material moving, construction and extraction workers composed 47 percent of the deaths in 2017. On the other hand, the private manufacturing industry and wholesale trade industry saw their lowest number of fatalities since 2003. Workers older than 44 composed 2,989 of the fatalities, which represents little change from 2016. Workers 65 or older made up 15 percent of fatalities, the highest that percentage has been since 2003.

Transportation incidents remain the most frequent cause of death with over 40 percent of occupational fatalities attributed to them. Fatal falls, which accounted for 17 percent of deaths, reached a 26-year high in 2017. The number of unintentional overdoses from non-medical drug and alcohol use rose from 217 in 2016 to 272 in 2017, creating a 25 percent jump. There were also 695 fatalities from contact with objects or equipment. This is down from 761 in 2016.

Employers can do everything possible to maintain a safe work environment, but that will not prevent all workplace injuries. People who have been injured in a job site accident are generally entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits regardless of whose fault it was. They might want to have the assistance of an attorney in order to ensure that the required claim contains all necessary information and that it is timely filed.

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