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Workplace fatalities: A breakdown of 2015

Workplace fatalities are always tragic. The loss of life is nothing to ignore, and families, friends and coworkers are all affected. Hazardous workplaces put employees at risk. Even in dangerous positions, employees deserve to be kept as safe as possible to avoid unnecessary risks.

How many people were killed at work in 2015?

There were 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in 2015. This is a jump from the year before, when only 4,821 fatal injuries were reported, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Have fatal workplace injuries declined over time?

A census taken to learn about fatal occupational injuries in 2015 found that 2015 had more fatal injuries in workplaces than any other year since 2008. Although more people were killed, the statistics also show that at 3.38 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, 2015 actually had fewer deaths per 100,000 workers than there were in 2014 due to an increase in employment overall.

In which industries do most fatal injuries take place?

Accounting for more than a quarter of workplace injuries were roadway incidents. These include incidents such as truck accidents or car crashes. Additionally, 745 fatal injuries involved truck drivers, the most of any occupation reported that year.

Are any industries doing better protecting their workers?

Two industries that did better in 2015 were the oil and gas extraction industries. They saw a massive reduction in fatal injuries, dropping the number of injuries by 38 percent. Additionally, contractors suffered 17 percent of the fatalities in 2015.

Those who are killed leave behind families who may be able to seek compensation for their deaths through worker's compensation benefits. If an employee is not covered under workers' compensation, then there may be other legal methods for seeking the compensation needed.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2015," accessed March 03, 2017

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