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Number of worker-related deaths no longer declining

Though Pennsylvania workplaces have the lowest fatality rates, according to a report by the AFL-CIO, approximately 150 people in the United States died everyday in 2011 due to work-related injuries or illness. This amounts to the death of 13 workers due to injuries that they sustained from workplace accidents and another 137 people each day from work-related illnesses and diseases. The report indicates that even though there had been a downward trend in work-related deaths, the last three years have not seen declines.

The report provided detailed findings regarding work-related deaths. Workers who were employed in the fishing and logging industries were most susceptible to being involved in a fatal accident, compared to workers in other sectors. Fire safety and nursing jobs in the public sector corresponded with the highest number of workplace illnesses and non-fatal injuries. North Dakota's recent oil boom led to its having the highest fatality rate of all states.

This annual report was completed by the AFL-CIO after collecting data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which reported that nearly 4,700 people were killed on the job in 2011. The annual report also analyzed data from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration because the Bureau of Labor Statistics report does not include work-related illnesses. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health estimated that approximately 50,000 workers die each year from work-related illnesses.

Individuals who are injured on the job or who develop work-related illnesses may be able to seek compensation for their injuries or illnesses through the workers' compensation program. Additionally, the families of deceased workers may be able to retain the services of a Pittsburgh workers' compensation lawyer to receive a lump sum settlement for the loss of their loved one.

Source: MSNBC, "US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report", Ned Resnikoff, May 08, 2013

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