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Fatal workplace accident statistics rise for transport workers

In Pennsylvania and across the U.S., many people think that workplace accidents only happen in jobs that are considered dangerous. For example, one might expect law enforcement officers and first responders to encounter dangers because of the constant risks they face. The jobs of truck drivers and delivery workers can also be considered dangerous because of the amount of travel they must do.

The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a troubling trend for truckers and delivery workers. In 2016, the highest number of fatal workplace accidents involved truckers and delivery workers. In 2016, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries across the nation. This was an increase of 7 percent from 2015. Of those, 918 involved truck drivers and sales workers. This was significantly higher than the next category - farmers and agricultural managers - which had 260 fatalities.

For tractor-trailer drivers, the most common cause of death was collisions, whether it was with another vehicle, a pedestrian or running into something. In the BLS report, it states that 40 percent of the deaths in the workplace were in the transportation industry. In another study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it was found that 88 percent of these accidents stemmed from human error.

Another cause of death is slipping, tripping and falling. These types of accidents rose 6 percent in 2016, but have risen 25 percent since 2011. Males are especially vulnerable to fatal workplace accidents, accounting for 93 percent of all accidents. This statistic is based on hours worked, with 5.8 male fatalities for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, while females accounted for only 0.6 percent.

When a person heads off to work, their family never thinks that it will be the last time they will ever see their loved one. Unfortunately, workplace accidents can happen in any job, causing injuries or even death. The statistics indicate that some jobs are more dangerous than others and those in the riskier industries, such as transportation and delivery, must be cognizant of what can happen. If there is a fatal accident on the job, the family left behind must think about their future, the lost wages, loss of companionship and other issues. A legal filing is often the only way to recover compensation to allow the family to move forward financially. Discussing a case with a lawyer experienced in wrongful death cases is essential.

Source: ttnews.com, "Truck Drivers, Delivery Workers Incurred Highest Number of Fatalities in 2016," Eleanor Lamb, Jan. 4, 2018

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