BLS Data Shows Workplace Deaths Reached 5-Year High
In 2021, a worker died while on the job every 101 minutes.
Workplace fatalities reached a 5-year high in 2021, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics recording 5,190 deaths due to on-the-job injuries – an 8.9% increase from the previous year.
The rate of fatal work-related injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers has also increased to 3.6, which is the highest since 2016. This data underscores the dangers workers in Pennsylvania and states across the nation face.
Fortunately, workers' compensation is a lifeline that can provide financial and medical benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. In addition, workers' comp death benefits can also be provided to the surviving dependents of an employee who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
Unfortunately, the process of obtaining benefits can be complex without the help of an attorney to protect your rights and guide you down the right path. If you were injured or a loved one died while on the job in Pennsylvania, contact Vellner Law, PC, to learn how an experienced workers' comp lawyer can help you.
Breaking down workplace fatality data
Transportation incidents remained the top cause of death among workers in 2021, resulting in 1,982 fatalities and accounting for 38.2% of all fatal work-related injuries. Also of note, transportation and material moving jobs had the highest number of fatalities at 1,523.
Black or African American workers accounted for 12.6% of workplace fatalities—an all-time high. Unfortunately, Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino workers both had higher fatality rates than the national average (4.0 and 4.5 per 100,000 FTE workers, respectively) and transportation incidents were the leading cause of death for both groups.
"The data included in this report indicate workplaces have become less safe, and it is heartbreaking," said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Everyone deserves the chance to live their fullest life. This report shows our mission to save lives, from the workplace to anyplace, is critical, and NSC is committed to doing its part to curb this deadly trend and put an end to preventable workplace fatalities."
What to do if you're hurt at work
If you are injured while on the job, there are several steps that you should take to ensure that your injury is properly reported and treated and that you put yourself in the best position to obtain the workers' compensation benefits to which you are entitled:
- Report your injury to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible, even if you don't think it's serious. In Pennsylvania, you have up to 120 days to notify your employer of an injury you received at work and to begin the process of getting workers' compensation benefits. However, it is generally recommended to provide notice as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment for your injury, and follow the advice of the medical professional treating you.
- Keep records of all medical treatments, including doctor's notes and bills.
- Keep track of any lost wages or other financial losses resulting from your injury.
- Consult an attorney to review your legal rights and options.
Remember, your employer and their insurance company will be represented by experienced attorneys if they decide to challenge or deny your workers' comp claim. Hiring a workers' compensation lawyer can ensure that your rights are respected and your best interests are represented throughout the entire process.
Injured on the job in Lehigh Valley, PA? Contact Vellner Law today.
Attorney Anthony R. Vellner and his dedicated legal team have decades of experience helping injured workers with complicated workers' compensation cases throughout Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. As a result, we understand the ins and outs of the system and what it takes to achieve successful outcomes for our clients.
We provide full-service representation for injured workers in the process of obtaining benefits. This includes helping you apply for benefits, finding a new doctor if necessary, appealing a denied claim, protecting your rights if you are ordered back to work before you are ready, and representing you at any workers' compensation hearings (virtual or in-person).
Don't let your employer or their insurance companies push you around—put an experienced attorney on your case and let us fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Allentown and Bethlehem, we proudly serve injured workers statewide.