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BLS: Fatal Workplace Injuries Climbed by 5.7% in 2022

Yellow safety construction helmet on a table background.

Why are work-related fatalities on the rise?

Workplace fatalities increased by 5.7 percent in 2022 nationwide, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“More must be done by employers to prevent these fatalities,” the National Safety Council said in a recent statement, per Safety + Health Magazine.

So, why did workplace fatalities increase in 2022? What are the common causes of fatal workplace accidents? Which jobs are the most dangerous? And how many workplace fatalities occurred in Pennsylvania? An experienced workers’ compensation attorney breaks down what to know.

Understanding the common causes of fatal work accidents

A total of 5,486 people nationwide died due to work-related injuries or illness in 2022, according to the most recent BLS numbers as reported by Safety + Health Magazine. This was the sixth time in seven years that workplace fatalities surpassed 5,000 deaths in a single year.

The most common cause of work-related fatalities was transportation-related accidents, which accounted for 2,066 deaths or 37.7 of all workplace fatalities in 2022.

The second-most common cause of workplace fatalities in 2022 was construction accidents. According to BLS data, 1,056 workers died as a result of fatal construction accidents.

Other common causes of work-related fatalities include slip, trip, or fall accidents (865 deaths in 2022) and coming into contact with an object or equipment (738 deaths).

What are some of the most dangerous professions?

As mentioned above, construction work remains one of the most dangerous and deadly professions. Other dangerous professions based on 2022 BLS workplace fatality data include:

  • Installation, repair, and maintenance-related work, which had a death toll of 431 in 2022.
  • Protection service-related work, including police and firefighters, which accounted for 335 deaths nationwide in 2022.
  • Farming, fishing and forestry-related work, which had the highest fatality rate based on the number of employees engaged in such work nationwide, according to BLS data.

Workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania

Overall, a total of 183 people died in work-related accidents in Pennsylvania in 2022, according to the BLS. That figure represents a 12.9 percent increase in workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania compared to 2021 when 162 workers lost their lives on the job in Pennsylvania.

What options are available to families after a fatal workplace accident?

Depending on the circumstances of a workplace fatality, there are often different options available to surviving family members in Pennsylvania. Such options often include:

  • Obtaining workers’ compensation death benefits, which can provide regular income to qualified surviving family members.
  • Taking legal action, including filing a wrongful death lawsuit in certain circumstances.

Other options may be available depending on the circumstances of your loved one's death. So, what should you do? Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible who knows how to handle legal cases involving workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania.

Let Vellner Law help you find your way forward

Workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania often turn into complicated legal cases. This is especially true if a loved one dies on the job due to a fatal workplace accident, injury, or illness. When this happens, it’s critical that family members fully understand their legal rights.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. An experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer at Vellner Law, PC can help you every step of the way. We understand how Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system works. And we’re prepared to do the work that needs to be done to do the job right.

Get a law firm that will work hard for you and fight for your rights. Contact us and schedule a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Bethlehem and Allentown and represent injury victims throughout Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley.

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