Following the economic uncertainty of the past few years, many Americans have been seeking out new fields for employment. With new areas of work come new job demands, new skills to learn and new tips and tricks to absorb. When it comes to on-the-job safety, many Pennsylvania workers must cope with new priorities that differ from those in their previous position; thus, employers who make safety a high priority can help avoid the possibility of a workplace injury or death.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over 4,400 workplace fatalities took place in 2013. This number was down from over 4,600 work accident deaths the previous year. The highest number of these tragedies took place in the construction field, with the second-highest occurring in the transportation and warehousing industry. In third place for fatal occupational injuries was agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing, while those working in government saw the fourth-highest number of fatal accidents. Just below government was professional and business services followed by manufacturing.
In 2013, 17 percent of deadly workplace injuries were suffered by contractors. Typically, a contractor is employed by one firm but works for another for a specific period of time. In cases of fatal workplace accidents, a
wrongful death claim
can become quite complicated if the deceased was working as a contractor.
In November of last year, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped to a promising 5.1 percent. While this is undoubtedly welcome news for everyone in the state, employers must emphasize safety as the employment ranks continue to grow.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, "
National census of fatal occupational injuries in 2013
," accessed Jan. 17, 2015