Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Ohio Work Death Report

Ohio workers' compensation attorneyWorker deaths have risen nationally for three straight years. If your family has suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in a work-related accident, contact Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A.

Year after year, worker deaths plague Ohio with no end in sight.

A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows workplace deaths nationwide in 2016 topped 5,000 for the first time since 2008. It also marked the third straight increase in fatal injuries over the previous year.

The greatest number of worker fatalities, about 40 percent, occurred in transportation. Another 23 percent were linked to violence and injuries. In a disturbing and dangerous trend, exposure to harmful chemicals jumped 22 percent in 2016.

The numbers for Ohio include 164 deaths in 2016. Since 2007, on-the-job deaths have totaled 1,647, meaning the state has made little progress in worker safety over the past decade.

What has caused the increase in workplace deaths?

In a recent report by the Dayton Daily News, experts cited reasons for the bleak numbers:

  • Worker fatigue as employees try to meet increased demand. “That can contribute to workplace violence or transportation accidents,” said Lora Cavuoto, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Buffalo.
  • Employer cutbacks. “The first people to be laid off may be the safety people,” said Pam Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for the AFL-CIO.
  • Younger, less experienced workers. “More younger people, that is definitely a factor,” Seminario said. “There’s no question about that.”
  • Companies that fail to emphasize safety. “All companies experiencing growth are going to face new challenges, new hazards, and the need to train new employees,” said John Morris, the  president of the Mid-America Occupational Safety and Health Administration Education Center. “An investment in safety is critical.”
  • Lack of government oversight. Seminario said OSHA needs a $100 million boost in its budget to keep pace with inflation. She’s also concerned about the lack of compliance from inspectors and supervisors.

When it comes to safety, it’s clear that workers in Ohio cannot rely on their employers or the government to protect them. In the wake of an on-the-job fatality, employers will do everything they can to protect their own interests. Supervisors and insurance companies are more likely to blame workers for fatal accidents than to accept responsibility, which would open them to legal action and possible government sanctions.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a work-related accident in Ohio, you are suffering mentally and emotionally. Company lawyers and insurance company representatives will try to take advantage of your situation, offering a deal that requires you to sign away your rights for a financial settlement that is far less than you deserve – and far less than you will need.

Burdened by grief and desperation, don’t make a decision that you will regret. Instead, contact the workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. We have more than 150 years of combined experience, with offices in Dayton, Troy, Springfield and Cincinnati.

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