Worker deaths continue to increase, showing the toll of neglect

We talk a lot about workplace accidents here on our blog – in part because we’re personal injury attorneys, but also because we believe that far too many people are hurt and killed on worksites. We hope that educating workers and holding negligent employers accountable makes workplaces a little bit safer for the men and women who work so hard to build our great country.

This spring, the AFL-CIO released its annual report titled Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect. Every year, this report provides nationwide and state-by-state information about worker deaths. And this year, it holds some discouraging news.

Troubling statistics on worker deaths

You can read the entire report here, but here are some key takeaways:

  1. In 2014, the last full year with available data, workplace deaths increased slightly from the year before. In 2013, there were 3.3 workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers. This rose to 3.4 per 100,000 in 2014.
  2. The employee death toll rose from 4,585 in 2013 to 4,821 in 2014.
  3. About 50,000 workers died in 2014 from work-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, silicosis and black lung disease.
  4. According to the AFL-CIO, these numbers may not even encompass all workplace fatalities, as accidents are often underreported.

Some workplace accidents are unavoidable. But a heartbreaking number of these fatalities could have been prevented with proper oversight, safety protocols and education. What will it take to see a reduction in workplace deaths in New York and across the country?