Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania workplace deaths reduced in 2011

For a number of years, workplace deaths in Pennsylvania had been on the rise. However, the 186 individuals killed in workplace accidents in Pennsylvania during the year of 2011 represented a 16 percent decrease from the prior year.

Though the number of workplace deaths is not always easy to predict, trends in the manner that these deaths have occurred certainly indicate where greater emphasis upon safety should arise. An economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Pennsylvania was quoted as saying, "Three-quarters of the deaths in Pennsylvania in 2011 resulted from either transportation incidents, falls, trips or slips, or contact with equipment."

Transportation, in particular, appears to have been an area of danger for workers. More than a third of work-related deaths during 2011 in Pennsylvania occurred due to transportation type incidents. And not surprisingly, the transportation sector also had the highest numbers of deaths reported as well.

Especially when it comes to the workplace, increased safety needs to be emphasized. For reasons of expense, employers often fail to provide safety training or information to employees. Yet a single injury can cost the company a great deal of money in lost productivity and money spent defending themselves in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Attorneys that represent workers or family members in these types of lawsuits will focus in on whether the type of accident or injury was foreseeable. When the same types of incidents occur over and over again at a place of employment, it becomes apparent to everyone that the employer is doing little to prevent these sorts of accidents from occurring.

Hopefully, the reduction in fatal workplace accident is more than a temporary trend. Safety needs to remain an employer's number one concern.

Source: Standard Speaker, "Workplace deaths down in 2011 from prior year," by James Haggerty, Jan. 7, 2013

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