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NSC calls on employers to do more to prevent workplace deaths

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that there were 5,250 work-related fatalities in 2018: a 2% rise from the previous year’s total of 5,147. Residents of New Jersey should know that the truck drivers and sales workers saw the highest number of fatalities with 40% of all work-related incidents being transportation incidents.

The BLS also revealed a 12% increase in the number of worker fatalities stemming from unintentional overdoses on non-medical drugs or from overconsumption of alcohol. There were 11% more work-related suicides, too.

These findings have prompted the National Safety Council to call on employers to take a more systematic approach to employee health and safety. This means setting up training programs and having clear risk assessment techniques in place: that is, techniques for identifying and addressing safety risks on the job site.

It all comes down to creating a culture of safety, and it can only start from the top down. Managers should talk with workers about the various hazards and make them understand that they can report safety risks without fear of retaliation. Not only employees but also investors and regulators expect employers to take more seriously this duty to create such a culture.

Under workers’ compensation law, workers who are injured can be reimbursed for their medical expenses and for a portion of their lost wages. If workers die, then the family can be compensated for these losses as well as for funeral and burial expenses.

Whatever the case may be, plaintiffs may want to hire a lawyer who’s familiar with workers’ compensation law because the filing process can be complicated. Though plaintiffs are not required to prove anyone’s guilt, employers can deny payment if workers were to blame for their injuries or death. A lawyer may assist with the appeal.