Fatal work injuries hold steady, Pennsylvania ranked 6th in fatalities

US-Department-of-Labor-logoThe United State Department of Labor and Industry released data today that confirmed 4,679 fatal injuries in the workplace in 2014.  That number is essentially the same as 2013, in which here were 4,585 fatal injuries, but 2014 saw more an increase in total work hours.  The rate of 3.3 fatalities to 100,000 full time equivalent was unchanged from 2013 to 2014.

The areas of occupation that reported the larger increases are significant industries in Pennsylvania.  Those areas are:  Mining +17% increase, agriculture +14% increase, manufacturing +9% increase, and construction +6% increase.  The mining occupation includes oil and natural gas extraction, which is increasing in Pennsylvania.  Of the 4,679 fatal work injuries, nearly 40% (1,891) involved transportation, with the majority being roadway incidences.  Of those, drivers/sales workers and truck driver counted for 2 of 3 fatalities.

Pennsylvania ranked 6th in the United States with the most work-related fatalities.  Pennsylvania suffered 175 work fatal work injuries in 2014.  That was a decrease from 183 in 2013.   Just like the national statistical numbers, transportation related deaths were the highest number, attributing to 74 of the 175 work related fatal injuries.  Transportation was followed by:  contact with objects/equipment (29), slip and falls (25), violence (23), exposure to harmful substances (16), and fires and explosions (8).

US Secretary Thomas Perez implored work places to increase their safety and in the workplace.

“Far too many people are still killed on the job – 13 workers every day taken from their families tragically and unnecessarily. These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires.”

Work place injuries are devastating enough.  Unfortunately, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to also have to represent widows of injured workers.  It’s a humbling experience to say the least.  My hope is that employer’s in these industries take more proactive measures to protect workers where possible and to try and eliminate safety hazards that can cause fatal injuries, and for that matter, any work place injuries.  Many work related injuries can simply be avoided by eliminating work place hazards.

If you have been injured on the job, and live in Central Pennsylvania, call Mooney & Associates today for a FREE consultation.  Your rights under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act are simply too important to go it alone.  You don’t need to.  Call us today at 1-877-632-4656.  We have offices through Central Pennsylvania.


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.