Workplace fatalities decrease in Pennsylvania

Workplace accidents that cause fatal injuries may be declining in Pennsylvania, a new federal report stated earlier this month. Workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania decreased by 16 percent in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fatal workplace accidents and injuries accounted for 186 deaths in Pennsylvania in 2011, down from 221 workplace deaths in the state reported in 2010. The state’s decline in workplace fatalities followed the national trend. In 2011, workplace fatalities decreased by 17 percent in the U.S.

The decline in workplace deaths in the state is great news for workplace safety advocates. In previous years, Pennsylvania had been seeing an increase in workplace fatalities. During the previous 10 years, workplace fatalities hovered above 200 workplace deaths for seven out of the last 10 years.

The report said that a majority of the workplace deaths in Pennsylvania involved transportation accidents, falls, slips or trips or equipment accidents. Transportation accidents resulted in 69 workplace fatalities in the state in 2011. Falls and slips caused 34 fatalities and 32 fatalities were caused by accidents with equipment or objects.

The report found that male workers were involved in 90 percent of fatal workplace accidents in Pennsylvania. In addition, 54 percent of the workplace fatalities involved workers who were between the ages of 25 and 54.

While the decline in workplace fatalities is good news, workplace safety advocates says that more still needs to be done to protect workers in Pennsylvania. Employers are required to provide a safe working environment for their employers.

Workers involved in accidents and injuries caused by safety violations or employer negligence may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers should consult a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after the injury to discuss their specific case.

Source: Citizens Voice, “Workplace fatalities down in Pennsylvania,” James Haggerty, Jan. 4, 2013