Work-related deaths are on the rise nationwide

While Cook County residents are hard workers their workplaces are not always safe. Construction accidents, the presence of asbestos and the use of dangerous tools all contribute to the dangers workers may face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, across the nation, work-related deaths seem to be on the rise.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatalities in the United States rose 2 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, from 4,585 workplace fatalities to 4,679 workplace fatalities. Certain industries also saw significant raises in workplace fatalities. For example, fatal workplace injuries in the construction industry rose 6 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. In that same time period, workplace fatalities in the manufacturing industry rose 9 percent, workplace fatalities in the agriculture industry rose 14 percent and workplace fatalities the mining industry rose 17 percent. Common injuries included workers tripping, slipping and falling.

In addition, workplace fatalities suffered by individuals age 55 or higher increased 9 percent in 2014 when compared to 2013 statistics. Moreover, in 2014 females suffered a 13 percent increase in workplace fatalities when compared to 2013 numbers. However, in total, females comprised only 8 percent of workplace fatalities in 2014. Also, workplace fatalities among Hispanic or Latino employees dropped in 2014, while workplace fatalities involving African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites rose.

These grim statistics serve as a sobering reminder that it is up to employers to ensure their workplaces are as safe as possible for the people working there. Chicago work-related deaths aren’t unknown, however. The families of workers killed while on-the-job may want to research whether they have the grounds to bring a wrongful death claim.