We’ve all heard the phrase “accidents happen,” but there’s a prevailing line of reasoning that they don’t simply occur. Rather, they are “made.” The cause can almost always be traced to someone who dropped the ball and that prior event (or events) produces the accident. Whenever someone does something they should not have done or fails to do something they should have done, the result can lead to a harmful accident.
A common example is falling on a flight of stairs. There was no magical force behind the tumble. Maybe you were carrying a load that made you off balance. Maybe you were in a hurry and going too fast. Maybe you weren’t wearing your glasses. But the fault may not have been yours – someone left something on the steps, someone failed to fix the broken railing, someone forgot to replace the burned-out lightbulb, etc.
People cause accidents and people can prevent them, whether at home or on the job. While many workplace injuries fall under the realm of workers’ compensation and therefore protect the employer from liability, injured workers are not precluded from suing other third-parties who bear responsibility. Such claims can supplement worker’s compensation benefits and are crucial to recovery.
In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 752,600 nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases in the public sector, and 2.9 million in the private sector. There was also an annual total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries, making the overall rate of civilian fatal work injury 3.38 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. That rate was particularly high across ten industries in which most of the jobs are done by men. These dangerous occupations are:
- Logging workers: fatal injury rate of 132.7 (67 fatal injuries)
- Fishers and fishing workers: fatal injury rate of 54.8 (23 fatal injuries)
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: fatal injury rate of 40.4 (57 fatal injuries)
- Roofers: fatal injury rate of 39.7 (75 fatal injuries)
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors: fatal injury rate of 38.8 (33 fatal injuries)
- Structural iron and steel workers: fatal injury rate of 29.8 (17 fatal injuries)
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: fatal injury rate of 24.3 (885 fatal injuries)
- Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers: fatal injury rate of 22 (252 fatal injuries)
- Electrical power-line installers and repairers: fatal injury rate of 20.5 (26 fatal injuries)
- Supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and grounds-keeping workers: fatal injury rate of 18.1 (38 fatal injuries).
Going to work should not be a treacherous experience, even when risky occupations are involved. If you are trying to put your life back together after a work-related injury, if you have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, or if you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the attorneys at The Mann Law Firm.