Connecticut employees may be relieved to hear that workplace fatalities declined across the country in 2017, with 43 fewer workers losing their lives on the job than in the previous year. These statistics were released by the national Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its annual National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Along with the numerical decline, the rate of injuries causing death at work declined from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also pointed to concerning figures from the report.
An OSHA official noted that any number of workplace fatalities is still too high. The agency noted that it was dedicated to informing employers about their legal obligations to provide a safe workplace for employees and following up on that information with compliance assistance and enforcement. It also said that it was committed to providing safety education for employees as well. Several types of injuries reached low points since the statistical collection began in 1992, including workplace deaths related to cranes as well as fatalities in private manufacturing and wholesale trade.
At the same time, unintentional overdoses again rose by 25 percent, the fifth consecutive year of significant increases in the number of fatal overdoses taking place at work. Indeed, this number has risen by at least 25 percent each of these years. OSHA pointed to this figure as indicative of the country's ongoing opiate addiction crisis. Workers age 65 and older were also more likely to lose their lives, as were oil and gas extraction industry employees.
While not all workplace accidents are fatal, they can cause serious injuries that prevent people from returning to their job for prolonged periods. People who have been harmed in such a manner might want to have legal assistance when they are seeking their rightful workers' compensation benefits.