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The rate of fatal workplace injuries fell nationwide in 2011

Ohio residents know that the worst possible outcome of a workplace injury is death. In fact, some of our previous posts have reported on some very serious workplace injuries that have occurred in the state of Ohio this past year, in addition to a few very untimely and tragic deaths due to workplace accidents. However, the good news is that the U.S. Department of Labor has just released a report which shows that the number of workplace accidents resulting in death in 2011 actually decreased slightly from 2010.

There were a total of 4,609 fatal work injuries that occurred in the United States last year. Out of all of the workplace injuries that are most likely to cause death, the most dangerous by far are workplace injuries occurring in the transportation industry. An example of these types of accidents is a car or truck-related accident that occurs during the normal course of work. Accidents related to transportation accounted for 41 percent of all deaths last year. Following this category, 15 percent of workplace injuries were caused from falls, slips and trips at work, and 15 percent from harmful contact with objects or equipment in the workplace. Exposure to harmful substances found in the workplace environment accounted for 9 percent of the deaths.

The report also notes that fatal injuries occurring among private employers in the construction sector has fallen for the fifth time in five years, down 7 percent from 2010. Although this is welcome news for the workers of Ohio, job safety is still a primary concern for many employees and their employers.

Under the Ohio workers' compensation system, by filing a workers' compensation claim, an injured worker is entitled to seek medical care for any injuries sustained at work regardless of who was at fault for the accident or injury. Additionally, an injured worker may also be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages. Injured employees are also entitled to receive additional benefits if they are temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of a workplace accident.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Fewer Americans Died From Work-Related Injuries in 2011," Josh Mitchell, Sept. 20, 2012

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