You kiss your spouse good-bye as they head out the door to work, never in a million years anticipating that the day will end with a chilling visit from someone in a dark suit telling you that a tragic accident occurred, and your loved one is dead.
Fatal Occupational Injuries
Studies indicate that roughly 5,000 individuals experience fatal injuries in the workplace every year in this country, with about 20 percent of those injuries involving Latino or Hispanic workers. Another group of workers disproportionately affected: workers over the age of 65.
The injuries that lead to death cross multiple industries, with key occupations taking the lead in fatalities:
- Jobs involving roadway incidents comprise a quarter of occupational fatalities;
- Tractor-trailer truck drivers and heavy equipment drivers experience the most fatalities of any other industry;
- 25 percent of workplace fatalities occur in private construction;
- Private gas and oil extraction industries experience a high level of fatal accidents;
- Logging and fishing workers have higher than normal risk;
- Roofers experience a high number of incidents;
- Steel workers have high exposure to risk;
- Persons who work with electricity face unique dangers.
Incidents that are Fatal
The types of accidents that take lives vary, but six specific incidents take precedence when it comes to fatalities:
- Transportation accidents;
- Trips, slips and falls;
- Unsafe contact with machinery or equipment;
- Workplace violence by people and/or animals;
- Exposure to toxic substances;
- Explosions, fires and electrocutions.
Workplace Fatalities in Florida
Unfortunately for Floridians, the chances of dying on the job are going up in this state. While the national fatality rate is in decline, the rate in Florida has seen a steady increase over the past couple of years. Recent deaths have devastated families:
- Bruce Stevenson Jr. was crushed by a stack of heavy plates that came crashing down from a wobbly forklift;
- Marvin Franklin was killed when a dump truck backed over him on a road construction site;
- Leopoldo Buenaventura was electrocuted when he fell into animatronics equipment in Orlando;
- Larry Howard Brower fell backwards off of a tractor-trailer and struck his head on the asphalt.
Causes of Fatal Workplace Incidents
Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. What leads to accidents and fatalities? A number of factors impact safety outcomes:
- Worker fatigue;
- Anxiety that may lead to distractions;
- Slips or trips involving spilled liquids, errant cords, poor lighting, unsafe railings;
- Hazardous materials that are improperly stored, or that workers are ill-equipped to deal with;
- Falls when workers are not properly tied off, or from faulty ladders or scaffolding;
- Violence, when former employees have a vendetta or tempers flare on the job and weapons come out.
Following a Fatality
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one due to a workplace accident, you likely have many questions about what happened, and who is to blame. At Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, we pride ourselves on our investigative prowess and attention to detail. Our experienced legal team will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve if negligence or purposeful actions resulted in an untimely death. Contact us in Tampa for a free, confidential consultation today.