The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported more than 4,600 employees were killed on the job last year, essentially unchanged from 2010.
Georgia work accidents claimed 107 lives in 2011, compared to 108 in 2010. As we reported recently on our Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, transportation accidents, workplace violence and workplace falls continue to be the leading causes of serious and fatal work accidents in Georgia and throughout the United States.
In such cases, survivor’s benefits will pay up to $7,500 for burial expenses and up to $500 a week up to a total of $150,000 for a spouse with no children. A dependent child may continue to receive benefits until age 21 if attending college.
However, most people survive a work accident, even if the result is permanent or temporary disability. Workers’ compensation benefits will pay medical expenses and lost wages in such cases.
Fatal Georgia Work Accidents in 2012:
Transportation Accidents: 45 Workplace Violence: 17 Falls: 16 Struck by Object: 15 Harmful Exposure: 9 Fire Explosion: 5
Nationwide, the number of fatal construction accidents declined for the fifth year in a row. There were 721 fatal construction accidents in 2011 compared to 774 in 2010. However, that is not a trend that is expected to continue. In fact, risks are expected to increase as the economy recovers.
To that end, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has launched a fall safety campaign aimed at construction workers. In 2010, falls were responsible for 264 of the 774 construction deaths reported to the agency. The campaign urges companies to “Plan, Provide, Train.”
-Plan ahead: This will help you get the job done safely.
-Provide the right equipment: Workers at a height of six feet or more are at risk of serious injury or death in the event of a fall. Always provide the right kind of ladder or scaffold, as well as the proper safety gear.
Train: Employees need to be properly trained on the use of safety equipment and other ways to eliminate or mitigate risk.
As we reported last month, residential construction accidents are an increasing risk with the recovery of the housing market. While falls in private construction have decreased by 42 percent in the last five years, they are still the leading cause of death.
The government is also reminding employers that work-safety programs pay big dividends. For every dollar spent on work safety, employers typically see a savings of $4 to $6 in reduction of lost time and other costs. Far from an expense to be minimized, these programs can actually add to a company’s bottom line.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.
2011 Fatal Work Accidents Highlight Risks for Georgia Employees, Published by Law Firm of J. Franklin Burns, P.C., Oct. 3, 2012.