As an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, It Breaks My Heart to Talk About Work Fatalities

In recent years, there has been a concerning increase in fatal work injuries, shedding light on the importance of workplace safety and the need for comprehensive data analysis to identify and address the root causes of these tragedies. According to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workplace fatalities went up significantly in 2022 in various industries. If a loved one tragically loses their life at work, our compassionate Ohio workers' compensation legal team will provide important assistance during such difficult times.

Understanding the BLS Data Woman's hand on coffin near flowers indicating workplace fatality in Ohio

The BLS data for 2022 reveals a disturbing trend: it reports 5,486 fatal work injuries, which is a 5.7 percent increase from the prior year.

The numbers show that a considerable part of these fatalities can be attributed to three primary causes: vehicle accidents, accidental overdose at work, and workplace violence.

Vehicle Accidents

This is the leading cause of fatal work injuries in the U.S. While this category includes a wide range of incidents, a significant proportion of these accidents involve transportation and logistical occupations. Examples of such jobs include: 

  • Truck operators. Long-haul truckers are particularly vulnerable to fatal accidents due to their extensive time on the road. Factors such as fatigue, adverse weather conditions, and pressure to meet tight deadlines can contribute to putting these professionals at risk.
  • Delivery personnel. Delivery industry workers often face challenges navigating busy streets and dealing with high-pressure schedules. These factors can increase the threat of fatal accidents.
  • Commercial pilots. Pilots and aircrew members also face potential risks while operating aircraft. Mechanical failures, adverse weather, and human errors can lead to tragic aviation accidents.

Accidental Overdose at Work

An accidental overdose on the job has emerged as another significant contributor to fatal work injuries. People at risk include: 

  • Health care staff. Health care employees such as nurses and paramedics might experience an accidental overdose when administering medications to patients. Additionally, mislabeling or administering the wrong dosage of drugs can have devastating consequences.
  • Manufacturing employees. Workers involved in handling chemicals and pharmaceuticals may be exposed to toxic substances that can lead to fatal overdoses if proper safety precautions aren’t in place.
  • Construction workers. Due to the physical demands of the job, some construction workers may require prescription medications such as opioids for back-related pain. Accidental overdose can occur when construction workers misuse these substances, leading to tragic outcomes.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is a growing concern that affects employees across various industries. Although it can occur in any work setting, certain professions seem to be more susceptible to this risk, such as:

  • Public service. Law enforcement officers and first responders are at an elevated risk of encountering workplace violence, even though they’re likely to be more equipped to expect it.
  • Education. The tragic news never seems to stop regarding the threat administrators, teachers, support staff, and bus drivers continually face, especially from current and former students. 
  • Retail. Inadequate security measures and training exacerbate the risk of fatal outcomes in various commercial establishments, particularly threats and violent incidents from customers or thieves. 
  • Health care. Medical staff often encounter violent patients or their family members, especially in high-stress environments like emergency rooms. 

What to Do If a Loved One Dies at Work

Losing a loved one in a workplace accident is a devastating experience. In this challenging time, knowing the steps to protect your rights and seeking support from professionals who can guide you through the process is essential. Here's what you should do:

  • Tell the authorities. Immediately inform local law enforcement and relevant workplace authorities about the incident.
  • Preserve evidence. Document the scene, take photographs, and gather any relevant evidence that might help determine the cause of the accident.
  • Contact an attorney. Consult an experienced Ohio workers' compensation attorney to provide essential guidance on filing a claim and pursuing legal action if necessary.
  • Support and counseling. Seek emotional support from friends, family, or professionals, such as grief counselors, to help you cope with the loss.

How the Monast Law Office Workers' Compensation Team Can Help

If a loved one tragically loses their life at work, I encourage you to trust the skilled legal team at Monast Law Office. We’ll explain your rights and walk you through the workers' compensation claim process step by step, ensuring you understand your options.

We’ll also investigate the workplace accident to determine the cause and whether negligence or safety violations contributed to the incident. This helps build a solid case for effective compensation to help you with medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages because of your loved one's death. We’ll also represent you in hearings and advocate for your interests, seeking justice and accountability from the responsible parties.




James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
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