For the third year in a row, annual workplace deaths have increased. During 2016, there were 5,190 workplace fatalities reported in the United States according to a report that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week. This is a 7 percent increase from 2015 and is the first time since 2008 that more than 5000 workplace deaths have been reported.
In Vermont, on the job fatalities rose from 9 in 2015 to 10 in 2016. Across the country, work injuries involving transportation incidents remain the most common fatal event and accounted for 2083 deaths. On the job deaths involving transportation and material moving were the highest since 2007.
Construction remains a dangerous job. Fatal work injuries from falls, slips or trips continued an upward trend that began in 2011. Falls increased more than 25 per cent for roofers, carpenters, tree-trimmers and tree-pruners.
Violence by persons or animals increased during 2016 to become the second most common fatal work injury in 2016.
Logging workers continued to have a high fatal work injury rate. The number of fatal work injuries among loggers increased from 67 in 2015 to 91 in 2016.
One positive note in the report is that on the job deaths among farm works has decreased from 180 in 2015 to 157 in 2016.
Vermont workers’ compensation laws provide for benefits for dependents of those who die as a result of a work injury. At Kalter, Kalter and Mabey, our workers’ compensation lawyers have had the privilege of assisting many family members of workers who were killed on the job.
Please call us at 802-775-7459 if you need help or have questions about workers’ compensation death benefits in Vermont.