If you are currently working or have worked in the past, you are probably well aware of the fact that some occupations are more dangerous than others. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that in the U.S., over 4,400 individuals lost their lives while on the job in 2013, and many more sustained some type of illness or injury.
Fatal workplace accidents can leave behind several challenges for surviving family members. In addition to losing a loved one, there is a loss of income, insurance issues, estate problems, and possible legal claims. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, understand that you don’t have to face these issues alone. Florida workplace accident attorney David Fuchs can help you pick up the pieces, and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free case consultation, reach out through the online form.
Understanding the Statistics
According to a study released earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 299 fatal workplace accidents in the state of Florida in 2017. While this is a decrease from the 309 reported in 2016, many of these accidents could have been prevented. A closer look at the report reveals some interesting facts, including the leading causes of such incidents:
According to the most recent statistics from the BLS, transportation accidents were the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in the state of Florida in 2017. While this may be obvious for truckers, cab drivers, and other people in the transportation industry, accidents can happen in almost any line of work. For example, just about anyone can get into a motor vehicle accident while doing the following:
- Driving to and from customers or job sites
- Driving to pick up parts, materials, or merchandise
- Driving to and from training facilities
However, transportation accidents include more than just car accidents. They also include when a worker is struck by a vehicle, which could be a work or private car.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
The second most common source of fatal workplace accidents involves slips, trips, and falls. Slick floors, loose tiles, fraying carpet and poor lighting can lead to a slip and fall. Slip and fall incidents can lead to major injuries to an individual’s back and/or head, and depending on the age of the worker who fell, the injuries could be fatal. These can be due to the following:
- Missing or broken railings, stairs, or ladders
- Inadequate or missing signage
- Standing water or other slippery surfaces
- Unsafe scaffolding
- Broken or cracked concrete and asphalt
- Torn carpeting
A trip, slip, or fall can result in death or serious injuries, including broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, concussions, and spinal injuries.
Exposure to Toxic Substances and Environmental Hazards
According to the BLS, another leading cause of fatal workplace accidents in 2017 was toxic substances and environmental hazards. These injuries can be caused by the following:
- Chemical fumes
Toxic substances can lead to sudden injury, but prolonged exposure can also lead to serious illnesses that result in death. You should also be aware that certain environmental hazards can also lead to illnesses and death, including:
- Poor ventilation
- Animal excrement
- Human waste and other bodily fluids
Workplace violence is an often-overlooked source of workplace injuries. This can include violence among co-workers, and is also prevalent among those who deal with the public at large. Health care workers are especially at risk.
How to Prevent Workplace Accidents in Florida
The following steps can help prevent fatal workplace accidents:
- Proper training. Employers need to routinely train managers and staff regarding how to use safety equipment, how to identify potential hazards, and what to do in the event of an accident.
- Ensure that safety equipment is installed and used properly. Training isn’t very worthwhile if employees don’t have the proper safety equipment. More importantly, they have to actually use it. Using proper safety equipment can help prevent fatal workplace accidents.
- Post proper signage. Proper signage alerts employees to potential hazards and reminds them to be safe.
- Keep up with maintenance and repairs. Keeping machinery, vehicles, and work areas in good repair prevents accidents caused by lack of maintenance.
- Report potential hazards and unsafe conditions. Promptly report any issues to management so that they can be addressed. If they do not respond, elevate your concerns and document them for future reference.
Hurt at Work? Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident in the Fort Lauderdale area, you need someone on your side to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. The David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. is here to help you understand your options and work through the process so that you can move on with your life.
If you would like to schedule a free, initial case consultation, fill out the online contact form.