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Work-Related Fatalities Rise in 2014

With a final count of work-related fatalities for workers in North Carolina and throughout the country in 2014 having been tallied by the U.S. Department of Labor, workplace deaths rose among a number of different groups compared to the previous year. Deaths among workers in private mining, oil and gas extraction, and quarrying reached their highest point since 2007 with 183 fatalities. In private construction, 899 workers died. This was a 9 percent increase over the 2013 total.

In all, 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014. This was the highest number since 2008. Among Hispanic and Latino workers, the number of fatalities was lower at 804 than in the previous year. For African-American or non-Hispanic black workers, the number was 475, and for non-Hispanic white workers, there were 3,332 deaths.

Roadway incidents and falls accounted for many deaths, with 1,157 road-related fatalities and 818 deaths from falls. Overall, workplace fatalities increased for the first time since 2010. There were close to 1,700 workers at or over the age of 55 who died in workplace accidents. This was the highest total that has ever been recorded.

Unsafe working conditions can often lead to fatal workplace injuries, but many deaths result from accidents that happened despite all safety precautions being taken. Regardless of the cause, the surviving family members of someone who has been killed on the job often face significant financial challenges, especially when the decedent was the primary breadwinner. An attorney who has experience in this area can provide advice and counsel when the survivors are determining whether filing for workers’ compensation death benefits would be an advisable way of obtaining some financial relief.