The Importance of Worker’s Compensation in the US
According to the 2017 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were a total of 5147 fatal work injuries in the year in the US. This may have gone down slightly from the previous year’s total (5190), but is still a high number and highlights the importance of worker compensation in the event that they die on the job. You can learn more about workers compensation lawyers here.
Types of Incidents
The types of incidents that resulted in the most fatalities in workplaces remained transportation accidents. They accounted for nearly 40% of the total fatalities in the workplace and resulted in a total of 2077 worker deaths.
Fatal falls were the highest in 26 years and accounted for 17% of worker deaths. Violence and other injuries which were sustained as a result of other people or animals decreased by 7% and so did homicides and suicides. However, overdose of nonmedical drugs and alcohol were up by 25%.
The transportation and material moving sector remained the highest contributor to workplace fatalities. These included construction and extraction occupational groups. On the whole, this accounted of 47% of worker deaths.
Drivers, truck drivers, tractor trailer truck drivers as well as the largest number of fatal occupational injuries were the highest, reaching the number 840. This was the highest value for heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers since the beginning of the tally in 2003.
The Need to Reform Compensation
State-based worker’s compensation in the United States is one of the oldest types of social insurance options that are available. Over 129 million workers fall in that category. Every state regulates its own program, but over the last 20 years, there have been significant changes which have decreased the chances of fair compensation.
There are exclusions in a lot of state programs which exempt a lot of work related injuries and many workers in high hazard occupations don’t receive compensation at their jobs. The result is that employers now provide a very small percentage of the total financial const of workplace injuries, nearly 21%.
As a result, people stand to fall into poverty and severe debt if they are injured at work. The possibility of that happening is extremely high according to the cited stats above. All in all, it’s clear that states are engaged n a race to bottom over worker’s compensation benefits.
Cutbacks on attorney fees have also prevented claimants from obtaining appropriate legal representation. All of this has hampered workers from what is entitled to them and this is a trampling of their rights in the worst way possible.
Worker’s compensation is no laughing matter and should include the proper provisions to cover medical expenses, compensation from the employer in the event of any disease or long lasting harm caused to the employee as well as disability benefits.
Worker’s compensation should be assured to employees under a large umbrella of conditions for the suffering that they have endured because of their workplace.