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Workplace Fatalities Highest Since 2008

Partly spurred by a rise in oil and gas related deaths, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics found workplace related death rose to 4,679 in 2014. This preliminary data would mean 2014 was the deadliest year for American workers since 2008, when a tragic 5,214 US workers lost their lives.

Oil Field Fatalities on the Rise

The Wall Street Journal specifically pointed out the “dramatic” rise in job-related deaths of oil field workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there was a 27 percent increase between 2013 and 2014. The number may be revised by as much as 100 to 200 more. That would make 2014 the deadliest year for oil and gas workers since 1993.

The Most Dangerous Industries and States

According to the reports, the most dangerous industries for American workers are construction, mining, agriculture and manufacturing. Texas, Colorado and Wyoming experienced the largest increases in fatalities. Although these three states are major oil and gas producers, booming North Dakota surprisingly saw a 34 percent decrease in deaths.

The Reasons for the Increase are Complex and Varied

The increase in fatalities could be attributed to a number of different factors, not the least of which is that more people have entered or reentered the workplace in recent years. Workplace safety advocates have stated their belief that safety rules are either poorly enforced or outdated.

Obviously, there will never be a consensus on the best course of action for protecting workers, especially on the topic of voluntary compliance versus government oversight. Whatever is decided, it’s important for workers and their families to be aware of their rights and legal recourse in the event of an accident or death.

If you have lost a loved one to a workplace accident, contact one of our Dallas construction accident attorneys today. Whether it was in the oil field, on a construction site, or any other workplace injury, we can help. Call 972-774-9800 or contact us online today.