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Job-related fatalities spike from 2009 to 2015

Minnesota employees should always be able to trust that their work environments are safe. Employers are legally required to provide safe areas and promote processes and procedures that keep people free from injury while conducting their jobs. Sadly, on-the-job-accidents continue to happen and many of them claim the lives of innocent people along the way.

In looking back at recent data, it appears that 2015 - the most current year for which a full 12 months of data is available - saw the most number of fatalities in workplace accidents since 2008. In 2008, a total of 5,214 people died while performing their jobs. That number dropped significantly to 4,551 the following year. Between 2009 and 2013, an up and down pattern with the number of job-related deaths was seen. Then came further increases in both 2014 and 2015 when 4,821 and 4,836 people died, respectively.

A whopping 42 percent of 2015's workplace deaths involved transportation accidents. That translates into more than 2,000 deaths. Some form of contact with work equipment or other objects and falls, trips and slips accounted for another 1,522 fatalities. Another 575 people died in explosions or fires or from exposure to hazardous materials or environments. Men accounted for 93 percent of those who died in work accidents in 2015.

When an accident happens on a job site, injured workers as well as family members left behind deserve help. Talking to an attorney at these times may be one way of learning what types of compensation may be available and how to seek it.

Source: The New York Times, "Workplace Deaths in 2015 Reached Six-Year High," Niraj Chokshi, Dec. 20, 2016

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