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AFL-CIO releases workplace injury statistics

According to a new report released from the AFL-CIO, about 150 people per day died from work-related injuries or illnesses in 2011. There were approximately 137 work-related illness deaths per day and another 13 fatalities were attributable to a workplace injury. Pennsylvania, however, had the lowest rate of work-related accidents for the year.

In recent years, there has been a slowing down of the trend toward safer workplaces. Although the number of work-related fatalities has declined overall since 1970, that decline seems to have stopped over the past three years and numbers have remained very steady. The highest fatalities rates are in the logging and fishing industries while the highest number of work-related illnesses comes from the fire and nursing fields. North Dakota currently has the highest per-state fatality rate and Pennsylvania has the lowest. Ethnic background is another factor that the report examined. Latino workers have a work-related fatality rate 14 percent higher than the population as a whole.

The annual report compiled by the AFL-CIO is based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. These agencies estimate that 4,693 people died on the job in 2011, but these figures do not account for work-related illnesses that may result in death. The AFL-CIO believes work-related illnesses may account for 50,000 deaths over the course of a year.

Those who have suffered a workplace illness or injury may find help from a workers' compensation attorney. Employees may be entitled to compensation for lost wages during the time they are away from work as well as payment of medical bills and money for living expenses. A workers' compensation attorney may be able to help victims recover these sums to compensate them for some of their physical and mental suffering.

Source: MSNBC, "US work-related deaths top 150 a day, finds AFL-CIO report", Ned Resnikoff, May 08, 2013