February 9, 2018

Common Causes of Workplace Fatalities in Wisconsin

Unfortunately, workplace fatalities are a reality in Wisconsin. In 2017, 29 workers lost their lives because of a work-related accident. While any worker can suffer from a workplace fatality, they are more likely to occur in industries such as construction and manufacturing.

Below is a list of the most common causes of workplace fatalities in the U.S. and state of Wisconsin. If you’ve lost a loved one due to a workplace accident, you should reach out to an experienced Wisconsin workplace injury lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC by calling (715) 343-2850.

Common Workplace Accidents That Lead to Fatalities

Below is a list of the most common causes of workplace fatalities in the U.S. and state of Wisconsin:

Transportation Incidents
The most common cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S. is transportation incidents. In 2016, 2,083 workers died because of transportation incidents. These deaths mainly include truck drivers and others who work in the transportation industry. However, fishermen who lost their lives on boats and construction workers who got hit by a vehicle while they were working on the side of a road are included as well.

There were 866 deaths that were the result of violence committed by people or animals in 2016. Violence usually involves physical assault and is defined as any act that abuses, threatens, intimidates, or assaults a worker. Homicide, which is usually seen in the retail industry, is the most extreme form of violence and is almost always motivated by robbery.

If you are at work and notice someone has a flushed or pale face, is trembling or shaking, talking loudly or chanting, breathing rapidly, avoiding eye contact, or violating your personal space, you should report them, as these are all signs that they may be becoming violent.

Falls, Trips, and Slips
Falls, trips, and falls accounted for 849 of workplace fatalities nationally in 2016. Fatalities from slips, trips, and falls can occur in every industry, and they are preventable when certain safety precautions are taken. To prevent these accidents from causing injuries and deaths, employers should make sure spills are cleaned up immediately; walkways and hallways are free of clutter, debris, and obstacles; and burnt-out light bulbs are replaced promptly. It’s also a good idea to replace worn flooring, install abrasive floor mats, and encourage employees to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly.

Contact with Objects and Equipment
761 American workers lost their lives in 2016 because they came in contact with dangerous objects or equipment. If you work in an environment where you’re at risk for being hit with an object or piece of equipment, your employer can take certain steps to protect you. They should secure all tools and materials to prevent them from falling on people below, use debris nets or canopies to catch or deflect falling objects, post warning signs, and use boards or scaffolds to prevent falling objects.

Exposure to Harmful Substances
518 people lost their lives nationally in 2016 because of exposure to harmful substances. The most common hazardous substances in the workplace include acids, paint, pesticides, caustic substances, solvents, petroleum products, and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum. These substances can lead to disorders of the lung, kidney, liver, and nervous system, and they may eventually lead to fatalities.

To reduce exposure to harmful substances in the workplace, employers should train all employees in handling and safety procedures, isolate harmful substances in separate storage areas, and regularly monitor the workplace to track the degree of hazardous substances in the environment.

Fires and Explosions
There were 88 American worker deaths in 2016 that were the result of fires and explosions. To ensure a workplace that’s free of fires and explosions, employers should eliminate clutter, maintain the appropriate types and quantities of fire extinguishers, store chemicals safety, and prevent ignition.

Contact a Wisconsin Workplace Injury Lawyer

Losing a loved one to an incident that occurred while they were at work is tragic. Although no amount of compensation can bring them back, it can help ease the financial burden you have been left with. If you’ve lost a family member to a workplace incident, call a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer from Studinski Law, LLC to schedule a free case consultation.

Contact us today at (715) 343-2850.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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