For Illinois workers, all workplaces pose some risk of injury. However, as a Lake County workers’ compensation lawyer would be aware, some workplaces are more dangerous than others. This imbalance leads to higher rates of injuries to workers in industries featuring more hazards. The same is true of fatal injuries that occur due to hazards in the workplace.
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In October of 2014, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a report called the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In the report, the authors showed that, in Illinois, occupational accidents killed 145 workers in 2012. Furthermore, the report showed the distribution of these work-related fatalities among industry sectors:
- The industry sector that accounted for the highest proportion of injury-related fatalities was classified as transportation and warehousing. Specifically, transportation and warehousing was responsible for 22.1 percent of occupational deaths in 2012. Within this industry grouping, the leading cause of death was a transportation incident.
- The second leading industry sector for occupational injuries that resulted in death was manufacturing. Accidents involving manufacturing workers led to 11.7 percent of work-related fatalities in Illinois that year. The most prominent event that led to these deaths in the industry was a fall (29.4 percent of cases).
- The third most common industry sector for injury-related deaths was construction, which accounted for 11.0 percent of the total. Similar to the manufacturing industry, falls were the most common cause of death to construction workers. Due to the hazards associated with these worksites, which a Lake County workers’ compensation lawyer would understand, falls represented 43.8 percent of injuries.
- The industry sector contributing the fourth most occupational fatalities was classified as the grouping of agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. This group of industries was responsible for 6.2 percent of workplace deaths in the state. Despite other more intuitive hazards in these fields, transportation incidents were the leading cause of death within them (44.4 percent of cases).
After these four industry groupings, health care and social assistance also presented a relatively high risk of occupational death.
Nothing can fully counteract the loss of a loved one to an accident in the workplace. Notwithstanding, the state of Illinois has laws in place to compensate these individuals. Specifically, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act requires employers to carry insurance against these potential events. Correspondingly, individuals may file claims to receive benefits if a workplace death arose out of and in the course of employment.
Given the costs to employers and their insurers of distributing benefits, they can be expected to resist doing so where possible. For this reason, individuals who have lost loved ones to workplace accidents may wish to consult with a Lake County workers’ compensation lawyer.