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Study reveals high numbers of deaths from work-related injury

In a new study released by the AFL-CIO, it is revealed that there are a high number of work-related injury reports and deaths in the United States, including the state of Illinois. There are approximately 150 deaths per day stemming from a work-related injury. In this report on worker safety and health, it lists the states with the highest and lowest numbers of worker deaths, with Latino immigrant workers having the highest number of deaths.

Latino immigrant workers who do not speak English as a primary language may be facing more safety issues due to the language barrier and lack of safety training. Employers, even in Illinois, should and are held liable for any work-related injury originating from lack of training. Just in 2011, there were almost four million workers reporting illness, injuries, or fatalities from work environment.

Researchers believe that the true numbers listed in the report may actually be higher because a work-related injury may not be reported. The rate for work-related fatalities has held steady at about 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers for the last three years. To bring this number down, it will require more accountability from employers, new regulations, and a concentrated effort.

The penalties dealt to employers for unsafe conditions and lack of training are often too low to make an impact. Any work-related injury and those resulting in death should be decreasing, perhaps indicating that there is not enough punishment on employers. The number of work-related deaths continues to be a subject of discussion with lawmakers and organizations such as OSHA and AFL-CIO.

Any work-related injury should always be reported, no matter how minor. The families of workers who have died from their injuries also have the right to collect financial compensation in some cases. It is important to always report injuries and to get the help required to get the workers' compensation benefits that are available under Illinois law.

Source: enewspf.com, "150 Workers Die Every Day From Injuries or Occupational Diseases According To New Report on Worker Safety and Health," May 7, 2013

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
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