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Wrongful Deaths Related to Work Injuries Alarmingly Common

Steve Wagner


The National Safety Council has released the Book of Injury Facts for 2016. The statistical review includes startling numbers for workplace fatalities across the nation. Numbers reported reflecting the 4,821 people, also equal to 13 a day, who died while doing their jobs in the U.S. during 2015. The most dangerous industry in terms of death rates again went to the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector even though Indiana’s similar sector saw an 18 percent decrease in fatalities. The injury book states that all four areas “topped the death rates chart in with 24.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers, higher than mining

[14.1], transportation and warehousing [12.3], and construction [9.2].”

Safety officials say mostly all workplace injuries and fatalities are preventable.


The Indiana Department of Labor also released a report in December 2016. In the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report, the number of workplace deaths [115] in 2015 tied the state’s lowest total [in 2012] since the report was established in 1992. Vehicle crashes were the number one cause of worker fatalities and nearly 48 percent of fatalities involved transportation. Other key numbers came from the construction industry. It saw a 39 percent decrease in workplace deaths. Indiana’s manufacturing industry was up just two from the previous year and reported 12 workplace fatalities in 2015.

So far in 2017, seven Indiana companies have been issued safety orders, penalties or violations from the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA]. The public can view old and current listings of issued safety orders and inspection notes on the Department of Labor’s website.


Workplace injuries occur more often than worker fatalities but workplace deaths still happen. Last year in Indiana, reports of the deaths of two workers from an Indianapolis Power & Light power plant near Martinsville and also the death of the 30-year-old welder who died while working at the Gary Works steel mill in northwest Indiana, the largest steel mill in North America, made headline news. In addition, a construction worker was tragically killed on I-65 when an SUV struck him and another worker died when he fell from a job site in Jeffersonville.

When working conditions are not regularly monitored for safety and compliance per standards of the OSHA, workers are put at risk of suffering a fatal injury. If this happens families are typically entitled to receive compensation. Death benefits are secured under Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws. In the event of a work-related accident that results in a wrongful death, the benefactors of the deceased person could be eligible for funeral expenses and burial costs, as well as 500 weeks of death benefit payments. These payments may be available in a lump sum, or in structured payments.

Indianapolis wrongful death lawyers Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your work comp death benefits claim with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation!


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