Top Causes of Occupational Fatalities and Prevention Tips

by James M. Hoffmann on Nov. 08, 2023

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: Over a million workers die annually from job hazards. Falls, machinery malfunctions, and accidents are top causes, highlighting the need for safety and workers' comp claims.

The International Labor Organization reports that over a million employees pass away each year due to occupational hazards, with countless more enduring injuries and illnesses on the job. Despite progressive technologies and regulatory efforts, workplace deaths continue to be a dire issue within various sectors in Missouri and beyond.


By being proactive and recognizing the typical reasons behind these fatal incidents, both employers and workers can work together to diminish the occurrence of occupational fatalities. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common reasons for workplace deaths and strategies for prevention.


Hazards of High-Elevation Workplaces

One of the top causes of job-related fatalities, particularly in Missouri, is falls from elevated areas. This risk is notably prevalent in construction, where laborers often operate on scaffolds erected along tall structures or on unfinished rooftops. Scaffold collapses due to improper setup or overloading are a common tragedy, as are instances where employees slip and fall.


To mitigate such risks, workers at heights should be equipped with safety harnesses and receive comprehensive safety training. Awareness of potential dangers and preventive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of fatal falls.


Risks with Machinery and Equipment

The use of large machinery and equipment is another significant hazard in the workplace, with the potential for malfunction leading to severe accidents. Employees might find themselves caught, crushed, or impaled by these heavy-duty tools.


It's crucial for companies to offer thorough training for machinery operation and to conduct consistent maintenance to prevent malfunctions. Additionally, workers should be encouraged to take regular breaks to remain alert and focused, avoiding the perils of fatigue.


Dangers from Moving Objects and Vehicles

Being struck by falling objects or moving vehicles constitutes another common cause of workplace deaths. These accidents, however, can be largely prevented through effective communication and strategic planning.


Wearing protective gear like helmets, having clear traffic protocols, and ensuring vehicle pathways are unobstructed can all contribute to reducing such incidents. Employees should be instructed to keep a safe distance from vehicle routes whenever possible.


Legal Support for Workplace Injuries

Even with rigorous safety measures, accidents can still occur. Thankfully, state laws offer financial protection for those injured on the job. Workers' compensation insurance provides compensation for job-related injuries, and in the case of a fatal accident, the decedent's dependents may be entitled to death benefits.


Speak to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney with over 30 years of experience. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.

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