A look at the four most common causes of workplace fatalities in the U.S.

When we think of industrial accidents, our minds automatically go to the infamous industrial disasters that have occurred throughout history. Often resulting in high death tolls and causing hundreds or even thousands of injuries, these disasters are undoubtedly the ‘worst-case scenario’.

While the term ‘industrial accidents’ conjures up images of oil plants, construction sites, and heavy machinery, these aren’t the only risk factors. In fact, an industrial accident can occur at any type of workplace at all. While some roles carry a higher risk than others, it’s important for every employer and worker to be vigilant about workplace safety in a bid to reduce the number of workplace accidents that occur. To ensure you’re aware of the dangers, take a look at the four most common causes of workplace fatalities in the U.S.:

1. Falls

More than a third of workplace fatalities occur due to falls. This could involve a fall from height, such as off a partially constructed building, or a simple slip, trip or fall accident that causes fatal injuries. When even a slight bump to the head can have catastrophic consequences, it’s not surprising that falls remain a leading cause of workplace fatalities.

2. Struck by an Object

Just over 10% of workplace deaths occur when someone is struck by an object. This can include vehicles, misplaced materials, loose lighting or even falling stock. While being struck by an object can often cause industrial injuries, it’s sadly a primary cause of workplace fatalities too.

3. Electrocution

Being electrocuted is a particularly high risk in construction environments, due to the exposure to electrical power and the need to turn the mains power on and off at regular intervals. However, this isn’t the only type of workplace that sees industrial fatalities caused by electrocutions.

4. Caught-in or Caught-between

Being caught in or caught between two objects can cause a range of injuries, such as broken bones and damage to your internal organs. In some cases, however, it can lead to a fatality. If a worker is trapped between machinery or becomes entangled in equipment, it can sadly lead to their death.

Who is Responsible for Industrial Accidents?

Although these ‘Fatal Four’ are responsible for the majority of workplace deaths, a wider range of scenarios contribute to industrial accidents as a whole. Despite strict health and safety regulations, a worker in the U.S. is injured every seven seconds.

With industrial accidents occurring at such an alarming rate, it’s important to know who is responsible when someone gets hurt or killed at work. If your employer is responsible, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to claim compensation from them.  One of the first things you should do is retain an attorney that is well versed in industrial accidents like New York law firm Oresky & Associates. By doing so, you can find out exactly what your rights are.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to an industrial accident, you may also be able to take legal action against their employer. Again, seeking legal advice is the first step to making a claim. While obtaining financial compensation can’t undo the devastation, it can provide you with the practical support you need during this time.