Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers accounted for 745 fatal injuries in 2015, making theirs the most dangerous of any occupation, according to newly released data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) which was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While transportation and material-moving occupations suffered fewer fatalities in 2015 than 2014, the segment still accounted for over 25 percent of all U.S. fatal work injuries. Almost half of these fatalities involved a semi, tractor-trailer, or tanker truck Overall, total roadway injuries were up nine percent in 2015, to 1,264, and accounted for 26 percent of total work injuries.
The BLS counted 74 work-related fatalities in New York City during 2015, down from 79 the previous year. On-the-job fatalities in the city have ranged from as many as 191 in 1993 to as few as 56 in 2013.
As to the bigger picture of workplace fatalities, 13 American workers die on the job each day, according to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) State of Safety report, which also reveals that over 4,800 workers died at work in 2015 – the highest number of workplace fatalities since 2008.
The NSC report also reveals that more than 12,000 American workers are injured each day. The leading preventable causes of worker injuries include overexertion; slips, trips and falls; repetitive strains; and incidents involving contact with objects or equipment, such as being struck by falling objects.
Other organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Insurance Information Institute (IIS), have regularly weighed-in on hazardous jobs.
All of the occupations listed below show up on their published research as being overly-hazardous occupations too:
- Cab drivers
- Steel/Iron workers
- Trash collectors
- Cashiers – especially third-shift
- Power line installers/repair people
- Construction workers.
An interesting aside in the NSC’s report cites its state-by-state research data to show that temporary workers are generally twice as likely to suffer a severe injury accident at work and are often given higher-risk jobs. The report also convincingly suggests that, despite the dangers associated with some of their jobs, temp workers don’t always receive the same level of training (or protective equipment) as full-time employees who perform the same jobs.
What Happens When You are Hurt on the Job
If you have been seriously hurt while at work, your injuries are most likely to be covered by New York Workers’ Compensation under the following guidelines:
- The injury, illness, or disability occurred while you were performing your duties at your place of employment (or offsite while working on behalf of your employer, e.g., an outside sales person or delivery driver).
- You gave your employer written notice of the accident within 30 days.
- A doctor’s visit and subsequent medical report states that your injury, disability, or illness was directly caused by a job-related accident or condition.
If you qualify for Workers’ Comp, you are eligible to receive the following benefits:
- Reimbursement for up to 2/3 of your average weekly wage
- A percentage of your average weekly wage if you suffer disability
- Payment of all medical bills directly linked to medical treatment from doctors and chiropractors – this is paid by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance provider.
- Compensation for extremity injuries, such as damage to arms, legs, hands, and feet or a facial scar, even if you are able to continue to work
- Reimbursement for traveling to doctors or therapists and certain additional out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury.
Workers’ Comp does not uniformly cover all expenses related to your on-the-job injury. For example: you will not be reimbursed for all of your lost wages, your pain-and-suffering, nor all expenses if you become permanently disabled. But there is another avenue of compensation which could fully supplement your damages – a third-party lawsuit.
If it is determined that someone else’s negligence caused the accident, with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney you are allowed to file a claim or lawsuit against that “third party” to recover the difference between your Workers’ Comp award and the total damage amount. The claim is usually filed against this defendant’s insurance company. So when you are injured at work, it is in your best interests to retain a seasoned injury attorney to fully investigate the accident and, if appropriate, represent you against these third parties and their insurance carriers.
Our New York workplace injury lawyers have handled many Workers’ Comp and third-party lawsuit cases. We know the tactics used by third-party defendants and insurers to minimize or evade their payment obligations to injured workers.