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National statistics on worker deaths occurring on the job

Perhaps you've wondered as you head off to work just how many people engaged in the same type of occupation have died while trying to earn a living. There is actually a federal agency tasked with keeping those numbers. Under the direction of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The CFOI tracks everything that kills workers in the U. S. from industrial plant fires and explosions to falls from ladders and over exposure to toxic chemicals. Here are some highlights from their latest findings published in 2014:

-- The final count of U.S. workplace fatalities for 2012 was 4,628.

-- That fatality rate works out to about 3.4 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time workers.

-- Contractors made up over 15 percent of all workplace fatalities in 2012.

-- Men are more likely to die at work than women; 4,277 men compared to 351 women.

-- The majority of fatalities happen to individuals between the ages of 45 to 54 years old.

-- Individuals involved in transportation and moving materials occupations are by far the greatest segment of workers at risk of fatal injury. In that line of work, 1,150 died compared to the next deadliest sector, which was construction and extraction, at 838 fatalities.

The loss of a loved one as the result of a worker death accident can cause long-term implications for survivors. Obviously, the most important thing lost is a sense of companionship with the victim. There is also a matter of the victim's missing income. Many times, a family losing one of its breadwinners is thrown into dire financial straits.

Fortunately, Illinois civil law provides a remedy. Families of workers killed or injured while on the job are usually able to sue to recover compensation or seek workers compensation death benefits.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Revisions to the 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) counts" Aug. 05, 2014

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