The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 172 Illinois employees died from workplace injuries in 2013, an increase of 26 fatalities over the previous year. The figure represented a significant improvement over the worker death rate of 262 in 1996, but remained far higher than 2012, when on-the-job deaths hit a record low of 146. Just over 4,400 worker deaths were recorded nationwide.
Trucking companies, like other employers, can be held accountable for the actions of the people who work for them. Companies who employ truck drivers are responsible for hiring, training and monitoring licensed drivers. Even companies that hire drivers who are independent contractors may be found negligent.
Nine children, under age 15, died in the U.S. in 2013 from injuries involving toys, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two-thirds of the deaths were due to choking or asphyxiation. The harmful products were familiar toys – balls, marbles, toy foods and balloons.
About 14,000 employees died in 1976 from injuries they received while at work. The number of at-work deaths nationwide in 2013 was just above 4,400. For families of Chicago employees killed in work-related accidents, the only acceptable fatality number is zero.