Ohio workers may be disheartened to read the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report. The report states that workers aged 55 or older died at a rate that was 9.9 percent higher in 2016 compared to 2015. Higher death rates were also reported for African-American and Asian workers. Overall, the workplace fatality rate increased 7 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.
Among the most common causes of death in the workplace were acts of workplace violence as well as overdoses of drugs or alcohol. There was a 23 percent increase in the number of injuries caused by such acts. There were 217 deaths related to overdoses in 2016, which was a 32 percent increase from 2015. Deaths resulting from transportation incidents caused 2,083 deaths in 2016. One of the reasons why workers may be vulnerable is a lack of oversight from OSHA.
According to a statement from the director for the AFL-CIO, a workplace can be inspected once per 159 years on average. It also said that future oversight may be a problem as funding for workplace safety may be lacking. This could result in more workers being killed or injured on the job. The statement noted that where OSHA was able to allocate resources, fatality rates were either not rising or going down.
A workplace injury could result in months spent trying to recover. During this time, an injured worker may not be able to work or otherwise maintain the same quality of life. Those who have been hurt on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help cover medical and other expenses. In some cases, such benefits may be offered on a permanent basis.