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Construction industry shows increase in work-related deaths

Many New Jersey residents work in hazardous occupations, and unfortunately fatal injuries sometimes occur. National workplace fatality figures for 2014 has been revised, and in many cases the totals have increased.

Across all industries, 4,821 workers died in 2014. This was the highest annual number of fatal accidents since 2008. The rate of fatal injuries was 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees, a slight increase from 2013 and the first one since 2010.

Of the fatal workplace injuries, 899 occurred in the private construction industry, and 144 occurred in oil and gas extraction. The latter number was the highest total since figures started being recorded. A total of 818 workers were fatally injured in slip and fall accidents, and private mining fatalities rose as well. In 2014, 1,691 workers at or over the age of 55 died, 8 percent higher than the largest number ever recorded for this segment. More than 1,150 workers lost their lives in roadway accidents, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.

People who have been injured on the job often are forced to miss work while they recover, and will face high medical expenses in addition to the loss of wages. Most employers are required by New Jersey law to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees, and the benefits available thereunder are designed to ease some of the strain. In some cases, where the accident was caused by a non-employer third party, it may be possible to file a separate personal injury lawsuit as well. An attorney can be a good source of information in this regard.

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