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Latinos, older workers face higher workplace mortality rate

The fact that workers are injured and killed at work every day is nothing new. However, a recent report suggests a worrisome trend regarding workplace fatalities. The report indicates that certain workers and certain industries are more prone to fatal accidents in New Jersey and across the country.

The study, authored by the AFL-CIO federation of unions, recorded 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016. This is a troubling increase over the 4,836 deaths recorded in 2015 and works out to over 150 workplace fatalities per day across the country. That doesn't take into account the 50,000 to 60,000 deaths attributed to occupational diseases.

The study also identifies the demographics of workers more likely to die on the job as well as the most dangerous industries. According to the study, 36 percent of all worker fatalities are employees 55 years or older. Workers older than age 65 are twice as likely to die on the job as younger employees. Latino workers face a much higher fatality rate than other employees. When it comes to the most dangerous sector, agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing workers face the highest risk of workplace fatalities. The study also suggests that rural states have a higher number of workplace fatalities per capita. The five states with the highest fatality rates are Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota.

As this study shows, some employees are more prone to accidents at work than others. When a worker survives a workplace injury, they may have grounds for a workers compensation claim. Such a claim might cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and lost wages. In the case where a worker dies, the claim may cover medical bills, funeral expenses and even survivor benefits. An attorney with experience in workers compensation law may be able to help that worker or their family through the application and appeals process.

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