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Report: Fatal work accidents cost U.S. $51.49 billion a year

Accidents can happen at all kinds of workplaces in Connecticut, and all kinds of workplaces can have fatal accidents. While problems with industrial machinery are among the most common causes of fatal accidents at work, industrial accidents are by no means the biggest category of fatal workplace accidents.

A recent report by the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health found that more than 50,000 U.S. workers die every year from workplace accidents or occupational illnesses that were directly traceable to exposure at their workplaces. The study, published under the title "Preventable Deaths 2014" collected data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as from other peer-reviewed reports.

The report found the economic cost of these deaths at $51.49 billion. Non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses cost the economy another $198 billion per year, according to the report.

Transportation accidents were the leading hazard, causing 41 percent of workplace deaths, according to the report. Violence accounted for a shocking 17 percent of workplace deaths, and dangerous contact with equipment or other objects accounted for 16 percent.

Under Connecticut's workers' compensation system, family members are entitled to benefits when a worker dies from a workplace injury or illness. The results of an investigation into the incident may or may not have a bearing on the amount of the benefits received, but the family does not need to prove that the employer caused the death through its own negligence.

The loss of a loved one to workplace injury or illness can leave a family not only grieving, but in dire financial difficulty. A Connecticut workers' compensation attorney can help make sure that these families get the benefits they deserve.

Source: Hollywood Reporter, "'Midnight Rider' Accident Highlighted in 'Preventable Deaths' Workplace Study," Hilary Lewis, April 23, 2014

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