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Fatal work injuries increased slightly in 2014

The data collected by the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics might help some Louisiana employees understand more about their exposure to risks they encounter in the workplace. According to the report, the number of fatal workplace injuries increased in 24 states from 2013 to 2014. Nationwide, the rate of fatal workplace injuries increased by 2 percent from the year before. More than 4,670 fatal work injuries occurred in 2014, equating to a rate of 3.3 fatal injuries for every 100,000 full-time equivalent employees.

The number of injuries in the private sector increased by 4 percent, while the fatal injuries realized in the government sector declined by 12 percent. The private sector accounted for more than 4,250 of the fatal workplace injuries that occurred during 2014. There were 568 fatal injuries suffered by employees working in the fishing, forestry, hunting and agricultural industries, increasing by 14 percent from 2013.

The private oil and gas extraction, quarrying and mining sectors combined for over 180 fatal injuries during 2014, increasing by 17 percent from the year before. The oil and gas extraction sector alone realized a 27 percent increase in the number of fatal workplace injuries. The warehousing and transportation sectors suffered more than 730 fatal injuries during 2014, totaling about the same number from the previous year. Approximately 17 percent of all fatal injuries were incurred by contracted workers.

Employers are required to maintain a safe working environment. Unfortunately, despite precautions, workplace accidents will continue to happen. Most Louisiana employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance for the benefit of their workers. An eligible employee who is injured on the job may want to have the assistance of an attorney in preparing and filing the required claim.

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