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Fatal work-related injuries increased in 2014

Many South Carolina residents work in dangerous occupations. The U.S. Department of Labor has released updated statistics showing that the number of people who died on the job in 2014 was at the highest amount since 2008. According to the report, there were 4,821 fatal occupational injuries during 2014 and 4,679 during 2013. The rate of death per 100,000 full time equivalent workers was slightly higher than it has been for 2013.

The construction industry saw a 9 percent increase over the total from 2013, for a total of 899 fatalities. This was the highest number since 2008. Deaths in the oil and gas extraction industry also rose, and 1,691 workers at or over the age of 55 were killed in workplace accidents. That was the highest number of fatalities ever recorded, and 8 percent higher than the previous record.

Other leading causes of death were roadway incidents and falls. All of these numbers were revised from the preliminary figures that had been released in September 2015, in part because new cases were identified in the interim.

When employees become injured while performing their job-related duties and are unable to return to the workplace, workers' compensation benefits may be available to assist them while they recuperate. These benefits typically include a percentage of lost wages as well as the provision of medical care and treatment. The surviving family members of people who are killed on the job may also be entitled to certain death benefits. In many cases, an attorney can explain the process and assist with the filing of the required claim.

Source: For Construction Pros, "Private Construction Industry Deaths Jumped 9% in 2014", April 22, 2016

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