Florida Workplace Deaths Continue to Rise

Each year the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics  collects data on the number of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. This information is sorted by state, industry, and type of injury to present a picture of workplace safety in America. For workers and employers in Florida, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ information shows a concerning rise in the number of workplace fatalities throughout the state.

In 2015, Florida recorded the third highest number of workplace fatalities of any state in the country. Only California and Texas logged more fatal workplace incidents. Florida was also among the 21 states to report a higher number of fatalities in 2015 than in 2014. In fact, the number of Florida workplace deaths rose by 44 during that interval.

These statistics call for a new emphasis on safety in Florida’s workplaces and the need for employers, employees, and the state government to renew their interest in protecting Florida’s workers.

Worker Fatalities Across the U.S.

Overall today the United States is a safer place to work than in the past. In the most recent reporting period for labor statistics, the numbers for 2015 indicate that the rate of workplace fatalities is continuing to decrease. This trend began in 2007, following a very high number of workplace fatalities nationwide in 2006.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. workplace fatality rate at 3.38 per 1,000 workers in 2015, down from 2014’s rate of 3.43 per 1,000 workers. The actual number of workplace deaths increased from 2014 to 2015, but so did the number of people in the workforce, thus the decrease in the percentage of individuals killed at the workplace.

The national count of job-related deaths in 2015 reflected a huge improvement from 2006’s 5,840 work-injury fatalities in the United States, with only 4,836 workplace fatalities in 2015. However, the push to create safe work environments has not yet reached every community and state in the country.

Reasons for Workplace Fatalities in Florida

The workplace death rate in Florida actually remains below the national statistics. In 2015, there were 3.1 workplace fatalities per every 1,000 workers in the state. Yet, Florida is one of the few states to see yearly increases in work-related fatalities, which indicates a statewide trend going in the wrong direction. What industries are the most dangerous in Florida, and what reasons lie behind the high number of workplace deaths in the state?

Private construction continues to be the industry with the highest number of workplace fatalities in Florida. Of the 272 Florida workplace deaths in 2015, 66 occurred on construction sites or involved construction work. This isn’t unusual when looking at workplace deaths, as the construction industry consistently accounts for the most workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities in Florida and across the country. However, other industries also saw unusual increases in fatalities.

Transportation companies saw an uncharacteristic rise in workplace deaths from 2014 to 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics incorporates warehousing with the transportation data. Together, these industries saw a 27% increase in workplace fatalities in Florida. This uptick in transportation industry deaths wasn’t unique to Florida, with a noticeable trend across the United States. In particular, tractor-trailer drivers were involved in more accidents and fatal incidents than before.

Lastly, certain incidents occur across workplaces and industries. Transportation accidents, slip and falls, and workplace violence lead to most workplace fatalities in Florida.

Were You or a Loved One Involved in a Workplace Accident?

While there is a great need to improve workplace safety across the State of Florida, there are already strict rules in place regarding who can be held responsible for a workplace injury or fatality. Therefore, if you or a loved one is injured at work, you need to engage the right Florida lawyer for your case.

Our Miami personal injury law firm has extensive experience with personal injury cases, such as slip and fall and transportation accidents. Our experience also extends to workplace injuries and wrongful deaths. To schedule an initial consultation and confidential consultation regarding your workplace incident, simply call 1-866-597-4529, contact our Miami, Florida office locally at (305)441-0440, or reach us by email at newcase@aronfeld.com.