Workplace Fatalities on the Rise in Virginia, Officials Urge Vigilance

Workplace Fatalities on the Rise in Virginia, Officials Urge Vigilance

A rise in workplace deaths has sparked concern across Virginia, and state officials are urging residents and employers to take greater vigilance when it comes to work safety. The announcement came earlier this month from the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program after a review of mid-year statistics. Their findings: there have been 29 preventable work-related deaths due to injury or illness through July 2016.

The numbers are particularly alarming because they are on pace to nearly double the 31 workplace fatalities reported for the entire year of 2015 and the entirety of 2014. A break-down of the statistics show the following:

  • In July alone, 8 Virginia workers died in workplace accidents.
  • Over half of all work-related deaths in the state occurred in general industry occupations (manufacturing, logging, etc.).
  • Other workplace fatalities involved falls (20% of all work-related deaths), struck-by accidents, and accidents in the construction industry.
  • 9 of the 29 deaths (31%) occurred in the construction industry.
  • If the trend continues, Virginia will see an 80% rise in fatal accidents investigated by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s VOSH program.

The statistics serve as a reminder of the constant risks workers face on the job. At The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC, we have represented many victims who suffered work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as families who have lost loved ones in fatal accidents. In many cases, these injuries and losses could have been prevented had employers followed safety guidelines and made safety a priority.

In cases where workers are fatally injured on the job, families can pursue death benefits through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. These benefits are intended to provide wage loss replacement and payment of funeral expenses. You may be eligible to file a claim for death benefits if you are a surviving spouse, child, or other dependent.

Our firm provides compassionate and experienced legal guidance to victims and families affected by all types of workplace accidents and illnesses. We carefully review these cases, and explore all opportunities for compensation, including possible wrongful death claims in cases where the negligence of a third party played a role in causing a worker’s death.

If you have questions about your legal rights following a workplace injury or death, our team is available to help. Call (571) 290-2390 for more information.