The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released some of its findings on work-related fatalities in Illinois and across the U.S. It appears that there was a 2% increase in such fatalities between 2017 and 2018, with the number going from 5,147 to 5,250. However, the rate of worker fatalities remained at 3.5% per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in those two years.

Other findings included an 11% rise in work-related suicides and a 12% increase in deaths resulting from non-medical drug overdoses or overconsumption of alcohol. These were not the most common factors, but rather transportation incidents were. They made up 40% of all work-related incidents. Sales workers and truckers saw the most fatalities.

The National Safety Council has cited these results in a recent statement that calls on employers to do everything they can for worker safety. All too often, employers see worker fatalities as an unavoidable risk and fail to take a systematic approach to safety. The NSC is encouraging an approach that includes regular training and education on risk assessment techniques.

According to the NSC, the goal is to establish a culture of safety. Those in leadership roles have a responsibility to shape their workplace culture, and employees, investors and regulators expect them to take this responsibility seriously.

Workers can be injured on the job for a number of reasons. It could be the outcome of inadequate training or negligence on the victim’s part. Regardless of who was at fault, an injured employee can file for workers’ compensation benefits. Such benefits could cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Those who are disabled may be compensated for short- or long-term leave. Before filing, a victim may consult with an attorney.