Fatal workplace accidents in South Carolina often involve fatal slips, trips and falls. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that was recently released, the number of fatal workplace slips, trips and falls rose by 10 percent from 2013 to 2014. The significant increase in these types of fatal workplace accidents was largely due to the high number of falls to a lower level in the latter year.
The information about fatal workplace accidents that took place in 2014 is preliminary data that will likely be revised, and the final figures will be released in 2016. According to the preliminary data, there were 4,679 fatal workplace injuries in 2014. The number represents 3.3 full-time workers killed per 100,000 full-time workers, the same rate that was found in revised data for 2013. Revised data on fatal workplace injuries usually brings annual fatality rates up by about 173 cases.
Overall, there was a 2 percent increase in fatal workplace injuries from 2013 to 2014. However, rates of specific types of fatal workplace injuries increased more dramatically. For example, fatal work injuries in mining rose by 17 percent, and fatal work injuries in agriculture rose by 14 percent. Although female employees only accounted for 8 percent of all fatal workplace injuries, women experienced about 13 percent more fatal work injuries in 2014 than they did in 2013.
When a worker is killed on the job, the deceased worker’s family members are often left without a key source of income. An attorney may be able to help a family in this situation to apply for workers’ compensation death benefits that may be available. In some cases, if the accident was due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to pursue a separate wrongful death action against the negligent party as well.