About 3.5 workers per 100,000 die from accidents that happen while on the job in Colorado and the rest of the nation. That is a fairly steady rate mostly due to the nature of the riskiest jobs and the types of recurring accidents that claim lives. Workers’ compensation insurance helps to offset the costs of a workplace death, but the amount can never come close to the true value of a worker’s life as well as potential lifetime earnings.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 5,250 workers died while on the job in 2018, which is a slight uptick from a year earlier. The relatively steady pace of worker deaths shows the importance of workers’ comp insurance and why Colorado requires job providers to carry it in order to protect workers and their families against the potential costs of a workplace injury or death. The insurance also protects employers against lawsuits by requiring workers to waive the right to sue in exchange for receiving benefits in all but extreme cases of workplace negligence by employers.
Jobs that require a lot of driving from one site to another generally lead the nation in workplace fatalities. The potential for road-going accidents greatly increases the risk of suffering a deadly accident while on the job. About 40% of work-related deaths in 2018 were caused by transportation accidents. That is more than 2,000 workers who died while driving or otherwise inside a moving vehicle on a job-related task.
Workers who are exposed to moving machinery and falling objects accounted for 13% of workplace deaths in 2018. That is 786 deadly accidents reported. Of those, about 39% workers died while caught in moving equipment and 17% were killed by falling objects according to the BLS.
No matter how a worker was injured or killed while on the job, an experienced workers’ comp attorney may help victims seek proper compensation. Benefits may pay for medical bills and lost wages or pay the family of a killed worker to compensate for funeral expenses and lost income.