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Study: More than 50,000 preventable workplace deaths last year

Pennsylvania residents might be disturbed by a recent report published by the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, which claimed that more than 50,000 people died in workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2013. Among these deaths, said the report, was that of a 27-year-old camera assistant working on the film "Midnight Rider," who was killed while helping her crew set up a scene on a live train track on a trestle over a river. When a train came, she was unable to escape. This death, along with many others, was preventable, according to National COSH.

National COSH's deputy director issued a statement saying that she believed that no one should have to risk their life just to make a living. She said that the equipment and training that could save people's lives were known and called for immediate action to see that these were implemented in workplaces.

National COSH's report also contained a list of strategies companies could employ to promote workplace safety and reduce deaths and injuries. The list included actions such as putting up safety barriers and employing safety devices in certain areas. It also recommends that employers host protection programs and safety training sessions.

Families whose loved ones are killed in work-related incidents may wish to consult an attorney. An attorney may be able to help them determine whether they are eligible for worker's compensation death benefits. If a worker passes away within 300 weeks after being injured on the job, a family may be eligible to receive worker's compensation payments each week. Spouses may be eligible for these payments for the rest of their lives.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "A Train, a Narrow Trestle and 60 Seconds to Escape: How 'Midnight Rider' Victim Sarah Jones Lost Her Life," Scott Johnson, March 4, 2014

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "'Midnight Rider' Accident Highlighted in 'Preventable Deaths' Workplace Study", Hilary Lewis, April 23, 2014

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