It seems like a staggering statistic when broken down by day. An average of 13 workers lose their lives while working each day. That is thirteen people who leave for work in the morning only to never come home.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis made a statement last week regarding preliminary data from the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The results showed that 4,609 people suffered fatal work-related injuries in 2011. This is less than the 4,690 in 2010, but still far too many.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. We will continue to collaborate with employers, workers, labor leaders and safety and health professionals to ensure that every American who clocks in for a shift can make it home safe and sound at the end of the day,” stated Solis.

Solis also called for a continued commitment to safe and healthy workplaces for Americans. She emphasized that it is not just up to government to undertake this challenge, but also individual employers.

When a loved one dies in a workplace accident, family members who depended on them for support may not know where to turn for help. Spouses and dependants including children may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits or may pursue a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by a negligent third party. Of course, no amount of money can make up for such a loss, but it can help relieve the accompanying financial burden. An attorney can discuss the options available and advocate on behalf of family members.

Source: United States Department of Labor, “Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on fatal occupational injuries in 2011,” September 20, 2012.

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