Some Missouri workers risk their lives every day on the job. First responders are a good example. But, many more workers face daily risks on construction sites, in industrial plants and factories. For this reason, wrongful death cases following workplace accidents are fairly common.
Like other states, Missouri reports the numbers of workplace injuries and fatalities each year. The most recent report from the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shows 113 fatal workplace accidents in 2013, a significant increase over the 83 lives lost in workplaces in 2012. Nearly 93 percent of 2013’s deaths (105) happened in private industry. As it has since 2009, transportation — roadway, water, air, and rail — leads all private industry sectors in the number of deaths with 45. Of those, 26 deaths came from incidents involving motor vehicles in roadway crashes.
The second leading cause of workplace deaths — 23 total — was violence caused by other persons or exposure to animals. Construction accounted for the bulk of private industry deaths with 19. Overall, men made up almost 94 percent of 2013’s fatal workplace accident victims: 106 of 113. The majority of workers killed in work-related accidents (63 percent) were 45 years of age and older. Non-Hispanic white workers made up almost 80 percent of all workplace deaths with 90. Most reported categories saw increases over 2012’s workplace report.
As they have the last several years, these accumulated statistics of deaths in Missouri workplaces show that few workers are exempt from the possibility of sudden death on the job. Many of these deaths were preventable and cannot be determined as truly accidental if employers failed to meet their duty to protect their workers. In any fatal work accident that is the result of negligence, surviving family members can protect their rights by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Source: Labor.Mo.Gov, “Missouri 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries,” accessed on Oct 22, 2014.