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Certain industries experience higher occupational death rates

We have the technology to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur on the job. That's something that nearly everyone tends to agree upon. Where the divide seems to widen is when there are questions about responsibility and accountability when accidents happen.

Right now, the law at the federal and state levels puts the onus on employers for making sure that employees are as safe as they can be on the job. In addition to those laws, there are rules and regulations regarding the minimum standards that employers and workers should be meeting to ensure the safest environments possible. But as data from the government continues to reflect, many employers still come up short.

The latest numbers from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there were 4,679 workers killed on the job in 2014. That's compared with 4,585 deaths the year before. And it must be noted that the 2014 figure is only a preliminary total.

The BLS says three industries saw double-digit increases in fatalities in 2014. They were mining, law enforcement and agriculture. Deaths were up 17 percent in the first two industries and 14 percent in the third. Manufacturing saw an increase of nine percent and construction trades experienced a six percent rise in fatalities.

The census also captured the fact that the rate of deaths among workers age 55 and over is also the highest they have ever been.

Perhaps of particular interest to Texas readers is word that oil and gas extraction work deaths are rising. The head of the U.S. Department of Labor says this is why education and enforcement campaigns in those industries are the focus of increased attention.

It's heartening to hear that official rhetoric at least reflects an awareness of the hazards construction, pipeline and industrial workers continue to face. Unfortunately, obtaining the compensation and benefits due after an injury doesn't always happen smoothly. Advice from an experienced attorney may help.

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