Wrongful death claims and lawsuits are the means by which survivors in Wisconsin can help themselves recover. For families who have lost a loved one, often it is that sense of accountability that allows emotional healing to begin. Some can’t survive very well without the financial security an award or settlement can provide. But there’s no question that it would be better if there hadn’t been a loss in the first place. With a focus on workplace accidental fatalities, the government is studying occupational injuries and death to help narrow down what may be behind the problem.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined five causes are responsible for about 97 percent of fatal occupational injuries. Based on data from 2011, it was revealed transportation incidents are at the top of the list. Forty-one percent of all work-related deaths are comprised of highway and off-road truck and car crashes, workers struck by vehicles and air, rail and water accidents. Researchers revealed trade, transportation and utility workers faced the highest risk, with 57 percent of all transportation fatal accidents occurring due to collisions with other vehicles.

In the year studied, they show 212 government workers such as public administration and national security employees were killed in transportation-related accidents. Eighteen percent of those killed on the job worked in the mining and other natural resources industries, and 10 percent were construction workers. Other causes identified were workplace violence in second place, physical hazards, slips and falls and lastly, toxic exposure to substances or environment.

The Bureau provides charted analysis of the years 1992-2011, and some decrease in the numbers is reflected. It’s possible this can be attributed to many things, not the least of which might be increased safety awareness and regulations in the workplace. But those who must contemplate legal remedies to survive a wrongful death loss likely feel there can never be too many safety standards in place to protect their families and friends.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Number of fatal work injuries, 1992 – 2011” Oct. 29, 2014