Everyone looks forward to the long Labor Day weekend — which marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Before we all take a break for our last cookouts, beach trips and family gatherings, let’s consider what the holiday really means.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the first municipal ordinances recognizing our nation’s labor force date back to 1885. The idea caught on, and more and more states got on board with a holiday dedicated to the working people who toiled and built this country. By 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. Labor Day “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Labor Day seems an apropos time to consider workplace safety in Maryland. According to the Maryland Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) Program and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maryland workplace fatalities have declined some in recent years. Of note…
• 69 workers died on the job in Maryland in 2015, compared to 74 workplace deaths in 2014 and 79 workplace fatalities in 2013
• The 2015 statistics represent a 7-percent decline in workplace fatalities in Maryland compared to 2014
• The latest statistics are down from a high of 106 workplace fatalities in 2006
However, two-thirds of these events — including workplace deaths due to homicide, suicide and transportation-related events (i.e., aircraft, rail and roadway incidents), as well as fatalities that occur among self-employed people — are not covered under the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health agency’s investigative oversight.
Top 5 Causes of Maryland Workplace Deaths
When we think of dangerous jobs in Maryland, jobs in the construction and shipping industries come to mind. In fact, the most workplace deaths in Maryland in 2015 occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors, followed closely by the construction industry. Workplace violence also accounts for a significant number of workplace deaths in Maryland. According to the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry:
• Transportation incidents (26 deaths) represent the primary cause of death to workers in Maryland in 2015—accounting for 38 percent of all workplace fatalities.
Other causes include…
• Violence and other injuries by persons or animals (23 percent)
• Exposure to harmful substances or environments (14 percent) (Note: Includes unintentional drug overdoses)
• Falls, slips and trips (13 percent)
• Contact with objects and equipment (10 percent)
• Other (1 percent)
As experienced Maryland Workers Compensation attorneys, we’ve handled hundreds of cases over the years advocating for our clients who were injured or killed on the job. If you’re hurt at work, or a loved one is injured or killed—please seek experienced legal counsel right away. We can’t emphasize this enough: While you are thinking about what to do next, or concerned about an employers’ feelings, the other side’s attorneys are actively stacking the odds against you. Maryland Worker’s Compensation is not a guaranteed benefit in Maryland. Please contact us today if we can advise you on your Md worker’s comp claim.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!
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