Going to work should not be a death sentence. Despite improvements in technology and safety, New Jersey workers are still at risk for serious and even fatal injuries when they clock in at work. Families of men and women who are killed on the job are left behind to pick up the pieces, and while they may benefit from temporary death benefits through the workers’ compensation system, this does nothing to address the rising number of workplace fatalities.
On Dec. 16, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data. The report shows that workplace deaths are on the rise, and 2019 saw 5,333 deaths. This is the most fatalities since 2007, when 5,657 men and women were killed. The data also shows that some groups are disproportionately affected, as 20% of all fatalities occurred in Latino or Hispanic workers.
The National Safety Council released a comment on this data, urging employers to take action to protect workers. According to the NSC, employers are seriously lacking in safety across the board. This includes things like
- Risk assessment techniques
The lives of men and women are being lost at the cost of something much less valuable — the bottom line. So long as New Jersey employers focus their attention on the wrong thing, workers will continue to face life or death situations. While there is nothing that can ever bring back a lost loved one, families in this situation may want to consider pursuing temporary death benefits. This part of the workers’ compensation system can provide invaluable financial support to families who are struggling to adjust to a new normal.