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Why some workers face more risks than others

A study from the AFL-CIO discovered that 5,190 workers died in 2016 because of hazardous work conditions. This number was up from 4,836 in 2015. The construction sector saw the highest number of deaths at 991, which was up from 937 in 2015. Transportation and warehousing workers experienced the second-highest number of deaths with 825 in 2016.

In addition to one's industry, a worker's attributes could point to a higher likelihood of an on-the-job death. Of those who died, 36 percent were age 55 or older, and those who are 65 and older were 250 percent more likely to die at work. The national average work fatality rate was 3.6 per 100,000 workers. However, Latino workers died at a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 workers, which was the highest in the country by group. Workers were most likely to die because of motor vehicle accidents or workplace violence.

As a general rule, working with machines or doing manual labor increased the odds that a person would die on the job. Furthermore, those who were unable to get quality rest between shifts were more likely to pass away because of a work-related accident. Finally, individuals who were not properly trained saw an increased risk.

If an individual is hurt because of a workplace accident or exposure to harmful substances, he or she could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Those who have questions about what they could receive may benefit from consulting with an attorney. Legal counsel could also be helpful if a workers' compensation claim has been denied.

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