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  • Pennsylvania Workers Sustain Highest Fatality Rate in Almost a Decade

    sad family grieving loss of injured family member at workAccording to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more Pennsylvania workers died from occupational injuries in 2022 than in the previous nine years. In addition, 126,400 others sustained significant work-related injuries during that same period. The numbers paint a story of the numerous risks that workers face and show how far too many preventable injuries and deaths continue to occur every day.

    Injury and Fatality Data

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) called the BLS’ report a “sobering reminder” of how much work is left to do when it comes to improving workplace safety and protecting workers from avoidable hazards – and without question, they are right. Overall, 183 workers in Pennsylvania sustained fatal injuries and over 125,000 others sustained non-fatal injuries from workplace events in 2022. Most workers (169) who lost their lives in fatal accidents had employment positions in the private sector. One victim worked for the federal government and the others were employed by local government municipalities.

    From 2013 to 2016, occupational fatalities were on a downward trend. Each year, they decreased somewhere from 2% to 6% from the year before. 2019 saw a similar downturn in fatal accidents; 13% fewer private and public sector employees lost their lives that year than did in 2018 and in 2020, there was also a 4% decrease. Unfortunately, 2021 and 2022 saw much higher numbers. The BLS’ most recent data shows just how much safety and health measures in Pennsylvania workplace aren’t cutting it — and the problem does not stop there. Our state data mirrors national data, which also saw an increase in fatal injuries from 2020 to 2021. There was a 5.7% jump in deaths, which translated to one worker dying every 96 minutes from their work-related injury.

    In Pennsylvania, the most frequent types of fatal events that workers fell victim to in 2022 were:

    • Transportation incidents. Transportation-related occupational deaths jumped by 30.5% in 2022 and up 24% in 2021
    • The industries with the most at-work deaths to occur were transportation, construction, and warehousing
    • The majority of transportation workers who lost their lives worked in truck transportation. Transit/ground passenger transportation workers were also vulnerable to sustaining fatal injuries
    • Other industries that reported fatal injuries in 2022 were waste management, education/health services, manufacturing, retail/trade, and repair and maintenance

    OSHA cited at least ten different Pennsylvania businesses for preventable hazard violations in 2022 and 2023. Some of these violations include citing a poultry processing plant for hazards including “willful, serious and repeat violations”, a residential framing contractor for a lack of eye protection at the work site and various fall hazards, and a hot tub manufacturer for overexposing workers to dangerous and injury-causing chemicals. OSHA also cited a tree removal and trimming business for improper training, not having someone trained in first aid, and a lack of PPE (personal protective equipment) after a worker was fatally injured while using a woodchipper. The worker who just 17-years-old when he died. The employer let not just one, but three minor employees operate woodchippers; OSHA forbids anyone under the age of 18-years-old from using machinery.

    Employer Responsibilities

    Every employer is legally obligated to provide workers with a safe and healthful work environment that is free from recognizable and preventable hazards. Some of their other key responsibilities include:

    • Examining workplace conditions to ensure compliance with OSHA’s safety and health standards
    • Make sure employees have and are using safe tools and equipment. All tools and equipment must be properly inspected and maintained for safety
    • Use color codes, posters, labels, and/or signs to warn employees about the hazards they may encounter while working
    • Establish and update operating procedures and communicate them to employees
    • Provide safety and health training to workers in a language they can easily understand

    Were You Injured at Work?

    If you sustained injuries at work or one of your loved ones was fatally injured, someone at our firm can help. At Galfand Berger, we have been representing victims of workplace negligence and safety failures for decades. Here are a few examples of our firm’s recoveries:


    If you have questions about filing a claim for your work-related injury, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)