The last couple of years have been like no other for employees of all kinds in New Jersey and across the Northeast. However, some statistics recently released by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2020 give some idea of how deadly workplace injuries are most likely to occur – and to whom.
Despite the slowdown in construction that year, of the 82 reported workplace-related fatalities in New Jersey, the construction industry saw the most (16) of any industry. About half of those involved falls. That aligns with the occupation with the most fatalities, which was “construction and extraction.”
The BLS data broke down the types of incidents that caused the fatal injuries. The top four involved (in order):
- Harmful substances/environments
- Contact with an object or piece of equipment
New Jersey’s fatalities caused by harmful substances or environments were measurably higher than the nation as a whole. They were somewhat higher than the national percentage for falls. We came in lower in the other categories.
Who were these workers?
When looking at the demographic breakdown of those who died, 93% were male. Slightly more than half were reported as “white, non-Hispanic. Only 20% were self-employed.
That means that in the vast majority of cases, there was an employer who had an obligation to do everything possible to keep their employees safe. While workplace injuries happen for all kinds of reasons, in most cases, injured workers and surviving loved ones of those killed have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re having difficulty getting the benefits to which you’re entitled, it’s wise to get legal guidance.