Back in 2013, the AFL-CIO did a study to see just how common work-related deaths really were. To do so, they looked at the figures from 2011. What they found was that a total of 4,693 individuals had passed away while working, as a result of accidents or other workplace events.
However, the numbers by no means stopped there. People also die from illnesses related to their work. While these people do not pass away on the job, they must also be considered as work-related deaths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, right around 50,000 people may pass away each year from these types of illnesses.
The AFL-CIO then added those figures together and found that approximately 150 individuals died each day, on average, over the course of 2011.
This is a much larger number than many people expect to see, especially because it does not get the press that other types of threats receive. For example, much media attention is given to terrorist attacks and the danger that they can be to Americans. However, Mike Elk, who writes for In These Times, recently compared workplace deaths to the threat of terrorism. What he found was that it is 271 times more likely that the average American will be killed on the job than he or she will be killed in such an attack.
Though these numbers are now a few years old, they still expose the trends quite well and show just how common deadly workplace events can be. If you have lost a loved one or been seriously injured yourself, make sure that you know what options you have in Illinois.
Source: Huffington Post, "Work-Related Deaths Kill 150 Americans Per Day: Study," accessed April. 13, 2015