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An overview of work-related deaths in Illinois

Safety in the workplace is a fundamental right of every Illinois worker and also the moral and legal duty of every employer. Illinois law provides that the various rules and regulations each employer must abide by to ensure that every worker's health and well-being is addressed.

In case of injuries suffered in the workplace, during the course of employment or while performing a job authorized by management, the employer may be held liable by a worker or his or her family represented by legal professionals. Fortunately, a federal government analysis of workplace statistics showed that the number of fatal workplace injuries nationwide has reduced over consecutive years by a significant 5 percent. However, contrary to national numbers, Illinois has shown a rise in the number of workplace deaths in these consecutive years.

Illinois construction workers and transportation-industry employees were found to be especially vulnerable to workplace deaths. Transportation-related accidents and accidents related to using tools and heavy equipment caused most work-related injuries and work related deaths in the state of Illinois. In some cases homicides also accounted for work-related deaths. Additionally roadside accidents caused numerous recorded workplace injuries. Men were also found to be more likely to die in work-related incidents than women.

Employers of all industries are ordered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor to maintain the requisite amount of safety measurements so as to ensure that no worker suffers a fatal workplace injury. However, if a worker is injured on the job, he or she may initiate a lawsuit against the employer claiming compensation. In case of a fatal workplace injury, the victim's dependents and relatives also have the right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit in order to obtain fair compensation for their losses.

Source: BLS.gov, "Number of fatal work injuries, 1992-2013," accessed on Dec. 12, 2014

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