When people in Illinois and across the country head to work, they are not thinking that they are putting themselves in danger of not coming home. Although some jobs involve inherent risks, employers should take all reasonable steps to protect their workers from injury or death. The death of a worker in the course of employment does not necessarily have to occur as a result of an accident or incident in the line of duty. People can become ill because of exposure or a lack of awareness of what they are dealing with.
A government study has found that every year, approximately 50,000 people die because of work-related disease. In comparison, the number of people who die each year as a result of gun violence amounts to about 30,000. While an incident at work in which someone begins shooting others is newsworthy, the number of people who face wrongful death due to occupational disease is higher.
Worker death is considered to be a preventable occurrence, but often the U.S. government does not do enough when it comes to protecting workers from dangers in the workplace like toxic substances. People who work with dangerous chemicals are woefully unprotected.
Those who suffer from mesothelioma from asbestos exposure and people who are exposed to radiation after working at nuclear weapons facilities are facing hefty costs and limited treatment options. About two of every three claims in which people were sickened by radiation exposure in nuclear jobs were rejected by a federal compensation program for these workers.
People who have lost a loved one in a wrongful death case can be confronted with the issue in a variety of ways. Construction negligence does not necessarily have to be limited to a piece of equipment falling on top of a worker, or a lack of adequate safety procedures being in place. If there was asbestos at a job site or workers were dealing with hazardous material as part of their work, this too could make them ill and be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney experienced in claims linked to workers dying can help victims’ family members proceed with a case.
Source: Tech Times, “Work-Related Illness Kills More People Than Guns: Study,” Katrina Pascual, Dec. 28, 2015