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OSHA report reveals increase in worker fatalities

Every year, thousands of workers throughout Georgia and the rest of the U.S. are injured or killed while on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the rate of workplace fatalities increased sharply in 2016.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 5,190 workers were killed in 2016, which was an increase of 7 percent from the previous year. A quarter of the fatalities happened in transportation incidents. Injuries that resulted from workplace violence increased by 23 percent during the year, making them the second leading cause of workplace fatalities.

One issue that is driving up injury and fatality rates in the workplace is the opioid epidemic. OSHA reports that overdoses in the workplace increased by 32 percent in 2016. Since 2012, the number of drug-related deaths in the workplace has increased by 25 percent each year. OSHA says that the increase in the overall number of fatalities in 2016 was the third consecutive annual increase. The agency recommends that employers do more to reduce the number of workplace accidents and help to stop the opioid crisis from affecting their workers.

When workers are injured on the job, they are often able to seek workers' compensation benefits to pay for their medical costs and related expenses. In exchange for the acceptance of workers' compensation, employees are not able to file lawsuits against their employers. People who are injured at work might benefit from getting legal assistance. Attorneys may help their clients gather the medical evidence necessary to obtain fair compensation. People who are left facing temporary or permanent disabilities might also recover monthly disability benefits through workers' compensation.

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