work injuries
Work Injury

No one expects to suffer injury or death at work – but accidents happen every single day, in all types of workplaces, even in office and retail settings.

All workers should understand the dangers at their workplace. Employers have a responsibility to disclose accidents (more on that below), and provide a safe workplace free from recognized hazards, and provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.

Transportation accidents consistently are the leading cause of death at work, followed by falls, slips, and trips. Below are some examples of fatal workplace accidents in recent years. 

#1 Deadly Combination of Floor Cleaning Chemicals at Restaurant in Massachusetts 

Back in November 2019, the 32-year-old manager of a Massachusetts Buffalo Wild Wings was killed when he inhaled an accidental combination of acid and bleach that  created deadly toxic gasses. 

About one-third of injuries or illnesses involve harmful substance exposure – things like ammonia, chlorine, acid, bleach, and carbon monoxide. According to the National Safety Council, the leading cause of non-fatal injuries or illnesses is exposure to harmful substances. 

#2 Suffocation in Nevada Cryotherapy Chamber

Back in October 2015, a 24-year-old woman working in a Las Vegas area cryotherapy chamber accidentally suffocated when using a cryotherapy machine by herself. Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration declined to investigate the accidental death because it occurred after work hours and “she was not engaged in her job” when her death occurred. 

#3 Tree Trimming Death in San Diego, CA 

In February 2023, a 39-year-old arborist became trapped and pinned in cut palm fronds while working a tree-trimming job near the Chula Vista Golf Course in San Diego. When firefighters responded and reached him by ladder about 50 feet in the air, he had succumbed to his injuries. 

#4 Northern California Warehouse Worker Death From Ceiling Collapse at Coffee Distribution Center 

In March 2023, a long-time employee of a Peet’s Coffee Distribution Center was tragically killed when the warehouse roof collapsed during a storm. The building was red-tagged after the incident. 

#5 Cinematographer Death From Prop Gun Accident on Movie Set 

In October 2021, a 42-year-old cinematographer was killed when she was accidentally shot by an unchecked gun on a movie set near La Cienega, New Mexico. Her death led to calls for gun safety reform on film sets. 

#6 Construction Worker Killed by SUV Plowing Into Apple Store in Massachusetts 

In November 2022, a 65-year-old man working on a construction site outside an Apple store was killed when a speeding Toyota 4Runner crashed into the store. 22 other people were injured. Electronic records revealed the 53-year-old driver did not apply brakes on the vehicle prior to impact. The driver was charged with motor vehicle homicide by reckless driving and reckless driving. 

#7 Maintenance Worker Death from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning at Michigan Hotel 

In November 2022, a maintenance worker was found dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in the boiler room of a hotel. Testing revealed carbon monoxide levels in excess of 500 parts per million, much higher than the OSHA safe threshold of 50 parts per million, for an eight-hour work period.

#8 California Construction Worker Killed From Fall from Stadium Roof 

On June 5, 2020, a 37-year-old rope access technician fell 120 feet to his death at SoFi Stadium when he stepped onto an unsupported section of roof that was under construction. 

#9 Teenage Worker Killed Working Alone at South Dakota Gravel Pit

In May 2023, a 19-year-old man was killed by a piece of machinery while working alone at a South Dakota gravel pit.

#10 Worker Killed in Forklift Accident at Georgia Hyundai Accident 

In April 2023, a 62-year-old man operating a standup forklift was killed when he became pinned between it and a large shelf. Dozens of people are killed each year in forklift accidents, according to OSHA. 

Workplace Accident Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, there were 4,472 preventable work deaths in 2021 – and more than four million injuries requiring medical care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a slightly larger number of 5,190 fatal work injuries in 2021, which include homicides and suicides – an increase of 8.9% from 2020. Workplace accidents take many forms, and workers in all industries are potentially vulnerable to injury or death. Top industries for preventable fatal work injuries in 2021 were:

  • Construction
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  • Professional and business services
  • Manufacturing. 

Women make up less than 10% of all workplace fatalities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employers Must Disclose Workplace Injuries and Illnesses 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) now requires employers of 10 or more full-time employees to post a log of fatalities, significant injuries, and illnesses that require medical treatment beyond first aid. The form – Form 300A – must be certified by a company executive and posted somewhere in the workplace where similar OSHA notices and orders are usually posted.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Advisor Following a Workplace Accident 

A workplace accident can upend your life leaving you damaged physically and financially. Following a workplace accident, it is important to understand you  have legal rights and you may be entitled to financial restitution for your harms and losses. If you or a loved one are involved in a workplace accident, information is available about your legal rights and options. Compensation may be available through a workers’ compensation claim, or a personal injury or wrongful death claim. 

Contact our team today, and let us know how we can help.