Dangerous jobs continued to hurt and kill workers in “alarming numbers” last year, according to a report by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Specifically, the report found that 51 workers suffered job-related fatalities in 2022. Although this represented a drop from the Commonwealth’s 62 workplace deaths in 2021, the report noted that many such fatalities are preventable.
Workplace Injuries and Deaths in Massachusetts
Published in April, the report showed that 39 workers died of traumatic work injuries and 12 died of work-related disease in 2022. The true numbers may be much higher, however, because the data does not include all people who died after contracting COVID on the job. In addition, injuries and illnesses are not always reported or properly recorded.
Each year, thousands of workers also experience injuries and illnesses that don’t result in death. In 2021, Massachusetts saw more than 73,600 recordable incidents of non-fatal work injuries and illnesses. Of these, 46,300 caused workers to take days off, transfer jobs, or have work restrictions.
How Workers Are Dying in Massachusetts
In 2022, transportation was the leading cause of work-related deaths in Massachusetts. In fact, nearly half (48%) of fatal workplace injuries resulted from transportation accidents, including motor vehicle crashes and workers struck by vehicles. The following list shows the number of Massachusetts worker deaths by category:
- Transportation incidents (19)
- Falls, slips, and trips (9)
- Contact with objects or equipment (5)
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments (5)
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals (2)
- Fires and explosions (1)
In addition, 10 firefighters died of occupational illnesses, which represents nearly 20% of the total work-related fatalities. Although the report includes firefighter occupational disease data, there is no comprehensive documentation of the job-related illnesses of other workers.
Where Workers Are Dying in Massachusetts
The report notes that in 2022, fatal injuries were again concentrated in the construction industry, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the total worker deaths from injury. The following industries saw the most workers die of traumatic injuries in Massachusetts:
- Construction and excavation (9)
- Professional and business services (7)
- Transportation and warehousing (7)
- Utilities (3)
- Wholesale and retail trade (3)
- Manufacturing (3)
Compensation for Work Injuries in Massachusetts
Most Massachusetts workers who are seriously injured on the job can receive benefits to cover medical bills and a portion of their lost income by filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, workers’ comp claims aren’t always approved and may not cover all costs associated with your injury. Furthermore, there may be additional ways for you to receive financial compensation for work injuries caused by someone other than your employer.
Whether you need help with your MA workers’ comp claim or want to know if you qualify to file a third-party lawsuit, an experienced local attorney can help evaluate your options. The Boston work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP have been representing people injured on the job for over 50 years. Call us at 800.481.6199 or contact us online 24/7 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable work injury attorney.