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What's the most common cause of fatal work injuries in Minnesota?

Workplace safety agencies can play an important role in spotting trends in accident data and implementing changes in regulations designed to protect workers. In order for safety guidelines to be completely effective, employers must also be willing to comply with the established rules.

Every year the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles data about the number of fatal workplace accidents. Recently, the agency released preliminary data showing that the number of annual number of deaths climbed between 2011 and 2012 in Minnesota. Last year, a total of 70 workers passed away as the result of injuries sustained on the job, which is a year-over-year increase of ten.

The bureau's report also breaks the fatality data down by industry. According to reports, the Minnesota industry grouping with the highest number of employee deaths in both 2011 and 2012 is agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. Of course, these industries often require manual labor and the use of heavy equipment, which involve certain safety risks, but more can always be done to protect workers.

As employers and workplace safety officials look for ways to reduce the risk of work-related injuries, they may want to focus on the transportation aspects of job roles. Transportation-related accidents accounted for the most workplace deaths across all industries, most of which were still within agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries.

Regardless of the circumstances behind a workplace accident, even if employers follow safety regulations, they cause hardship for families. In the event that a worker dies, his or her family members will be without the emotional and financial support provided by that person. Knowing this, it may be helpful to understand the legal options available to accident victims' survivors.

Source: Echo Press, "State's fatal work injuries increased in 2012," Aug. 30, 2013

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