Maryland Workplace Deaths Rise Despite Nationwide Drop

By Peter DePaolis

A report from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that workplace deaths in Maryland increased in 2009, rising to 65 from 60 the previous year. Washington, D.C. workplace fatalities numbered 10 in 2009, up from 9 in 2008, and Virginia saw a decrease from 156 to 118. Nationwide, 4,340 workers died in the United States in 2009 compared to 5,214 in 2008. If unsafe work conditions have harmed you or a family member, a Maryland personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for injuries.

Though a decline in workplace deaths is always good news, it appears that the drop may only be a result of the poor economy. In 2009, total hours worked dropped 6 percent, and the Labor Department believes this was the main reason for the drop in workplace deaths. One of the industries that the economic crisis has hit hardest has been the construction industry. There has been a substantial drop in employment opportunities and hours worked in construction, and construction has always been one of the leading sectors for workplace fatalities.

When employment and the economy pick up again, workplace deaths are likely to return to their pre-crisis levels. Employers should focus on workplace safety and preventing injuries or deaths regardless of the times. They should provide thorough and frequent training. They should cite safety violations, have repercussions for irresponsible behavior, and have a system to allow employees to report unsafe conditions without fear of reprisal.

If unsafe work conditions have injured you or a family member, contact Justin M. Beall, a Maryland personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.