Workplace safety has come a long way, but like almost every other part of life, going to your job still includes some risk of injury. Each year, millions of workers are injured or stricken with an illness while on the job. Several thousand die each year from those injuries.
In most ways, workers in Idaho are no different from those in other parts of the country. Many are hurt and a few are killed in on-the-job accidents each year. The prominence of certain industries in Idaho, however—agriculture and resource extraction—might contribute to the fact that Idaho workers are more likely to suffer a workplace fatality than the average nationwide.
In every year but one since 2008, Idaho has had a higher rate of workplace fatalities than the national average. The risk of death for an Idaho worker has been around one-third higher.
The number of actual deaths in the state each year is fairly small. It’s been fewer than forty each year for the past decade. But Idaho has a small population, and the number is above what would be expected based on that figure.
Injury and illness numbers can only be guessed at since the state doesn’t provide that data, but if workers experience problems only at the same rate as the rest of the country, then it’s likely that around 20,000 Idaho workers are seriously injured at work every year.
Accidents happen, but the truth is that most of what we think of as accidents are preventable. They happen because someone ignored safety practice, was negligent, or acted recklessly.
Idaho workplace fatalities are a perfect example. In 2015, 61 percent (twenty-two) of on-the-job deaths in Idaho were transportation incidents (car and truck crashes and the like). But it’s estimated that about 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused by driver error. That suggests that all but one or two of those twenty-two deaths were preventable. The numbers behind other causes—and for injury, as well as death—are most likely not very different.
Workplace injuries and illnesses affect more than the individual workers who are harmed. Those workers and their families may suddenly lose their income. They need to be able to recover the costs of medical treatments and other expenses from those who caused or should have prevented the injury. In the worst-case situation, when a worker is killed, his or her family is faced with the loss of a breadwinner—who might be their only means of support. It’s important that they recover immediate and future expenses created by the loss.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, our experienced construction accident attorneys understand what’s involved in pursuing a successful claim. Workers compensation insurance does not cover all situations nor all damages, and it is not meant to take the place of a personal injury or wrongful death claim when gross negligence is an issue. We’ll help you understand what steps to take.
Every client is entitled to a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss their case, so give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or reach us online through the form below. You can also use the chat feature of this website to get more information right now.