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Atkinson Gerber Law Office
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Minnesota sees decrease in fatal work injuries in 2011

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that Minnesota experienced a decrease in the number of fatal injuries at work in 2011. This is promising news, but workplace injuries and deaths still occur too often, and more progress can be made.
Minnesota fatal work-injury statistics
Preliminary data from the BLS’s Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that there were 60 fatalities from work injuries in Minnesota in 2011. This is 10 less than the final number of 70 fatal work-injury cases in 2010. In addition, this year also fell below the average of 69 work injury fatalities from 2006 to 2010.
The report states that the most dangerous industries in Minnesota regarding fatal work injuries in 2011 are:

  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Construction

In the first category, farmers and ranchers experienced the highest number of work injury fatalities with 19 fatalities. This number is 10 less than last year, which had a final number of 29 cases. Construction had 16 fatal work injuries in 2011, which is an increase of 7 from 2010.
Most of the injuries were caused by contact with objects and equipment, with 19 incidents according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. The second-most common cause of injury was transportation accidents, notably in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry, causing 16 fatal work injuries in 2011. Falls were the third-most common cause of fatal work injuries in Minnesota in 2011, with 14 fatalities resulting from a fall.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry also reports that male workers accounted for 57 of the 60 fatally injured workers in Minnesota in 2011. One-third of the fatalities were among workers age 55 and older, most in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry.
Work injuries
Not all work-related injuries are fatal, and workplace injuries can comprise a variety of injuries, including:

  • Hand, wrist, arm and shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Head injuries
  • Fall injuries

People who are injured in an accident at work or who acquire an injury through their work duties may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation can provide payment for medical care and rehabilitation, and may even cover part of your lost wages while away from work. Certain procedures must be followed when making a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, and strict timelines apply. If you have a work injury, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to explore your legal options.

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