Over the last few years significant progress has been made to ensure safer conditions for workers in the United States.
However, new figures released by the Department of Labor suggest the number of employment linked deaths is rising in key sectors, particularly in the booming oil and gas industry.
We see a steady stream of industrial accidents in Hampton Roads. Recently, I was called out to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital to meet a roofer who suffered an amputation after an accident.
Just today I read a media report on how a worker was seriously injured in a flash fire at Continental Corporation in Newport News earlier this morning.
News Channel 13 reported that employees were working in a lab area when the incident occurred. A sprinkler system and a Halon system went off and extinguished the fire.
The injured worker was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital by ambulance to await the arrival of Nightingale Air Ambulance. Nightingale flew the patient to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Reports indicate that the worker was in stable condition. We know Sentara provides a more intensive level of care for victims of accidents.
Continental Corporation is located in the 800 Block of Bland Boulevard near the Newport News/Williamsburg Airport. An initial report indicated that the back of the building was on fire and the plant was being evacuated. Investigators said the cause of the fire was accidental.
Every year workers lose their lives or end up injured in Hampton Roads industries such as shipbuilding or refitting, construction or workshops. Nationally the number of deaths from industrial accidents appears to be increasing.
Preliminary estimates in the study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found an increase in fatal injuries last year from 4,585 in 2013 to 4,679, the Wall Street Journal reported.
One of the most significant increases in accidents was seen among oil and gas industry workers. In 2014, 142 people died working in this sector compared to 112 a year earlier. It was an increase of 27 percent. Experts believe the number of deaths in the oil and gas industry would mean last year was the deadliest year in the industry since 1993.
However, fatalities increased among a number of the most dangerous industries, in particular construction, agriculture, manufacturing and mining.
This report suggests the workplace is still not as safe as it should be. If you suffer an injury in the workplace or if you lose a loved one, contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.