Every year, the Oklahoma Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compiles a fatal work injury report listing the deadliest jobs in Oklahoma. According to the preliminary report, Oklahoma saw a total of 77 work-related deaths across the board in 2011, with 69 of the 77 occurring in the private sector. If you have suffered injuries in a workplace accident in Oklahoma, contact our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys at Atkins & Markoff to discuss your legal options. You may be eligible for benefits related to your injuries or disability, which you can pursue by filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance carrier. Our team of workers’ comp lawyers will work diligently to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
OK WORKPLACE FATALITIES
The fifth deadliest job in the state of Oklahoma was in the food service industry, which includes restaurants, bars and caterers, and had three deaths last year. The number four and number three deadliest jobs were tied, falling under the categories of truck transportation and manufacturing. Seven truck drivers were killed in Oklahoma work accidents last year, six of which involved traffic-related accidents. Manufacturing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the state of Oklahoma, with seven workers losing their lives in 2011. Construction was named the second deadliest job in Oklahoma, with 12 workers in the construction industry killed on the job last year. About half of these deaths involved transportation accidents and the other half involved trips, slips or falls. Finally, the deadliest job in Oklahoma in 2011 was in the oil and gas industry, recording 14 fatalities in drilling and support operations for oil and gas wells.
PROMOTING OKLAHOMA WORKPLACE SAFETY
“The number one problem is the awareness, that there are programs of safety that are free, that are voluntary and that work,” said Mark Costello, Oklahoma state Labor Commissioner. “And there’s no downside to them.” Some companies are taking steps to improve workplace safety and protect the well-being of their employees, like T and L Foundry in Glenpool, which manufactures aluminum vents and light pole stands that are distributed across the U.S. “Because we invested in safety and spent money on safety, it’s paid great dividends,” said third-generation family owner, Bill Covington. “Our workers’ comp this year could be reduced by as much as $100,000.” Other Oklahoma companies however, aren’t as proactive.
CONTACT OUR WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS FOR HELP
In light of the serious issue of workplace fatalities in Oklahoma, Costello reminds private companies that they can invite the Department of Labor in for free consultation on safety practices, and can’t be fined for any violations found. “Safety isn’t a ‘gotcha’ moment from the feds or the Department of Labor,” said Costello. “We want them to go home in the same safe condition as they arrived at work. Once they realize that, it has manifest benefits throughout a company, not just to the bottom line.” Unfortunately, work injuries remain a major problem in Oklahoma and across the U.S. If you have been injured in an Oklahoma workplace accident, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, consult our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Atkins & Markoff to explore your compensation options.