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Report shows a rise in workplace deaths in many states

On-the-job safety is a concern for workers and employers alike, and while the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 has reduced the number of work-related injuries and deaths in the country, efforts to make workplaces safer continue. The AFL-CIO's recent report on work-related injuries and fatalities ranked the states by job danger. Texas came in at 35 for 2012. The state deemed safest to work in by the organization is Massachusetts while the most dangerous state is North Dakota.

According to the AFL-CIO, the rate of deaths resulting from workplace injuries since the establishment of OSHA has been cut by 81 percent. The recent report, the 23rd the organization has published, indicates that 21 states saw a rise in the number of fatalities or rates between 2011 and 2012. In Texas, the rate rose from 4.0 in 2011 to 4.8 in 2012. The rate of job injury and illness remained the same in Texas for that period.

The reason for the increases could be due to the expanding of the oil, gas and construction industries, according to experts. The AFL-CIO says that although stiffer penalties for violations have been put into place, the penalties are still too low to be an effective deterrent.

Someone who is injured while working is entitled to compensation. Texas workers who are injured on the job are entitled to a percentage of their pay and medical benefits under the workers' compensation law. Someone who is seeking workers' compensation benefits could seek the services of an attorney. Insurance companies may attempt to deny claims, and an attorney could work towards securing for their client the maximum compensation benefits that they are entitled to by law.

SOURCE: AFL-CIO, 'Death on the Job Report," May 2014

Source: CBS News, "The most dangerous U.S. state for workers", Aimee Picchi, May 08, 2014

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