One of the biggest challenges for safety authorities here in Newark, New Jersey, is making sure that work environments are safe for all workers. There had been many reported and documented cases of workers who have been hurt on the job throughout New Jersey. These cases are prompting local agencies and safety advocacy groups to heighten their efforts.

Fortunately, such efforts are showing positive returns. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released reports indicating an overall drop in workplace fatalities across the country. Based on data, fatal work injuries decreased by seven percent last year compared with 2011. Despite the decline, fatalities in the private-sector construction and fuel extraction sector increased.

According to sources, fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry saw a huge increase of 23 percent last year. Private-sector construction worker fatalities, meanwhile, increased by five percent last year. The numbers are surprising considering that based on the latest data, working hours only increased by one percent. Overall, the numbers have steadily declined since 2006.

Despite the increases in those sectors, overall fatality numbers are very encouraging. Fatalities and injuries decreased to 4,383 last year. The ratio now stands at 3.2 fatal injuries for every 100,000 workers. Authorities acknowledge the positive trend but continue to emphasize the need to further improve the numbers through increased efforts and more outreach projects that are aimed at educating and getting workers more involved when it comes to their safety. The injury increases in construction and gas drilling are considered unacceptable by experts.

The decline in injuries is a positive step forward for the efforts of local agencies, as well as cooperation of local workers. Despite the outlook, there are still people injured on the job every day. Those who have been injured while on the job here in Newark, New Jersey may wish to consider their legal options, which may include workers’ compensation.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal, “Domestic drilling’s down side: Fatalities up in oil and gas industry,” Kent Hoover, Aug. 22, 2013