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"Exposure to Harmful Substances and Environments." "Contact with Objects and Equipment." "Transportation Incidents."

These are the rather neutral categories the Virginia (VA) Department of Labor and Industry uses to group on-the-job incidents in which workers got killed each year. In 2007, 146 Virginians died on construction sites, in factories and at offices. That depressing total increased to 154 in 2008. The most-deadly recent year for employees in Virginia was 2005, which saw 186 workplace fatalities in the Commonwealth.

Looking inside the statistics reveals stories like that of construction worker Marcus Brown, who died after falling from a platform at a White Wave Foods plant in Harrisonburg. Another story behind the statistics is that of Richard Slone, a highway construction worker struck and killed by a car while doing repairs on Virginia Route 419 near Roanoke.

Workplace injuries such as electric shocks, amputations and inhalation of toxic fumes take an even greater toll on Virginia workers than outright fatalities. My colleagues and I have many decades of experience representing injured workers and their families, so we know how devastating industrial accidents can be. We particularly specialize in railroad injury cases, but we are dedicated to protecting workers in all settings. We can only hope that both injuries and fatalities on the job decline this year and moving forward.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. We also host a YouTube injury law video library with more than 50 videos covering many FAQs on personal injury subjects. Lawyers with Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY. They handle car, truck, railroad, medical negligence cases and more.


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