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Michigan saw a jump in workplace fatalities in 2016

There were 44 fatal workplace accidents in Michigan in 2016, according to data kept by the state government. That is a significant jump up from the 29 deaths that happened in 2015. It is also well above the low mark set in 2009, when there were 24 deaths.

So far, there has been one fatal accident in 2017. A man fell while working on a crane. It is too early to tell if the increase in 2016 will be a trend or not.

That said, the one 2017 fatality does have something in common with most of the fatal accidents from last year: It was a fall. A full 23 of the 44 fatalities were from falls. That was the most common reason for a deadly accident.

Examples of 2016 fatalities include the following:

-- A man in Battle Creek was being lifted by a forklift while in a basket, but the basket fell off of the forklift and he dropped 20 feet.

-- A roofer in Ann Arbor fell while working on a garage and landed on concrete 10 to 12 feet below.

-- A carpenter in West Bloomfield was putting in a roof truss, and he fell all the way to the building's basement, about 22 feet.

-- A 34-year-old worker in Buchanan slipped and fell while turning a corner. He suffered an ankle injury. He saw a doctor on October 24 and set up an MRI for five days later, but complications from the injury caused him to pass away on Oct. 27.

Falls from almost any distance can prove to be fatal. When a loved one dies on the job, it's important for family members to know if they have a right to compensation. This is especially important if that worker was the family's main source of income.

Source: Michigan.gov, "Annual Fatality Information," accessed Jan. 20, 2017

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