According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a family is reeling after the death of its patriarch in a freak work incident. The 37-year-old man was cleaning a deep fryer at a Publix store in Dacula, Georgia when the thin metal cover on top of it caved in, dropping the man into a vat of hot cooking oil. Emergency workers managed to rush him to the hospital, but he died as a result of his severe burns.
The man’s wife recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Publix, accusing them of negligence. By failing to warn her husband of the dangers that the thin metal cover posed, the wife believes that Publix is responsible for the incident. She hopes that the grocery chain will pay for the full value of her husband’s life, including his pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral and burial costs as well as lost potential earnings and loss of companionship.
Workplace Deaths in the United States
In 2015, 4,836 workers in the United States were killed on the job. That averages out to more than 13 workplace deaths every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2000, roughly 22 percent of fatalities in the retail trade occurred in grocery stores. The vast majority of these deaths were the results of assaults and other violent acts, while others resulted from injuries sustained working with equipment, transporting goods and slips and falls.
Considerable progress has been made to bring down the rate of workplace fatalities since the turn of the century, but more work needs to be done to ensure the safety of retail workers.