In case you missed the December 2019 News Release, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 5,250 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2018. This represents a 2% increase from the 2017 count of 5,147. Although the total number of fatalities increased the rate per 100,000 Full Time Equivalent Workers remained static at 3.5.
Summary data from the report reflects many of the recurring topics we hear in the news and across social media including unintentional overdoses, workplace violence and suicide in addition to some of the recurring challenges we face year after year like transportation related and fatal falls, slips, and trips.
- Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, accounting for 40
percent of all work-related fatalities. (See chart 3 and table 2.)
- Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment increased 13 percent (from 695 to 786), driven
by a 39 percent increase in workers caught in running equipment or machinery and a 17 percent increase
in workers struck by falling objects or equipment.
- Unintentional overdoses due to non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 12 percent
from 272 to 305. This is the sixth consecutive annual increase.
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 3 percent in 2018, due to an 11 percent
increase in work-related suicides from 275 to 304.
- Fatal falls, slips, and trips decreased 11 percent to 791, after reaching a series high of 887 in 2017. This
decline was due to a 14 percent drop in falls to a lower level (713 to 615), the lowest total since 2013.
The Construction Industry reported the highest number of fatalities across all industries at 1,008 and the third highest rate (9.5) following Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (rate 23.4 count 574) and Transportation and Warehousing (rate 14.0 count 874) compared to rate across all industries of 3.5 per 100,000 Full Time Equivalent Workers.
You can access the full report on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Within the mining industries, which has already reported its fatality data for 2019, the number of fatals dropped to 23 in 2019 from 28 in 2018. The total number of fatalities in 2017 were also 28. Current information on fatalities and serious injuries can be found at https://www.msha.gov/data-reports/fatality-reports/search