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Workplace Fatality Data Released for 2017

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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In 2017, there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities than the previous year (dropping from 5,190 to 5,147). That’s according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report.

Released on Dec. 18, the report shows that the fatal injury rate decreased from 3.6 percent in 2016, to 3.5 percent in 2017.

© iStock.com / flukyfluky

In 2017, there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities than the previous year (dropping from 5,190 to 5,147). That’s according to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a statement about the findings, saying that, while a decline is a good thing, “the loss of even one worker is too many.”

“Through comprehensive enforcement and compliance assistance that includes educating job creators about their responsibilities under the law, and providing robust education opportunities to workers, OSHA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the American workforce,” said Loren Sweatt, Acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA.

More on the Report

Some of the key finds in the report include:

  • In the Construction and Extraction category, workplace fatalities dropped from 970 in 2016 to 965 in 2017;
  • In Architecture and Engineering, fatalities dropped from 41 to 23;
  • The Transportation and Material Moving occupational group and the Construction and Extraction occupational group accounted for 47 percent of worker deaths in 2017;
  • Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the CFOI accounting for 887 (17 percent) worker deaths; and
  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40 percent) occupational fatalities.

The numbers of fatal falls and transportation incidents coincide with OSHA’s top violations for 2017, which were released last October.

That list included:

  1. Fall Protection—General Requirements, with 6,072 violations;
  2. Hazard Communications, with 4,176 violations;
  3. Scaffolding at 3,288;
  4. Respiratory Protection at 3,097;
  5. Lockout/Tagout at 2,877;
  6. Ladders at 2,241;
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks at 2,162;
  8. Machine Guarding at 1,933;
  9. Fall Protection—Training Requirements at 1,523; and
  10. Electrical—Wiring Methods comes in last with 1,405 violations.

Fall protection and hazard communication were also at the top of the 2018 violations list, which was released in November.

In addition to equipment or job hazard fatalities, though, the number of unintentional overdoses due to the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased by 25 percent (from 217 to 272)—the fifth consecutive year overdose deaths rose by at least 25 percent.

“The scourge of opioid addiction unfortunately continues to take its toll on workers across the country, demonstrating the importance of this Administration’s efforts to tackle this crisis,” Sweatt said.

OSHA noted in its statement that employers who need assistance in meeting safety obligations can take advantage of OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program. The agency also added that its Training Institute Education Centers also provide training to workers, employers and other safety professionals.

   

Tagged categories: Fall protection; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Hazards; Health and safety; NA; North America; OSHA; Safety; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Violations

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (1/2/2019, 11:33 AM)

Man alive, that top ten still has far too many "repeat offenders" on it.


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