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Report: Workplace Fatality Rate Stagnant in 2018

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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The fatal work injury rate remained unchanged from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report, which was released last month. The count remains at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

There were, however, 5,250 fatal work injuries recorded in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017.

The Report

Some of the key findings from the data include:

  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, about 40% of all work-related fatalities;
  • Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment increased 13% (from 695 to 786);
  • Unintentional overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 12% from 272 to 305; and
  • Fatal falls, slips and trips decreased 11% to 791, after reaching a series high of 887 in 2017. This decline was due to a 14% drop in falls to a lower level (713 to 615), the lowest total since 2013.
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The fatal work injury rate remained unchanged from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report, which was released last month. The count remains at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a statement commenting on the findings shortly after the report was released, and first focused on the suicide rate.

“Suicide at work, which increased by 11% in 2018, is also a tragic public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on families, workplaces, and communities,” the administration said. “OSHA created a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.

OSHA credited the decline in fatal falls to enforcement efforts, saying that they helped “abated more than 7,000 fall-related hazards in the construction industry.

“OSHA will continue to use BLS data for enforcement targeting within its jurisdiction to help prevent tragedies,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.

“Inspections for OSHA were up, and we will work with state plans so employers and workers can find compliance assistance tools in many forms or call the agency to report unsafe working conditions. Any fatality is one too many.”

Some more numbers from the report include:

  • Fatalities in the construction industry in general went up from 971 in 2017 to 1,008 in 2018;
  • Within the construction of building the number went up from 196 to 200; and
  • The specialty trade contractors sector saw a slight decline from 610 to 609.
  • The most dangerous occupation was logging; the top 10 are rounded out by:
  • fishers and related fishing workers;
  • aircraft pilots and flight engineers;
  • roofers;
  • refuse and recyclable material collectors;
  • driver/sales workers and truck drivers;
  • farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers;
  • structural iron and steel workers;
  • first-line supervisors and construction trades and extraction workers; and
  • first-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers.

   

Tagged categories: Fatalities; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; OSHA; Safety

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