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BLS data show job-related fatalities up in 2016

Transportation incidents top the list of events or exposures that led to death

Posted May 1, 2018

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a rise in work-related deaths in 2016. The BLS’s webpage The Economics Daily, which highlights select data, says that in 2016, 5,190 U.S. workers died on the job. This is the highest annual figure since 2008. In fact, there were 354 more work-related fatalities in 2016 than in 2015, a number that equates to one more worker fatality per day in 2016.

Using data from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program, the BLS shows the number of fatal injuries increased in each of the major event categories in 2016, except for fires and explosions. The largest number of fatal injuries in 2016 resulted from transportation incidents, with an increase of 29 from 2015. This was followed by an increase of 94 fatal injuries from exposure to harmful substances or the environment.

The largest increase in fatal injuries over 2015 resulted from violence and other injuries by persons or animals, with 163 more deaths.

The Economics Daily webpage listed the top six workplace events or exposures that led to fatal injuries in 2015 and 2016 as follows:

Event or exposure 2015 2016
Transportation incidents 2,054 2,083
Slips, trips, and falls 800 849
Contact with objects and equipment 722 761
Violence/other injuries by persons/animals 703 866
Exposure to harmful substances/environments 424 518
Fires and explosions 121 88

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