Safety and OSHA News

Worker fatality rate increases for first time in four years

The federal government’s final count of fatal occupational injuries in 2014 shows an increase from 2013 – the first one since 2010. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries says the overall fatal work injury rate in 2014 was 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.3 in 2013.

The final count of fatal work injuries in 2014 was 4,821. The total number of worker deaths had been below 4,700 every year since 2009.

These numbers are an update from preliminary ones released last fall.

Some statistics of note following the update:

  • The 2014 total for private construction was 9% higher than in 2013 and represented the largest number of fatal injuries in the industry since 2008.
  • Fatal injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries was the highest since 2007. Fatal injuries in oil and gas extraction were at a new high.
  • The number of fatal injuries involving Hispanic workers was lower in 2014 than in 2013.
  • The largest number of work fatalities ever recorded (statistics date back to 1992) of workers age 55 and over occurred in 2014.
  • Fatal work injuries due to road incidents had a 5% increase from 2013 to 2014.

On average, 13 U.S. workers die on the job each day.

The final 2014 rates for various occupations (per 100,000 FTE workers):

  • farming, fishing and forestry: 24.7
  • transportation and material moving: 15.4
  • construction and extraction: 12.1
  • installation, maintenance and repair: 8.1
  • protective services: 6.1
  • management: 2.5, and
  • sales and related positions: 1.6.

The final 2014 rates by industry:

  • agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting: 25.6
  • mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: 14.2
  • transportation and warehousing: 14.1
  • construction: 9.8
  • wholesale trade: 5.1
  • professional and business services: 2.7
  • manufacturing: 2.3
  • leisure and hospitality: 2.0
  • retail trade: 1.9
  • government: 1.9.

The most common event or exposure that caused workplace fatalities in 2014 was transportation incidents (1,984) followed by slips/trips/falls (818) and violent injuries including homicides (765).

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