The number of workplace deaths increased by 2% from 2013 to 2014, according to the federal government. A preliminary total of 4,679 work fatalities were reported in the U.S. in 2014.
That’s 3.3 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers for 2013 and 2014.
This data will be revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in spring 2016. Over the last five years, BLS has reported net increases to the preliminary count averaging 173 cases. The highest rate of increase from preliminary to final count was 6% in 2012. If the 2014 preliminary count increases by 6%, the total number of workplace deaths could brush up against 5,000 (4,960 for a 6% increase).
The last year in which there were 5,000 or more workplace deaths in the U.S. was 2008 when there were 5,214. The total has been below 4,700 every year since 2009.
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez noted that on average, 13 U.S. workers die on the job each day. “These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires,” Perez said.
Some specifics from the BLS report:
- Fatal injuries increased 9% in private goods-producing industries
- Deaths from slips, trips and falls increased 10%
- Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 and older rose 9%, the highest total for these workers ever
- 797 of the fatalities involved contract workers, a 6% increase; overall, contract worker deaths account for 17% of the total
- Police deaths increased by 17%
- Transportation incidents accounted for 40% of fatal workplace injuries
- Fatalities due to violence decreased in 2014
- Deaths due to fires decreased 35%
- There were 163 incidents in which more than one worker was killed, an average of three such events per week
- By occupation, transportation and material moving accounted for the largest share of workplace deaths at 28%, a 3% increase
- Fatalities in construction and extraction increased 5%, the highest total for this group since 2008
- The number of fatal work injuries among protective service occupations decreased 15%
- Fatalities among farming, fishing and forestry rose 9%
- Among industries, fatality totals were higher for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas production; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; manufacturing; and construction, and
- 24 states reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2014 than in 2013, while 22 states and the District of Columbia reported lower numbers. Four states stayed the same.