There were 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries.
In addition, the fatal injury rate also increased to 3.6 in 2016 from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015, according to the report released in late December from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If this can be considered good news, fatal rates in manufacturing fell. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction and manufacturing experienced large decreases in workplace fatalities in 2016, decreasing 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, more workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about two out of every five fatal injuries.
Fatal work injuries from falls, slips, or trips continued a general upward trend that began in 2011, increasing 6 percent to 849 in 2016 and 25 percent overall since 2011.
Workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality. The report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.
“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008,” said Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA. “America’s workers deserve better.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health. OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training, and outreach.
“As President Trump recognized by declaring opioid abuse a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, the nation’s opioid crisis is impacting Americans every day at home and, as this data demonstrates, increasingly on the job.”