More than 5,000 Fatal Workplace Injuries Occurred in United States in 2016

More than 5K Fatal Workplace injuries occured in US in 2016.

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) has revealed a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2016 – a 7 percent increase from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported in 2015 – resulting in the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded since 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

The CFOI found the fatal injury rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, the highest rate since 2010. Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 2,083 – or 40 percent of – workplace fatalities. Injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. In addition:

  • Fatal work injuries involving violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased by 163 cases to 866 in 2016. Workplace homicides increased by 83 cases to 500 in 2016, and workplace suicides increased by 62 to 291. This is the highest homicide figure since 2010 and the most suicides since CFOI began reporting data in 1992.
  • 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. Falls increased more than 25 percent in 2016 for roofers, carpenters, tree trimmers and pruners, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.
  • Overdoses from the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while on the job increased from 165 in 2015 to 217 in 2016, a 32 percent increase. Overdose fatalities have increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.

In 2016, fatal workplace injuries among transportation and material moving occupations increased by 7 percent to 1,388, the highest count since 2007 and accounting for more than one-quarter of all work-related fatalities. The job with the highest increase in the number of fatal work injuries in 2016 was food preparation and serving related occupations with an increase of 64 percent. In addition:

  • Logging workers continued to have a high fatal injury rate in 2016, at 135.9 fatalities per 100,000 FTE workers. The number of fatalities among loggers increased from 67 in 2015 to 91.
  • Occupations that recorded their highest fatality counts in 2016 included first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (134 fatal injuries), landscaping and grounds keeping workers (125), roofers (101), tree trimmers and pruners (84), driver/sales workers (71), automotive service technicians and mechanics (64), and farmworkers (61).
  • Fatal work injuries among protective service occupations increased by 68 fatalities – 32 percent – in 2016 to a total of 281. This included an increase of 24 fatalities among police officers, 13 fatalities among first-line supervisors/managers of law enforcement workers, and 23 fatalities among miscellaneous protective service workers. Police officers incurred 51 homicides in 2016, up 50 percent from 34 fatalities in 2015.

The CFOI is a Federal-State cooperative program that has been implemented in all 50 States and the District of Columbia since 1992. To ensure that fatal injuries are work-related, cases are substantiated with two or more independent source documents, or a source document and a follow-up questionnaire. To access current and revised data of the CFOI, please visit www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.

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