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Fatal workplace injuries grow in the United States

In 2016, there were 5,190 fatal occupational injuries recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was a 7 percent increase in the number of reported fatal injuries in 2015, a significant concern.

While the number of injuries resulting in fatalities is still reduced from the early-to-mid-2000’s, it’s worrying that they are growing in number. Maybe most interesting is that the number of people suffering fatal injuries while on the job under the eye of an employer has decreased while the number killed while working as self-employed contractors has stayed relatively the same throughout the 2000’s.

The most common cause of fatal injuries in 2016 was a result of transportation incidents. These made up around 40 percent of all injuries resulting in death in the workplace. Other common causes included violence, exposure to harmful substances, explosions and fires. The number of transportation incidents rose between 2015 and 2016, while some other incidents, like fires and explosions, reduced over the course of the year.

Those with the highest fatal injury rate work in the logging industry, where there were 135.9 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees. Asian and nonHispanic workers saw the largest increase in terms of injuries based on race or ethnicity, increasing by 40 percent.

The reality is that any industry or job can be dangerous, and the potential for a work-related death is one that every employer has to consider carefully. With the right safety precautions, it’s possible to lower the risk of a fatal injury in the workplace. If you are hurt or pass away on the job, employers should carry workers’ compensation, which will allow for you or your family to file a claim.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2016,” accessed June 01, 2018

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