BLS Reveals Increase in Fatal Work Injuries
The recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Report shows there were 5,250 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2018, a 2 percent increase from the 5,147 in 2017. Some specifics include:
- Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities.
- Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment increased 13 percent (from 695 to 786), driven by a 39 percent increase in workers caught in running equipment or machinery and a 17 percent increase in workers struck by falling objects or equipment.
- Unintentional overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 12 percent from 272 to 305. This is the sixth consecutive annual increase.
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 3 percent in 2018, due to an 11 percent increase in work-related suicides from 275 to 304.
- Fatal falls, slips, and trips decreased 11 percent to 791, after reaching a series high of 887 in 2017. This decline was due to a 14 percent drop in falls to a lower level (713 to 615), the lowest total since 2013.
In response to the 11 percent increase work-related suicides, OSHA has created a new webpage to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help. Visit /www.osha.gov/preventingsuicides/ for more information.