Workplace Fatalities are Decreasing
Researchers found that over 4,000 fatal work injuries were reported in 2012 in the United States. This was less than the amount reported in 2011, and 2012's number is the second lowest since 1992. In their research, experts found the following interesting points about fatal occupational injuries:
- Since 2006, fatal construction injuries have decreased by 37 percent.
- Fatal work injuries were higher with non-Hispanic and African-American workers. In 2012, fatal work injuries for non-Hispanic and white workers decreased by five percent from the prior year.
- In 2012, more than 700 people who were killed in work accidents were identified as construction workers, transportation workers and contractors.
- Suicides that were work related declined by about 10 percent from 2011. However, violence accounted for more than 15 percent of incidents.
- With workers who were 55 years of age or older, fatal injuries declined for the second year in a row. Injuries involving workers who were under the age of 16 almost doubled from 2011. In other age groups, the number of fatal work injuries declined.
- In 2012, fatal work injuries in the private mining sector rose. For the gas and oil extraction industries, they rose more than 20 percent.
Transportation incidents made up about 40 percent of fatal work injuries during 2012. Of the more than 1,750 incidents recorded, nearly 60 percent were roadway incidents that included motorized land vehicles. Non-roadway incidents such as those involving farm vehicles accounted for more than 10 percent of the total fatal injuries. There were almost 300 fatal work injuries involving pedestrians hit by cars, but more than 60 occurred in work zones.
Industries And Occupations
There were nearly 4,000 fatal work injuries in 2012 in the private sector, which was more than a five percent decrease since 2011. Throughout most industries and occupations, the number of work-related fatal injuries decreased. In some cases, the decreases were substantial. However, most of the decreases were by about five percent. For extraction and construction industries, the number of injuries rose by about five percent.
In 2011, researchers started trying to identify if workers were contractors or not. This was due to the large number of work fatalities. This helps them identify the type of work being performed and the location of the work being performed when injuries happen. In 2012, the total number was more than 700 for this group, and this comprised more than 15 percent of all the fatal work injuries in the country. For contractor deaths, falls accounted for 30 percent of the reports. Being struck by objects or equipment accounted for almost 20 percent, and another 10 percent was made up of accidents where workers were hit by vehicles.
Fatal injuries for contractors were more common with workers who were paid by the government. About 20 percent of all incidents happened to government workers. Nearly 55 percent of contractors worked in construction when they were killed. Most of those killed were laborers, supervisors, electricians, extraction workers and roofers. Contractors definitely are at a higher risk than most other workers for fatal accidents or injuries on the job. It is important for employers to make job sites safe, and these types of workers should make sure they are properly insured. To learn more about coverage, feel free to contact me.