The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released their annual report on workplace injuries and fatalities. Their findings unfortunately show that on-the-job fatalities increased last year.
Far from fun-facts, the chilling statistics represent 5,190 reported deaths of injury victims. That means over 5,000 families suffered the death of a loved one, some of which depended on the victim’s income. Read on to see some of the featured facts inside the report.
More than one in four workplace fatalities were related to transportation, which was by far the highest cause of injury. Transportation was also the main cause in the 2015 report. Professional truck drivers and construction workers likely already know how dangerous commercial vehicles and roadways in general can be. This statistic doesn’t even count the many non-fatal injuries related to transportation.
The report also sorts occupational fatalities by state. Pennsylvania accounted for 163 out of the 5,190 deaths. The state with the highest number of fatalities in 2016 was California. However, if you factor the population densities in each state, Wyoming actually held the highest rate of workplace fatalities at 12.3 per 100,000 workers.
The rate of workplace fatalities also increased from each age group to the next, showing that elderly workers (over the age of 65) were the most likely to suffer a fatal injury at work in both 2015 and 2016. Two things may play a part in this high rate. First, many seniors retire from the workforce, so the figure includes fewer people. Second, they may have health conditions that make minor injuries at work much more severe.
While these statistics are important to gather in order to identify workplace hazards, workplace injuries and fatalities are very personal and emotional experiences. They cause pain, heartache, suffering and lost wages. Workers and employers should exercise caution and follow safety laws to prevent devastating tragedy so that next year’s report will look much more positive.