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September 12, 2014

BLS Releases Fatal Injury Data: Transportation Accounts for 40 Percent of Fatalities

Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2013, lower than the revised count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012. This is according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the BLS. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2013 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, compared to a final rate of 3.4 per 100,000 in 2012. Final 2013 data will be released in 2015, and numbers could be higher.

Key preliminary findings include:

  • Fatal work injuries in private industry in 2013 were 6 percent below the 2012 figure. The preliminary 2013 count of 3,929 represents the lowest annual total since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992.
  • Contract workers accounted for 17 percent of all fatal cases in 2013.
  • Fatal work injuries involving workers under age 16 were substantially lower, falling from 19 in 2012 to 5 in 2013 — the lowest total ever reported by the census. Fatal work injuries in most other age groups also were lower in 2013, though fatal work injuries among workers 25 to 34 years of age were higher.
  • Overall, violence accounted for 1 out of every 6 fatal work injuries in 2013.
Types of Incidents: (Preliminary data graph from BLS report)
Total 4,405. Transportation 40 percent

  • Fatal transportation incidents were 10 percent lower in 2013, but still accounted for about 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2013.
  • Fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 699 workers. Falls to a lower level accounted for 574 (82 percent) of those fatalities.
  • A preliminary total of 717 fatal work injuries occurred as a result of contact with objects and equipment. This total includes 245 workers struck by falling objects or equipment. Another 105 workers were fatally injured after being caught in running equipment or machinery.
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