Fatal Injuries in the U.S. Workplace Increased 7% in 2016

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report, there were 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, a 7-percent increase from 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.

More workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about two out of every five fatal injuries. Workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality.

Fatalities due to falls, slips and trips continued to rise, according to the report, increasing 6 percent in 2016 and rising 25 percent since 2011. Falls increased more than 25 percent in 2016 for roofers, carpenters, tree trimmers and pruners, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

The number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.

“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008,” said Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, in a statement following the release of the report.

She explained that OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training, and outreach.

Additional findings include:

Source: BLS