The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a preliminary report showing the workplace deaths fell five percent from 2012 to 2013. The figures showed that 4,405 workers were killed on-the-job last year. The number of workplace deaths has steadily decreased over the last two decades, partially due to tighter regulations and improved safety measures.
In response to the report, the Occupational Safety and Health administration (OSHA) issued new regulations that require companies to file a detailed report within eight hours of a fatal workplace accident. Previously, OSHA only required reports if three or more workers were killed or hospitalized in a workplace accident. Under the new regulations, non-fatal injuries that require hospitalization must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.
Below is a breakdown of the statistics released by the BLS.
Workplace Deaths by Event
The leading cause of workplace deaths was overwhelmingly traffic incidents. Roughly 40% of workplace deaths occurred in vehicle accidents and collisions. Other leading causes were violence (including homicide and suicide), fatal falls, and deaths from being struck by objects or equipment.
- Transportation incidents – 40%
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 17%
- Falls, slips, trips – 16%
- Contact with objects and equipment – 16%
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments – 7%
- Fires and explosions – 3%
Workplace Deaths by Industry
It should come as no surprise that dangerous industries such as construction, manufacturing and other industrial workplaces suffered the most fatalities. The construction industry was the leading contributor to workplace deaths.
- Construction – 796
- Transportation and warehousing – 687
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting – 479
- Government – 476
- Professional and business services – 408
- Manufacturing – 304
- Retail trade – 253
- Leisure and hospitality – 202
- Other services – 179
- Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction – 154
Occupations with Highest Rates of Workplace Death
According to the 2013 data, logging workers may have the most dangerous job in the country. There were 91.3 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time workers. Below are the top ten occupations with the highest rate of workplace fatalities.
- Logging workers – 91.3 (deaths per 100,000 full-time workers)
- Fishers and related fishing workers – 75.0
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers – 50.6
- Roofers – 38.7
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors – 33.0
- Mining machine operators – 26.9
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers – 22.0
- Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers – 21.8
- Electrical power-line installers and repairers – 21.5
- Construction laborers – 17.7
Workplace Deaths by State
Texas, with its large population and booming construction and oil and gas industries, accounted for over 11% of all workplace deaths. Louisiana, despite being only the 25 th most populated state, was 11 th among all states in workplace deaths with 114. Below are the states that suffered the most workplace fatalities in 2013.
- Texas – 493
- California – 385
- Florida – 234
- Pennsylvania – 178
- Illinois – 172
- New York – 160
- Ohio – 148
- Michigan – 133
- Virginia – 126
- Indiana - 123
Workplace Deaths by City
The United States cities that had the most number of workplace deaths are largely the most populated cities in the country. Not surprisingly, New York City led the nation with 152 fatalities.
- New York City – 152
- Los Angeles – 102
- Chicago -95
- Houston – 86
- Washington DC/Alexandria, VA – 83
- Miami – 78
- Dallas – 72
- Philadelphia – 62
- Detroit – 56
- Phoenix – 55