The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were released in December 2018 and come from the year 2017, for which the final numbers have recently been released. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data reveals that workplace deaths jumped 7% from 2015 to 2016, and stayed roughly the same thru 2017, leading to the deaths of 5,147 workers across all industries in 2017. A surprisingly large segment of these workers were 65 years old or older.
Below is a breakdown of the statistics released by the BLS.
WORKPLACE DEATHS BY EVENT
The leading cause of workplace deaths was overwhelmingly motor vehicle accidents. Roughly 40% of workplace deaths occurred in transportation incidents. Other leading causes were fall/slips and trips, deaths from being struck by objects or equipment, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Transportation incidents – 40%
- Falls, slips, trips – 17%
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 16%
- Contact with objects and equipment – 14%
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments – 10%
- Fires and explosions – 2%
WORKPLACE DEATHS BY INDUSTRY
The industries with the highest amounts of fatal injuries were, unsurprisingly, the construction industry and the transportation industry. Construction deaths decreased slightly in 2017, but transportation deaths increased in the same period. Agricultural and forestry fatalities remained mostly consistent.
- Construction deaths: 971
- Transportation deaths: 882
- Agriculture and forestry deaths: 581
- Government workplace deaths: 473
- Waste management deaths: 460
- Retail deaths: 287
OCCUPATIONS WITH HIGHEST RATES OF WORKPLACE DEATH
According to the 2017 data, commercial fishermen may have the most dangerous job in the country. There were 99.8 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time workers. While the fatality rates decreased for logging and fishing, that may be due to increasing rates in other industries. Below are the top ten occupations with the highest rate of workplace fatalities.
- Fishers and related fishing workers – 99.8
- Logging Workers – 84.3
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers – 48.6
- Roofers – 45.2
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors – 35
- Structural iron and steel workers – 33.4
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers – 26.8
- Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers – 24
- First-line supervisors and construction trades and extraction workers – 21
- Grounds maintenance workers – 18.7
WORKPLACE DEATHS BY STATE
Texas, with its large population and booming construction and oil and gas industries, accounted for over 10.4% of all workplace deaths. Below are the states that suffered the most workplace fatalities in 2017.
- Texas – 534
- California – 376
- New York – 313
- Florida – 299
- Georgia – 194
- North Carolina – 183
- Ohio – 174
- Pennsylvania – 172
- Illinois – 163
- Michigan – 153
- Indiana - 138
- Virginia – 118
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 215 fatalities, followed by Chicago, Houston, and Dallas.
- New York City – 215
- Chicago – 102
- Houston – 101
- Dallas – 95
- Los Angeles – 94
- Miami – 80
- Boston – 74
- Atlanta – 70
- Washington D.C. / Alexandria, VA – 63
- Detroit – 62
- San Bernardino – 54
- Baltimore – 45
CONTACT A SKILLED WORK ACCIDENT LAWYER FROM OUR TEAM
If you or someone you love was injured in a work-related accident, or if you lost someone you love, then it is imperative that you contact an experienced lawyer you can trust. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we've protected the rights of hurt workers since 2004. Throughout the years, we have recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including hundreds of results of $1 million or more. If you would like to learn more about how our firm can stand up for your legal rights, do not hesitate to contact us immediately.
Call (888) 493-1629 to schedule a free review of your case today.