The rate of fatal work injuries in 2014 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time workers, the same as the final rate for 2013, according to preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). While the preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries was an increase of 2 percent over the revised count of 4,585 in 2013, there was also an increase in hours worked in 2014.
“Far too many people are still killed on the job – 13 workers every day taken from their families tragically and unnecessarily,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires.”
Key preliminary findings of the CFOI include:
- The number of fatal work injuries in private goods-producing industries in 2014 was 9 percent higher than the revised 2013 count but slightly lower in private service-providing industries. Fatal injuries were higher in mining (up 17 percent), agriculture (up 14 percent), manufacturing (up 9 percent), and construction (up 6 percent). Fatal work injuries for government workers were lower (down 12 percent).
- Falls, slips, and trips increased 10 percent to 793 in 2014 from 724 in 2013. This was driven largely by an increase in falls to a lower level to 647 in 2014 from 595 in 2013.
- Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and over rose 9 percent to 1,621 in 2014 up from 1,490 in 2013. The preliminary 2014 count for workers 55 and over is the highest total ever reported by CFOI.
- After a sharp decline in 2013, fatal work injuries among self-employed workers increased 10 percent in 2014 from 950 in 2013 to 1,047 in 2014.
- Women incurred 13 percent more fatal work injuries in 2014 than in 2013. Even with this increase, women accounted for only 8 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in 2014.
- Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were lower in 2014, while fatal injuries among non-Hispanic white, black or African-American, and Asian workers were all higher.
- In 2014, 797 decedents were identified as contracted workers, 6 percent higher than the 749 fatally-injured contracted workers reported in 2013. Workers who were contracted at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17 percent of all fatal work injury cases in 2014.
- The number of fatal work injuries among police officers and police supervisors was higher in 2014, rising from 88 in 2013 to 103 in 2014, an increase of 17 percent.
“BLS data shows fatalities rising in the construction sector (along with an overall increase in construction employment),” added Perez. “Dangerous workplaces also are taking the lives of a growing number of people in oil and gas extraction. That is why OSHA continues extensive outreach and strong enforcement campaigns in these industries. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work with employers, workers, community organizations, unions and others to make sure that all workers can return home safely at the end of every day.”
Revised 2014 data from CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2016.
Before OSHA was created 43 years ago, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. Today, workplaces are much safer and healthier, going from 38 fatal injuries a day to 12, according to OSHA.
For additional data on workplace fatalities and injuries, visit Worker Fatalities Reported to Federal and State OSHA.