Fewer Work-Related Fatalities in 2017

March 1, 2019

There were fewer work-related fatalities in 2017, according to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were 5,147 fatal work injuries in 2017, compared to 5,190 in 2016. The BLS reports that the fatal injury rate was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers; down from 3.6 in 2016. Certain types of incidents were less common while others remained a major cause of worker fatalities.

The BLS discusses the following as common causes of work-related fatalities:

  • Falls: There were 887 falls in 2017, the highest level in the history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) accounting.
  • Transportation: Retaining its position as the most frequent fatal event, transportation incidents totaled 2,077.
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals: These types of workplace incidents went down seven percent in 2017.
  • Unintentional overdoses: For the fifth year in a row, occupational overdoses increased by at least 25 percent. In 2017, there were 272 overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol at work.
  • Contact with objects and equipment: Struck-by object incidents decreased by nine percent in 2017 and caught in/between running machinery or equipment incidents went down by 26 percent.
  • Confined spaces: There were 166 work-related fatalities due to confined spaces in 2017, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
  • Cranes: Crane-related worker fatalities were at an all time low of 33 in 2017.

High-Risk Occupations

According to the BLS, the transportation and construction industries accounted for 47 percent of work-related fatalities in 2017. Among the subgroup of drivers, sales workers, and truck drivers, tractor-trailer drivers accounted for 840 worker fatalities; the most since 2003.

The BLS report mentions several other occupations and industries and their corresponding worker fatalities, including:

  • Grounds maintenance workers: There were 244 fatalities in this occupation, 36 were due to falls from trees and 35 were due to being struck by a falling tree or branch.
  • Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers: This group experienced 258 fatalities, with approximately 63 percent being farmers who were age 65 and over.
  • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers: There were 95 work-related fatalities in this group, slightly less than the 108 worker fatalities the previous year.
  • Fishers, fishing-related workers and logging workers: These groups had the highest rates of worker fatalities in 2017 at 20.9 percent.
  • Private manufacturing and wholesale trades: These industries experienced the lowest number of work-related fatalities since 2003, with 303 and 174 worker fatalities, respectively.
  • Private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: There were 112 work-related fatalities in this industry, up from 80 in 2016.

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Family Members Claim Death Benefits

If you lost a loved one in a work-related incident, contact a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you obtain the compensation you need so you can focus on your recovery. Located in Philadelphia, our experienced and compassionate attorneys represent clients throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.

We represent injured workers in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum LynneDarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssingtonFolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztownLansdowneMediaMerion StationMortonNarberthNorristownNorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect ParkQuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper DarbyWest Chester, and Wynnewood.