Fatal work-related injuries grew 2 percent in 2019, according to recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual census of fatal occupational injuries documented 5,333 cases in 2019, the most since the series began in 2011. Transportation incidents accounted for the largest share of these fatalities.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released data on 2019 fatal occupational injuries.
Unfortunately, the data show that there were 5,333 fatal work injuries in 2019, an increase of 2 percent over 2018 and the largest annual number since 2007. Put another way, a worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019.
Looking deeper into the data, transportation fatal incidents also increased 2 percent and continued to be the leading cause of workplace fatalities. These statistics are a somber reminder of the potential consequences of driver error and a continued call to action for employers to remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure the safety of employees driving on behalf of their businesses.
One bright spot in the data: for the first time since 2012, waste collection workers did not appear on the list of the nation’s Top 5 deadliest occupations. New BLS Occupational injuries data released and accessible here. Of interest:
- Nearly 1 out of every 5 fatally injured workers in 2018 was employed as a driver/sales worker or truck driver.
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers incurred 1,005 fatal occupational injuries, the highest since 2003.
- Transportation fatal event or exposure incidents increased 2 percent in 2019 to 2,122 cases, the most cases since the series began in 2011.
- Events involving transportation incidents continued to account for the largest share of overall fatalities.
- Fatalities in private construction increased 5 percent to 1,061, the largest total since 2007.
- There were 43 fatalities in the related "solid waste collection" category for 2019 – 26 of which were due to transportation incidents. This was down significantly from 2018's 57 fatalities, including 44 transportation incidents. Waste collection fell to the No. 6 spot of the nation’s most fatal occupations, down from No. 5 a year earlier.
- Driver/sales worker and truck driver was the seventh deadliest occupation in 2019.
- Fatalities among workers age 55 and over increased 8 percent from 1,863 in 2018 to 2,005 in 2019, which is the largest number ever recorded for this age group.
- Hispanic or Latino worker fatalities jumped 13 percent to 1,088 in 2019, the highest since 1992.