While doing research, I recently ran across U.S. government data on fatal work injuries for 2014 and found some alarming numbers. The data came from the “Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2014,” which was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released on September 17, 2015. The data is a preliminary summary. Below is some of the data for accidental and wrongful deaths at work for 2014:
There were a total of 4,679 work injuries resulting in death, which was an increase of 2% over 2013.
There was a 17% increase in mining deaths, which is troubling, especially since my father, maternal grandfather, and many great-uncles were coal miners in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
There were 142 worker deaths in oil and gas extraction, which would include deaths while working in the nearby Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale.
There was a 17% increase in work-related construction deaths in 2014 as compared to 2013. The number of deaths in the construction industry was 874, which was the highest total since 2008.
The number of deaths from falls, slips, and trips increased to 793 in 2014. There were 724 deaths from falls, slips, and trips in 2013. Falls to lower level accounted for 647 of the deaths. The summary does not specify whether the falls were the result of a failure of fall protection.
There were 1,891 transportation deaths in 2014, which accounted for 40% of all fatal workplace injuries. Further, 57% of of the transportation deaths pertained to roadway incidents. There were 725 heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers who died in 2014.
Let’s hope the data for 2015 shows a different trend for accidental and wrongful deaths at work.