Workplace Fatalities Spiked in 2019, Highest Since 2007
Workplace fatalities in the United States were up 2% in 2019, hitting their highest level since 2007.
According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,033 workers died on the job last year compared to 5,025 in 2018. The fatal work injury rate was 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, equal to the rate reported in 2018.
Truck Driving Among the Deadliest Jobs in 2019
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers suffered 1,005 fatal occupational injuries, the highest since 2003. In fact, nearly 1 out of every 5 fatally injured workers was employed as a driver/sales worker or truck driver last year.
Workplace deaths in the private construction industry increased 5% to 1,061, the largest total since 2007. The mining, quarrying, and oil and natural gas extraction industries reported 127 workplace fatalities in 2019, a decrease of three from the previous year.
Texas Reported the Most Workplace Deaths Last Year
A total of 28 states had more fatal injuries in 2019 than in 2018, while 21 states had fewer. Alabama and the District of Columbia had the same number as 2018
Texas reported more workplace fatalities than any other state in 2019, with 608 compared to 488 in 2018. California was a distant second, with 451 workplace fatalities in 2019.
Louisiana reported 119 workplace fatalities last year, while New Mexico reported 55.
38% of Workplace Deaths Involved Workers 55+
Fatalities among workers age 55 and over increased 8% from 1,863 in 2018 to 2,005 in 2019. These deaths accounted for 38% of all workplace fatalities last year and the largest number ever recorded for this age group.
Hispanic or Latino worker fatalities were up 13% to 1,088 in 2019 — the highest since 1992 — and made up 20% of fatalities reported in 2019.
Transportation Accidents Caused Largest Share of Worker Fatalities
Transportation-related accidents continued to account for the largest share of workplace fatalities, increasing by 2% in 2019 to 2,122 cases, the most since 2011.
Exposure to harmful substances or environments led to the deaths of 642 workers in 2019, also the highest figure since 2011. Fatalities among workers in the construction and extraction industries increased by 6% last year, the highest figure since 2007.
Meanwhile, deaths due to workplace fires and explosions decreased by 14% to 99 in 2019.
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