During 2019, a total of 5,333 fatal occupational injuries occurred, marking the largest annual number since 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reported an American died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury.
Overall, fatal work injuries increased by 2% nationwide during the year. Further, the fatal work-injury rate did not change from the year prior, reaching 3.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2019.
In addition, fatalities among workers 55 years of age and older increased 8%, hitting a total of 2,500, which BLS noted is the largest number of work-related deaths ever recorded for the age group. Overall, workers age 55 and older accounted for 38% of all workplace fatalities during 2019.
Further, unintentional overdoses caused by nonmedical use of drugs and alcohol continued a seven-year upward trend, accounting for 313 deaths in 2019. Falls, slips and trips increased 11% during the year, while exposure to harmful substances or environments resulted in the most deaths since BLS began the series in 2011.
Incidents involving vehicles continued to account for the bulk of fatal work injuries, with cases increasing 2% during 2019, BLS reported. At 2,122 incidents, the year saw the largest number of cases since the series started in 2011. During the year, nearly one out of every five fatally injured workers were employed as a driver/sales worker or truck driver.
Source – PropertyCasualty360.com