U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases the 2016 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

As published in the 2016 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), more than five thousand workers died from work-related injuries in the U.S. in 2016. This is a 7% increase from 2015 and the highest annual figure since 2008.

These alarming numbers bring attention workplace safety. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA, issued the following statement regarding the report:

“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health. OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training, and outreach.”

TEAM’s outlined the full census below.

Type of Incident

  • Work injuries involving transportation incidents accounted for 40% of fatalities, making it the most common fatal event in 2016.
  • Fatalities due to exposure to harmful substances or environments increased by 22%. Initiatives to decrease this number have already been implemented with changes in silica medical surveillance requirements.
  • Overdoses from non-medical drugs or alcohol usage on the job increased by 32%. Overdose fatalities have increased by 25% since 2012. In an effort to decrease this number, the Department of Transportation has changed its drug testing panel to include four semi-synthetic opioids.

Occupation

  • Employees in transportation and material moving occupations accounted for more than 25% of all work-related fatalities.
  • Driver/sales workers and truck drivers had 918 fatal injuries in 2016. This is more than any other occupation.
  • Fatal injuries among mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries decreased by 26% since 2015.

Other Key Findings

  • Workers over 55 years old had the highest number of fatal injuries since CFOI began reporting national data in 1992.
  • 36 states had more fatal workplace injuries in 2016 than 2015.