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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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Data Shows Fatal Work Injuries Are on the Rise

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A report published recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2016, fatal work injuries in the nation reached their highest level since 2008, with dramatic increases in workplace violence and overdose fatalities.

There were 5,190 fatal work injuries reported in the U.S. in 2016, a seven percent increase from what was recorded in 2015. Injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent of the total fatalities recorded that year. Fatal work injuries from slips, trips, and falls came in third, increasing six percent in 2016.

Some other notable statistics from the report:

  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals rose 23 percent in 2016, becoming the second-most common fatal event.
  • Workplace homicides increased from 83 cases to 500 in 2016, the highest number since 2010.
  • Workplace suicides rose from 62 to 291, the most since 1992, when the census began reporting data.
  • Overdoses from the nonmedical use of drugs and alcohol on the job increased 32 percent in 2016, and have increased by at least 25 percent each year since 2012.
  • Transportation-related fatalities accounted for 40 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2016.
  • Drivers, particularly truck drivers, sustained the most fatal injuries of any occupation with 918.
  • Fatal injuries among those working in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas industries actually fell by 26 percent in 2016.

 

In Nevada, the number of fatal work injuries went from 44 in 2015 to 54 in 2016, a  23 percent increase over the previous year. Yet, Nevada still comes nowhere close to states with the highest number of worker deaths, including Texas with 545, California with 376, Florida with 309 and New York with 272. Still, a total of 36 states saw some increase in fatalities due to workplace injuries in 2016.