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On-the-Job Fatalities Decreased in 2007

The number of workplace deaths in the U.S. fell last year, but workplace homicides increased, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

August 21, 2008
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The number of workplace fatalities in the U.S. fell in 2007, but workplace homicides increased, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, August 20.

Some 5,488 people, or 3.7 out of every 100,000 workers, died from injuries on the job last year, according to the Washington-based bureau’s “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2007.” The figure represents the lowest number of worker deaths since the department began keeping track in 1992, and a 6 percent decrease from 2006.

Still the government found significant increases in some types of fatal injuries: Workplace homicides increased 13 percent from 2006, and a record 835 workers died from fatal falls in 2007.

Fishing was the most dangerous occupation for the third year in a row, with a rate of 111.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Other dangerous jobs included logging, aircraft pilots, flight engineers, and structural iron and steel workers.

Construction continued to have the most deaths of any private-sector industry, with 1,178 fatalities reported in 2007, down from 1,239 in 2006.

The numbers are preliminary, with a final report due in April 2009. The BLS report on workplace deaths can be accessed at www.bls.gov.

Filed by Colleen McCarthy of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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