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New Labor Department report says workplace fatalities rose in 2019

| Jan 13, 2021 | Death Benefits

Regular readers of our Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law Blog know that American workplaces can be dangerous. A new report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should make the dangers clear to everyone.

According to the BLS, workplace deaths rose two percent last year to 5,333. That is up from the 5,250 workplace fatalities in 2018, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report released by the BLS.

Breaking down the numbers

The fatal work injury rate of 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers stayed the same from 2018 to 2019.

Last year’s workplace fatality total was the highest since 2007.

The BLS said the largest share of fatalities was once again transportation incidents, which rose 2 percent to 2,122. Slips, trips and falls increased a whopping 11 percent in 2019 to 880.

Diving into the BLS report

A recent news article shared other key findings from the BLS report:

  • Construction industry fatalities rose 5 percent to 1,061
  • Workers age 55 and over had their largest number of fatalities ever in 2019 with an increase of 8 percent to 2,005 on-the-job deaths
  • There were 1,005 fatal occupational injuries to drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
  • Fatalities among Hispanic or Latino workers rose dramatically in 2019, up 13 percent to 1,088
  • There were 307 workplace suicides in 2019 and 313 unintentional overdoses: slight increases for both

It should be noted that in a separate report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said drug overdose fatalities accelerated in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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