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Workplace fatalities remain high in 2001. (Risk Reporter).

On the average day in 2001, sixteen workers were fatally injured in the United States, adding up to 8,786 casualties during the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Excluding the events of September 11, however, the 2001 overall occupational fatality rate remained consistent with the 2000 figures, at 4.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers throughout all industries. In the census, the BLS includes only those deaths that occur while individuals are employed and engaged in a legal work activity.

Construction once again had the highest number of fatalities, with 1,225. But even with the largest number of deaths, construction had only the third most dangerous industry fatality rate. Mining, with 170 deaths, was the most dangerous field, with 30 fatalities per 100,000 employed---nearly 700 percent above the overall average. Agriculture was the second most dangerous sector with 22.8 deaths per 100,000 employed.

As for the safest industries, finance, service, retail trade, government and manufacturing all ranked below the average fatality rate. More than 78 percent of the 2,198 nonrescue workers killed on September 11, however, were in the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

The most frequent cause of workplace death in 2001 remained transportation incidents (e.g., traffic accidents, tractor or forklift overturns and aircraft incidents). Although it decreased for the third consecutive year, transportation accidents still accounted for 2,517 deaths in 2001, more than half of which occurred on the highway. More truck drivers, 799, were killed than any other professional.

On a positive note, work-related homicides (excluding those of September 11) reached a new low in 2001, with only 639 deaths. This is way down from 1994, when homicide accounted for 1,080 deaths. In the retail trade, the number of homicides decreased significantly enough to make it one of the safest trades.
2001 Workplace Fatality Rate

(per 100,000 employed)

Mining 30
Agriculture 22.8
Construction 13.3
Transportation 11.2
Wholesale Trade 4.3
Manufacturing 3.2
Government 3.1
Retail Trade 2.4
Services 1.9
Finance 1.0

The average fatality rate per 100,000 employed for all industries is 4.3.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Comment:Workplace fatalities remain high in 2001. (Risk Reporter).
Author:Wade, Jared
Publication:Risk Management
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Previous Article:Labor lockout hurts more than shipping. (Risk Reporter).
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