August 27, 2013
By Neal Tepel
In 2012 there were 4,383 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States, down from 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011. This according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2012 total represents the second lowest number since this information was first conducted in 1992. Workplace violence is still significant with 17 percent of deaths on the job last year.
Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector continue to increase. There were 775 fatalities in 2012 and 738 in 2011, an increase of 5 percent. Worker deaths in the rapidly growing energy sector, are also on the rise. Fatalities in the private mining industry is up 14 percent, in the oil and gas extraction industry up 23 percent, and in the coal mining industry up 9 percent.
Young Worker Fatalities
Its also shocking to note that many young workers are dying on the job. Fatal work injuries involving workers under 16 years of age have nearly doubled rising from 10 in 2011 to 19 in 2012, the highest total since 2005. Nearly three-quarters of these young workers were employed in the agricultural industry.
Far too many workers continue to die on the job. Regulations regarding safety and security must continue to improve.