Death on the Job: 2017 Fatality Numbers Released

Death on the Job: 2017 Fatality Numbers Released

Scott Wallace

Scott Wallace

Director of OSHA Outreach

Since 1993 I’ve been involved with workplace safety. I started by researching, writing and producing safety training videos. Which then lead to interactive training programs on laser disc, CDROMs and eventually web based online training programs. I also became an OSHA Outreach Trainer and have overseen our OSHA 10 and 30 Hour online course offerings since we became an authorized vendor in 2005. I find it very rewarding that my job allows me to make a positive difference in workers lives.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released their National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2017. The total fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2017 was 5,147 which is down slightly from 5,190 in 2016. This shows that we are headed in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go for the preferred number of 0.

This table was also released and is very comprehensive in the information that it contains (2003-2017). Instead of interpreting the table for you, we thought it best to just let you view the information and decide what is most relevant for your specific workplace. Let’s make 2019 safer than any previous year.

Highlights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) accounting for 887 (17 percent) worker deaths. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40 percent) occupational fatalities. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased 7 percent in 2017 with homicides and suicides decreasing by 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively.”

“The transportation and material moving occupational group and the construction and extraction occupational group accounted for 47 percent of worker deaths in 2017. Within the occupational subgroup driver/sales workers and truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the largest number of fatal occupational injuries with 840. This represented the highest value for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers since the occupational  series began in 2003. Fishers and related fishing workers and logging workers had the highest published rates of fatal injury in 2017.”

  • Fifteen percent of the fatally-injured workers in 2017 were age 65 or over – a series high. In 1992, the first year CFOI published national data, that figure was 8 percent. These workers also had a higher fatality rate  than other age groups in 2017.
  • Fatalities incurred by non-Hispanic Black or African American workers and non-Hispanic Asian workers each decreased 10 percent from 2016 to 2017.
  • Fatal occupational injuries in the private manufacturing industry and wholesale trade industry were the lowest since this series began in 2003.
  • Workplace fatalities in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry increased 26 percent  to 112 in 2017 from a series low of 89 in 2016. Over 70 percent of these fatalities were incurred by workers in the oil and gas extraction industries.

Characteristic

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Total1

4,585

4,821

4,836

5,190

5,147

State of incident

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Alabama

78

75

70

100

83

Alaska

32

30

14

35

33

Arizona

95

88

69

77

90

Arkansas

63

67

74

68

76

California

396

344

388

376

376

Colorado

65

84

75

81

77

Connecticut

29

35

44

28

35

Delaware

11

12

8

12

10

District of Columbia

25

11

8

5

13

Florida

239

228

272

309

299

Georgia

117

152

180

171

194

Hawaii

11

31

18

29

20

Idaho

30

34

36

30

37

Illinois

176

164

172

171

163

Indiana

127

130

115

137

138

Iowa

72

91

60

76

72

Kansas

55

73

60

74

72

Kentucky

86

82

99

92

70

Louisiana

114

120

112

95

117

Maine

19

19

15

18

18

Maryland

79

74

69

92

87

Massachusetts

57

55

69

109

108

Michigan

135

143

134

162

153

Minnesota

69

62

74

92

101

Mississippi

68

75

77

71

90

Missouri

118

106

117

124

125

Montana

28

28

36

38

32

Nebraska

39

55

50

60

35

Nevada

42

40

44

54

32

New Hampshire

14

17

18

22

11

New Jersey

102

87

97

101

69

New Mexico

54

53

35

41

44

New York (including N.Y.C.)

178

241

236

272

313

New York City

56

79

74

56

87

North Carolina

109

137

150

174

183

North Dakota

56

38

47

28

38

Ohio

149

185

202

164

174

Oklahoma

92

98

91

92

91

Oregon

49

69

44

72

60

Pennsylvania

183

179

173

163

172

Rhode Island

10

10

6

9

8

South Carolina

75

64

117

96

88

South Dakota

20

29

21

31

30

Tennessee

95

127

112

122

128

Texas

508

531

527

545

534

Utah

37

54

42

44

43

Vermont

7

10

9

10

22

Virginia

128

116

106

153

118

Washington

56

88

70

78

84

West Virginia

61

38

35

47

51

Wisconsin

97

99

104

105

106

Wyoming

26

37

34

34

20

Employee status

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Wage and salary workers2

3,635

3,728

3,751

4,098

4,069

Self-employed3

950

1,093

1,085

1,092

1,078

Gender

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Women

319

367

344

387

386

Men

4,265

4,454

4,492

4,803

4,761

Age

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Under 16 years

5

8

12

13

15

16 to 17 years

9

14

12

17

7

18 to 19 years

57

42

50

43

62

20 to 24 years

279

292

329

310

293

25 to 34 years

777

753

758

834

872

35 to 44 years

853

860

864

979

907

45 to 54 years

1,115

1,161

1,130

1,145

1,059

55 to 64 years

933

1,007

1,031

1,160

1,155

65 years and over

557

684

650

688

775

Race or ethnic origin4

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

White (non-Hispanic)

3,125

3,332

3,241

3,481

3,449

Black or African-American (non-Hispanic)

439

475

495

587

530

Hispanic or Latino

817

804

903

879

903

American Indian or Alaskan Native (non-Hispanic)

35

34

36

38

38

Asian (non-Hispanic)

125

137

114

160

144

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (non-Hispanic)

7

5

9

7

17

Multiple races (non-Hispanic)

12

20

12

15

9

Other races or not reported (non-Hispanic)

25

14

26

23

57