The year 2016 has been named the deadliest year in the U.S. for workers. It’s been almost a decade since work related deaths have been this high.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, there were a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. in 2016, a 7% increase from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported in 2015. This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008. The fatal injury rate for full-time workers rose to 3.6 per 100,000 from 3.4 in 2015, the highest rate since 2010.
Transportation incidences remained the most common fatal work related events in 2016, contributing to 40 percent of all work related deaths, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other categories with significant increases in fatal work injuries include homicides, suicides, drug and alcohol overdoses, and deaths from slip and falls.
The rate of fatalities due to work related injuries is staggering. The lack of company safety policy and procedures may be a huge factor in the increased number of worker deaths. These are just among the numbers that have been reported. Underreporting and neglect is among the widespread contributing factor to such a high death toll. As we move into 2018 I hope to see this number dramatically decrease. This will only happen if companies are being held responsible for the standard of their safety procedures, as well workers and the community bringing to light unsafe working conditions.