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Work-related Fatality Rate Increased 2% in 2018

There were 5,250 work-related fatalities reported in 2018, a 2 percent increase compared to 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The fatality rate remained unchanged at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Among key findings:

  • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, with 2,080 deaths accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities.
  • Incidents involving contact with objects and equipment increased 13 percent (from 695 to 786), driven by a 39 percent increase in workers caught in running equipment or machinery and a 17 percent increase in workers struck by falling objects or equipment.
  • Unintentional overdoses due to non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 12 percent (from 272 to 305) – the sixth consecutive annual increase in this category.
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 3 percent in 2018, including an 11 percent increase in work-related suicides (from 275 to 304).
  • Fatal falls, slips and trips decreased 11 percent to 791 after reaching a series high of 887 incidents in 2017. This decline was attributed to a 14 percent drop in falls to a lower level (713 to 615), the lowest total since 2013.

Refer to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2018 for more data.