According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, more workers died from occupational injuries in 2015 than in any year since 2008.
This census of workplace fatalities has been in use since 1992, and its goal is to provide a transparent view on workplace safety across the nation. The report is broken down by demographic groups and the occupations most at risk for on the job injuries.
The key findings of the report show that 4,836 workplace fatalities were reported in 2015, which is the highest annual number since the 5,214 deaths in 2008. This overall rate of fatalities was 3.38 per 100,000 full-time workers, which, while still high, was lower than the 3.43 rate of 2014.
Hispanic and Latino workers were the demographic most affected, suffering 903 fatal injuries, followed by workers of all races over 65, who incurred 650 deaths. Non-Hispanic Black or African Americans suffered 495 fatalities, and the overall fatalities for foreign-born workers were at the highest level since 2007. The majority of these foreign workers were born in Mexico, but overall represented 100 different countries and nationalities.
Of the major causes of workplace fatalities, transportation-related deaths topped the list, with 2,054. Falls, slips, and trips were the cause of 800 deaths, contact with objects and equipment was 722, violence from animals or other workers 703, exposure to harmful substances or hazardous environments 42, and fires and explosions counted for 121.
It should be noted that the majority of these fatalities were within the construction industry. For example, according to a study performed by the Ohio Safety and Health Administration, of the 4,585 workplace fatalities in 2013, 20.2% were due to construction related accidents. In other words, this equates to 20% of all workplace fatalities happen while on a construction site.
The only positive in this report is that the number of on-the-job suicides fell 18% from 2014.