News Column

Job Fatalities Decline

Sept. 27, 2012

Daniel McGraw

The number of fatalities on the job has declined to its lowest level over the past two decades, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to preliminary data, fatalities continued their slow and steady decline over the past 17 years to 4,609 in 2011. The rate of fatalities dipped to 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers, a slight decline from 3.6 a year earlier.

Texas recorded the most fatalities in the United States with 433 in 2011. California (360) and Florida (227) recorded the second and third highest totals of fatalities. Both states saw the number of occupational fatalities rise.

According to the report, 41 percent of deaths occurred in a transportation incident while on the job. Contact with objects and equipment was second at 15 percent, and a fall was the third most common fatal accident with 14 percent, the department found.

Fatalities also disproportionately involved men, according to the report.

The most dangerous professionals followed those familiar trends, too.

Fishers and fishing workers had the highest rate of fatalities with 121.2 per 100,000 workers. Logging workers were involved in fatal work accidents at a rate of 102.4 per 100,000, and aircraft pilots and flight engineers was the third most dangerous with 57 fatalities per 100,000.

Overall, truck drivers and traveling sales workers recorded the most deaths out of the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Those two professions combined saw 759 deaths in 2011.



Source: (c)2012 Houston Chronicle Distributed by MCT Information Services


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