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Fatal Workplace Injuries: Staggering OSHA Stats

Julie Copeland

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As the leading supplier of safety training, programs, technology and Personal Protective Equipment, Arbill Safety Experts are often asked about fatal injuries in the workplace. Maybe it is a morbid curiosity or perhaps people just want to be reminded that the absolute worst can and does happen on the job.

Of course, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports on injuries, fatalities, illnesses and more throughout the year, so this information is available and should be shared.

The take away from the information provided below is that each stat is not simply a number. Instead these are real people (and their families) being impacted by workplace fatalities and injuries. If you are thinking these types of incidents will never happen at your facility, here is a sobering thought – that is likely the same thought process that management had where these injuries and fatalities took place.

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With that dose of reality fresh in your mind, as you read through these stats, ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to keep your employees safe.

  • A total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries were recorded in the United States in 2015, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was the highest annual figure since 2008.

  • The 937 fatal work injuries in the private construction industry represented the highest total since 2008.

  • Roadway incident fatalities were up 9 percent from 2014, accounting for over one-quarter of the occupational injuries in 2015. 

  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers recorded 745 fatal injuries, the most of any occupation.

  • Workers age 65 and older incurred 650 fatal injuries, the second-largest number for the group since 1992.

  • Hispanic or Latino workers incurred 903 fatal injuries in 2015, the most since 2007.

  • Self-employed workers had a fatal injury rate that was 4 times higher than the rate for wage and salary workers. 

  • Fatal injuries in farming, fishing and forestry occupations increased 10 percent in 2015, with 284 fatalities, which is the highest total reported for that group in 7 years. 

For more detailed information on fatal injuries by industry and worker characteristic, click here

When it comes to bringing workers home safe, training, diligence and proper safety equipment is not always enough. It takes commitment to learning and education to take workplace safety to the next level. 

Arbill offers a wide range of resources. Through our EH&S service offering, Arbill helps you create a culture of safety. The information shared by Arbill’s EH&S professionals through consulting and education services creates an in-depth understanding and a heightened sense of awareness that translates into best practices, fewer accidents and higher safety accountability.

Accidents do happen, even with the best training, but employers can significantly lower the probability of injuries and potentially fatal injuries with training, proper PPE and leveraging technology to take a proactive approach to injury prevention.

To learn more about Arbill's comprehensive approach to workplace safety, please contact one of our Safety Experts today.

Have a Safe Day!

Topics: OSHA, work place fatalities

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