Work injuries resulting in death have been on the decline for the last 20 years. The total number of workers who died on the job was 4,383 in 2012 compared to 4,693 in 2011 and 6,217 twenty years ago according to the preliminary 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published at the end of last month.
The decline is also confirmed in the preliminary rate of fatal work injuries which was 3.2 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full time worker in 2012 compared to 3.5 in 2011.
Older workers are more at risk of a fatal accident than younger workers.
The rate of fatal injuries for workers above 65 years old was of 9.8 for 100,000 workers.
For workers between the age of 55 and 64 this rate was 3.2
Transportation accidents were responsible for 41% of all fatalities.
Violence and other injuries by people or animals accounted for 17% of all fatalities, contact with objects and equipment for 16% and falls, slips, and trips for 15%.
7% of fatalities were related to harmful substances or environmental factors and 3% to fires and explosions.
The most dangerous activities were related to “agriculture, forestry fishing and hunting” with 21.2 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers followed by activities related to “mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction”, “transportation and warehousing” and construction.