There were a total of 5,147 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2017, down slightly from the 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The fatal injury rate decreased to 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers from 3.6 in 2016.
Fatal falls were at their highest level in the 26-year history of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) accounting for 887 (17%) worker deaths. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40%) occupational fatalities. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals decreased 7% in 2017 with homicides and suicides decreasing by 8% and 5%, respectively.
•Unintentional overdoses due to nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased 25% from 217 in 2016 to 272 in 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year in which unintentional workplace overdose deaths have increased by at least 25%.
• Contact with objects and equipment incidents were down 9% (695 in 2017 from 761 in 2016) with caught in running equipment or machinery deaths down 26% (76 in 2017 from 103 in 2016).
•Fatal occupational injuries involving confined spaces rose 15% to 166 in 2017 from 144 in 2016.
•Crane-related workplace fatalities fell to their lowest level ever recorded in CFOI, 33 deaths in 2017
Other key findings of the 2017 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries include:
- 15% of the fatally injured workers in 2017 were age 65 or over — a series high.
- Fatal occupational injuries in the private manufacturing industry and wholesale trade industry were the lowest since this series began in 2003.
- A total of 27 states had fewer fatal workplace injuries in 2017 than 2016, while 21 states and the District of Columbia had more; California and Maine had the same number as 2016. A total of 192 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had 5 or more fatal work injuries in 2017.
View the full press release here.