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In 2011, 4,609 people were fatally injured on the job, according to an annual report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That total works out to 3.5 fatal work injuries per every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. By this count, the workplace is .1 percent safer than it was 2010.
Among the findings in the BLS' report, violence and other injuries from people and animals accounted for 780 fatalities, or about 17 percent, which includes 458 homicides and 242 suicides. In both those categories, shootings were the most frequent manner of death. Of those 780 fatalities, 37 deaths were either animal or insect related.
The BLS report found that in terms of fatal work injury rate— the number of deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers— agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting are among the most deadly industries, with a rate of 24.4 per 100,000 workers.
The industry with the lowest is education and health services, with .8 per 100,000. In terms of the sheer number of work-related deaths, the industry with the most is transportation and warehousing, with a total of 733. The industry with the least is utilities, with 39 fatal work injuries.
The following 10 professions were found to have the highest fatal work injury rates. These fatal injury rates do not account for workers under 16, volunteers or resident military.
By Colleen Kane
Posted 15 November, 2012
Number of fatal work injuries: 63
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 19.7
In another trend emerging from the year's data, two out of every five fatal work injuries resulted from transportation incidents, with 57 percent of those on the roadway and 11 percent non-roadway (such as a tractor in a field). Of that percentage, about 16 percent were comprised of pedestrians struck by vehicles.
Number of fatal work injuries: 27
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 20.3
In all, the BLS report showed 171 deaths from exposure to electricity, or four percent of all fatal work injuries.
Number of fatal work injuries: 759
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 24
There was a six percent jump in work-related fatal injuries in this subcategory of driver/sales workers and truck drivers from 2010. The larger story is that this is part of transportation and material moving showed the highest level of fatalities since 2008 – a total of about a quarter of all occupational fatalities.
Number of fatal work injuries: 260
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 25.3
The number of fatal work injuries in this job category is down five percent from the 2010 stats, reversing the previous year's increase.
Number of fatal work injuries: 16
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 26.9
Fatal falls, slips or trips account for 666 deaths, or 14 percent of all fatal work injuries.
Number of fatal work injuries: 56
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 31.8
Falls to a lower level caused 541 deadly work injuries in 2011, or 12 percent of all injuries that year.
Number of fatal work injuries: 34
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 41.2
Some 119 deaths in 2011 resulted from workers getting caught in running equipment or machinery, or about three percent of deaths.
Number of fatal work injuries: 72
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 57
There were 146 aircraft incidents in 2011 leading to worker death, a total of three percent of all 2011 deaths.
Number of fatal work injuries: 64
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 102.4
In 2011, the fatalities for logging workers rose by four deaths.
Number of fatal work injuries: 40
Fatal work injury rate (per 100,000 workers): 121.2
For fisheries, the rate of deaths in 2011 was approximately equal to 2010.