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Work-related injuries drop below 4,500 for 2013

A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2013, lower than the revised count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

September 29, 2014

A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2013, lower than the revised count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2013 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, compared to a final rate of 3.4 per 100,000 in 2012.
                           
Final 2013 data from CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2015. Over the last five years, net increases to the preliminary count have averaged 165 cases, ranging from a low of 84 in 2011 to a high of 245 in 2012. The revised 2011 figure was 2 percent higher than the preliminary total, while the 2012 figure was 6 percent higher.

Key preliminary findings of the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

  • Fatal work injuries in private industry in 2013 were 6 percent below the 2012 figure. The preliminary 2013 count of 3,929 fatal injuries in private industry represents the lowest annual total since the fatality census was first conducted in 1992.
  • Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers were higher in 2013, rising 7 percent. The 797 Hispanic or Latino worker deaths in 2013 constituted the highest total since 2008. Fatal work injuries were lower among all other major racial/ethnic groups.
  • Since 2011, CFOI has identified whether fatally injured workers were working as contractors at the time of the fatal incident. In 2013, 734 decedents were identified as contractors, above the 715 reported in 2012. Workers who were working as contractors at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17 percent of all cases in 2013.
  • Fatal work injuries involving workers under 16 years of age were substantially lower, falling from 19 in 2012 to 5 in 2013—the lowest total ever reported by the census. Fatal work injuries in most other age groups were also lower in 2013, though fatal work injuries among workers 25 to 34 years of age were higher.
  • Work-related suicides were 8 percent higher than in 2012, but workplace homicides were 16 percent lower. Overall, violence accounted for 1 out of every 6 fatal work injuries in 2013.
  • The number of fatal work injuries among firefighters was considerably higher in 2013, rising from 18 in 2012 to 53 in 2013. The large increase resulted from a few major incidents in which multiple fatalities were recorded, including the Yarnell Hill wildfires in Arizona which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters.
  • Fatal work injuries among self-employed workers were lower by 16 percent from 1,057 in 2012 to 892 in 2013. The preliminary 2013 total represents the lowest annual total since the series began in 1992.

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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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