The number of fatal work injuries declined by more than 200 in 2013, compared to the year before, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The preliminary data for 2013 showed 4,405 fatal work injuries, down from 4,628 in 2012. The department’s report included a caution that final figures for 2013, which won’t be available until next year, could show more deaths than the preliminary data.
The report was released the same day in September that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its new rule updating what job deaths and injuries employers must report.
Now, employers must not only report any death on the job, but must also report any injury that causes amputation of a single worker’s arm or leg, loss of an eye, or hospitalization. Before, three workers had to suffer such injuries before an employer was required to file a report with OSHA.
Fatal injuries among Hispanic-named workers rose to 797 in 2013 from 748 in 2012. Almost half (352) of the year’s dead were born in Mexico. And 734 “independent contractors” – 367 in construction – died last year on the job, up from 715 in 2013. One-third of all contractors fell to their deaths, according to the BLS data.
The dead contract workers included 95 construction laborers, 55 truckers, 48 construction on-site managers and supervisors, 39 roofers, 26 carpenters, 26 electricians, 22 security guards, 14 landscapers, 14 tree trimmers and 13 welders and cutters.
Roadway crashes (1,153), murders and suicides on the job (803), deaths from falling equipment or objects (723) and falls, slips and trips (704) accounted for more than half of all deaths on the job in 2013, according to the BLS.