The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently produced a report on workplace fatalities, and the figures are somewhat encouraging. According to the most recent data, which comprises deaths recorded in 2010, the workplace is actually becoming safer for many Americans. The Bureau reports that there were 4,547 fatal occupational injuries, which is 4 fewer than occurred in 2009.
Many sectors remain notoriously dangerous, with some reaching up to 116 fatalities per 100,000 workers. However, the overall trend seems to point toward increased safety in the workplace. Most of the reported injuries and deaths occur in only a handful of the most dangerous occupations.
Those jobs ranked “most dangerous” are, for the most part, in areas one would expect, such as mining and law enforcement. However, there are also some surprises on the list. Farmers, aircraft pilots and trash collectors also ranked within the top ten. Fishing ranked at the top of the list, a position which it has held since 1992. For the complete list, see Boston.com.
Considering the Bureau’s statistics from 2000, fatalities have actually decreased 23% in the past decade. Although some of this decrease is owed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its attempts to improve standards in the workplace, there are still many industries which have seen little improvement over the years (e.g. fishing).